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The 2019 Villanova Law Review Norman J. Shachoy Symposium, 2/15


"The Rabbinic Idea of Law: Interactions and Implications"
February 15, 2019




In its annual Norman J. Shachoy Symposium, the Villanova Law Review examines the implications of Villanova Law Professor Chaim Saiman’s book, Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law, on law and legal theory. The symposium will bring together distinguished scholars of legal theory, law and literature, religious law and theology and religious studies.

Saiman’s book develops a theory of Jewish law that both draws on and contributes to several areas of jurisprudence. The Symposium will examine the book’s implications for Jewish law and Rabbinics, law and religion, as well as theories of law and general jurisprudence.   

The symposium takes place on Friday, Feb. 15, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Laurence E. Hirsch '71 Classroom (Room 101) of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova). This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 5.5 substantive CLE credits.



8:00– 8:20 a.m.: Registration/Breakfast

8:20– 8:30 a.m.: Welcome

8:30– 9:35 a.m.:
"Implications of The Rabbinic Idea of Law for Jewish Law and Rabbinics"

Christine Hayes, Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University

Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, The Joseph and Gwedolyn Straus Professor of Talmud, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University

Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg, Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows


9:35– 9:45 a.m.: Break


9:45- 11:15 a.m.: "Implications of The Rabbinic Idea of Law for Law and Religion and Law and Theology"

Haider Ala Hamoudi, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Kevin Hughes, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University

M. Cathleen Kaveny, Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Law, Boston College Law School

Nathan Oman, Rollins Professor of Law, Cabell Research Professor of Law, and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Law and Markets, William & Mary Law School


11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Lunch


12:00 - 1:30 p.m.: "The Rabbinic Idea of Law in Conversation with Movements in Legal Theory"

Richard McAdams, Deputy Dean and Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

Edward Rock, Martin Lipton Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, New York University Law School

Harlan Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law

Amy Sepinwall, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania


1:30- 1:45p.m.: Break


1:45- 3:15 p.m.: "The Rabbinic Idea of Law in Conversation with Law and Literature"

Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Vincent Lloyd, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University

Richard Weisberg, Walter Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Tal Kastner, Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering, New York University Law School


3:15-3:30 p.m.: Concluding Remarks

Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Timothy Muyano '19, Editor-in-Chief, Villanova Law Review