Among Professor Saiman’s recent achievements is publication of his book, Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law, which explains the unique role that law and its study play in articulating Jewish approaches to core theological and social questions.
The University hosted a symposium on the book that brought together leading scholars of several religious traditions and schools of jurisprudence to discuss the implications of Professor Saiman’s book to various fields.
It’s a great testament to his ongoing contributions and impact of his work that Professor Saiman took his seat as Villanova Law’s inaugural Chair in Jewish Law in August 2019.
Mark C. Alexander, JD, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, created the role with the intention of underscoring the Law School’s commitment to a broader examination of the intersection of law and religion.
“While many universities maintain chairs or programs devoted to Judaism, few are located in law schools,” says Professor Saiman. “Judaism frames many of its core ideas in legal terms, and studying Judaism from within a legal context can illuminate ongoing national and global conversation on these matters.”
With this three-year appointment, Professor Saiman is tasked with taking part in scholarly pursuits related to Jewish law, including working on traditional articles, white papers and conference engagements.
In addition, he’ll examine the holistic aspects of faculty life, teaching, scholarship and service, and how engaging the Jewish tradition in the context of a Catholic university can enhance faculty and student life in the institution overall.