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Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra

Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra

By Ludo Rocher, Edited by Donald R. Davis, Jr, Foreword by Richard W. Lariviere

Anthem South Asian Normative Traditions Studies

This book presents for the first time a collection of the major studies on Hindu law and Dharmaśāstra by Ludo Rocher, one of the brightest lights of American academia. This collection of essays serves as an invaluable introduction to Rocher’s distinctive and important contributions to the field of Indology.

Hardback, 760 Pages

ISBN:9780857285508

September 2012

£80.00, $130.00

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About This Book

The main sources for an understanding of classical Hindu law are the Sanskrit treatises on religious and legal duties, known as the Dharmaśāstras. In this collection of his major studies in the field, Ludo Rocher presents analytical and interpretive essays on a wide range of topics, from general themes such as the nature of Hindu law and Anglo-Hindu law to technical matters including word studies and text criticism. Rocher’s deep engagement with the language and worldview of the authors in the Dharmaśāstra tradition yields distinctive and corrective contributions to the field, which are informed by knowledge both of the Indian grammatical tradition and of Roman and civil law.

Davis’s introduction presents an interpretative account of Rocher’s many contributions to the field, organized around the themes that recur in his work, and examines his key advances, both methodological and substantive. Comparisons and contrasts between Rocher’s ideas and those of his Indological colleagues serve to place him in the context of a scholarly tradition, while Rocher’s fundamental view that the Dharmaśāstra is first and foremost a scholarly and scholastic tradition, rather than a practical legal one, is also explored.

This invaluable collection serves both as a summary review of the ideas of Rocher, a leading authority in the field, and as a critical evaluation of the impact of these ideas on the present study of law and Indology.

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Author Information

Ludo Rocher is W. Norman Brown Professor Emeritus of South Asia Regional Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Donald R. Davis, Jr. is associate professor of South Asian religions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Series

Anthem South Asian Normative Traditions Studies

Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard W. Lariviere; Preface; Abbreviations; Note on the Edition; Introduction; Part One. The Nature of Hindu Law; Hindu Conceptions of Law; The Historical Foundations of Ancient Indian Law; Hindu Law and Religion: Where to Draw the Line; Law Books in an Oral Culture: The Indian Dharmaśāstras; Schools of Hindu Law; Changing Patterns of Diversification in Hindu Law; Part Two. General Topics of Hindu Law; Ancient Hindu Criminal Law; Hindu Law of Succession: From the ‘Śāstras’ to Modern Law; Caste and Occupation in Classical India: The Normative Texts; Megasthenes on Indian Lawbooks; The “Ambassador” in Ancient India; The Status of Minors according to Classical Hindu Law; ‘Quandoque bonus dormitat’ Jīmūtavāhanas;  Notes on Mixed Castes in Classical India; Inheritance and ‘Śrāddha’: The Principle of “Spiritual Benefit”; The Theory of Matrimonial Causes According to the ‘Dharmaśāstra’; Jīmūtavāhana’s ‘Dāyabhāga’ and the Maxim ‘Factum Valet’; The Divinity of Royal Power in Ancient India according to Dharmaśāstra; A Few Considerations on Monocracy in Ancient India; Part Three. Hindu Legal Procedure; The Theory of Proof in Ancient Hindu Law; The Problem of the Mixed Reply in Ancient Hindu Law; The Reply in Hindu Legal Procedure: Mitra Miśra’s Criticism of the ‘Vyavahāra-Cintāmaṇi’; “Lawyers” in Classical Hindu Law; Anumāna in the ‘Bṛhaspatismṛti’; Part Four. Technical Studies of Hindu Law; Possession Held for Three Generations by Persons Related to the Owner; The ‘Vīramitrodaya’ on the Right of Private Defence; The Technical Term ‘Anubandha’ in Sanskrit Legal Literature; The ‘Kāmasūtra’: Vātsyāyana’s Attitude toward ‘Dharma’ and Dharmaśāstra; In Defense of Jīmūtavāhana; ‘Dāsadāsī’; The Definition of ‘Vākparuṣya’; ‘Janmasvatvavāda’ and ‘Uparamasvatvavāda’: The First Chapters on Inheritance in the ‘Mitākṣarā’ and ‘Dāyabhāga’; Karma and Rebirth in the Dharmaśāstra; Notes on the Technical Term ‘Sāhasa’ “Fine, Pecuniary Penalty”; ‘Avyāvahārika’ Debts and Kauṭilya 3.1.1–11; The ‘Sūtras’ and ‘Śāstras’ on the Eight Types of Marriage; ‘Caritraṃ Pustakaraṇe’; The Terms ‘Niyukta’, ‘Aniyukta’, and ‘Niyoga’ in Sanskrit Legal Literature; The ‘Aurasa’ Son; The Introduction of the ‘Gautamadharmasūtra’; Part Five. Anglo-Hindu and Customary Law; Indian Response to Anglo-Hindu Law; Can a Murderer Inherit his Victim’s Estate? British Responses to Troublesome Questions in Hindu Law; Reinterpreting Texts: When Revealed Sanskrit Texts Become Modern Law Books; Father Bouchet’s Letter on the Administration of Hindu Law; Jacob Mossel’s Treatise on the Customary Laws of the Veḷḷāla Cheṭṭiyārs; Bibliography; Index

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