The legal systems of Judaism, Islam, and Catholic Christianity each regulate financial transactions in the light of a divine ethical imperative to avoid lending at interest. Yet each has also developed practical, legal means to facilitate a wide range of investment opportunities. The convergence of common ethical aspirations and practical concerns, and the divergence in historical experiences, together present a nearly unique opportunity for comparative study. The papers prepared for this comparative conference will consider both the history and the contemporary practice of religious-legal engagement with finance. Special attention will be paid to the different institutional mechanisms for dealing with questions of law, ethics, and practical necessity. The relationship between revealed religion, legal reasoning, and ethical-moral considerations will also constitute a major theme. A further essential theme will be the question of contemporary observance of the dictates of traditional religion and the efforts of religious institutions to engage contemporary realities.Schedule after the jump.
Tuesday, December 10th 2013
1:00pm – 1:30pm
Opening Remarks by Prof. Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Session I – “Finance & Religion: Foundations and Early History”
Chair: Intisar Rabb, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Law, New York University School of Law and Tenured Faculty and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School (2014).
Dr. Ibrahim Warde, Adjunct Professor, The Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Tufts University, "Finance, Moral Philosophy and Religion"
Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Law, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies and History, Vanderbilt University, "Jewish Commercial Practice in the Medieval Islamic World: Is It Really Between Jewish and Islamic Law?"
Rowan Dorin, Ph.D. Candidate in History,Department of History, Harvard University, “Canon Law and the Challenge of Usury in the Late Middle Ages"
4:30pm – 5:00pm
Panel I Discussion Conclusion and Closing Remarks
Wednesday, December 10th 2013
9:00am – 12:00pm
Session I– “Commercial Challenges & Early Modernity”
Chair: Kristen Stilt, Harry R. Horrow Professor in International Law, Professor of History, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, Northwestern School of Law
Ephraim Kanarfogel, University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law, Yeshiva University, "The Pre-Modern History of the Heter Iska: Investing and Extending Credit in Medieval Rabbinic Literature and Thought."
Wim Decock, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, KU Leuven and Research Group Leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, "The Catholic Spirit of Commercial Capitalism?"
Erol Özvar, Professor, Marmara University, "A Shared Credit World: Legal Tools and Financial Practice among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Ottoman Society."
1:30pm – 4:30pm
Session II- “Contemporary Religion and Finance”
Chair: Shayndi Raice, Banking Reporter, Wall Street Journal, New York
Daniel Finn, Professor of Theology and Clemens Professor of Economics, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, “Catholic Social Thought and Finance: How Faith and Economics Connect”
Shariq Nisar, Senior Visiting Fellow, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School and Director at Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions Pvt. Ltd., “Contemporary Islamic Finance: An Overview”
Rabbi Ari Marburger, Rabbinic Court, Lakewood, New Jersey, “Banks, Mortgages, and Hedge Funds: Applying Jewish Law to Modern Finance”
4:30pm – 5:00pm
Panel II Discussion Conclusion, Final Remarks and Adjournment