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A Historical Approach to Casuistry


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Preface, Carlo Ginzburg (University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy) Acknowledgments Part I Casuistry and Medicine across Time and Space 1. The Royal College of Paediatrics 2004 / 2015 Guidance for Decision Making at The End of Life : A Framework for Casuistry, Avishai Sarfatti (Oxford University, UK) 2. The Medical Case Narrative in Pre-Modern Europe and China: Comparative History of an Epistemic Genre, Gianna Pomata (Johns Hopkins University, USA) Part II Religious Anomalies in the Ancient and Medieval World 3. (Un)written Laws and Transgressions in Ancient Greece and Rome, Jan Bremmer (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands) 4. The Case About Jesus: (Counter-)History and Casuistry in Toledot Yeshu, Daniel Barbu (CNRS, UMR 8584, Laboratoire d'etudes sur les monotheismes, Paris, France) Part III Legal Casuistry between Judaism and Islam 5. "I signed but I did not say": The Status of Chess in Early Modern Judaism, Andrew Berns (University of South Carolina, USA) 6. The Many Roads to Justice: A Case of Adultery in Sixteenth-Century Cairo, Caterina Bori (Universita di Bologna, Italy) 7. Islamic Casuistry and Galenic Medicine: Hashish, Coffee and the Emergence of the Jurist-Physician, Islam Dayeh (Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany) Part IV Casuistry between Reformation and Counter Reformation 8. The Exception as Norm: Casuistry of Suicide in John Donne's Biathanatos, Lucio Biasiori (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy) 9. "Whether 'tis lawful for a man to beat his wife": Casuistical Exercises in Late-Stuart and Early-Hanoverian England, Giovanni Tarantino (University of Western Australia) Part V Norms and Exceptions in the Early Modern Global World (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries) 10. Indians' Forced Labour as Case for Exception in Seventeenth-Century Colonial America, Angela Ballone (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) 11. Morality and Empire: Cases, Norms and Exceptions in Sixteenth-Century Portuguese Asia, Sanjay Subrahmanyam (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) 12. An 'Our Father' for the Hottentots: Religion, Language and the Consensus Gentium, Martin Mulsow (Universitat Erfurt, Germany) Part VI Inside and Outside Port-Royal 13. Port-Royal at grips with its own casuistry and Pascal's stand, Silvia Berti (Sapienza - Universita di Roma, Italy) 14. Casuistry and Irony: Some Reflections on Pascal's Provinciales, Carlo Ginzburg (University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy) Sources Bibliography

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A thorough exploration of casuistry and moral exceptionalism as a historical, transcultural, and global phenomenon.

About the Author

Carlo Ginzburg is Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Emeritus Professor of History of European Cultures at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. Lucio Biasiori is Research Fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. His interests encompass early modern religious and cultural history.


Ginzburg has assembled some of the world's leading thinkers to explore casuistry as a fundamental and surprisingly neglected approach to intractable dilemmas and paradoxes throughout history. Traversing disciplines and centuries, this volume will change the way we think and the way we think about thinking. * Matthew C. Mirow, Professor of Law, Florida International University, USA *
As these wide-ranging essays demonstrate, casuistry is hardly so simple as normally believed, but a style of thought in which norms and exceptions are mutually constitutive, dialogically and dialectically interrelated. Time after time, we observe how established authorities in one domain or another (law, medicine, theology; Europe, Asia, the Americas) responded to deviations from what they prescribed and expected, struggling to defuse the challenge these anomalies present by construing them -- often with extraordinary ingenuity -- as exceptions that prove, rather than threaten the rule. Each chapter makes for fascinating reading, as does the volume as a whole. * Bruce Lincoln, Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History of Religions, University of Chicago, USA *

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