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Grant number like: FA-53734-08

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Leor Edward Halevi
Texas A & M University, College Station (College Station, TX 77843-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2008 – 8/31/2009

Forbidden Goods: The History of Cross-Cultural Trade in Islamic Law

My project concerns Islamic laws about foreign commodities and cross-cultural trade. Many Muslim experts on Islamic law earned their livelihood as merchants and thus appreciated the benefits of unrestricted trade with non-Muslims. Yet they worried that through such trade they would expose their bodies and communities to impurity, and so proposed restrictions to regulate this commerce. This tension between an economic interest in porous communal boundaries and a religious interest in social exclusivity fascinates me. As an historian of religion, I will bring a new perspective to bear on a field that has been dominated by economic historians. My book monograph will be the first history of juridical discussions on non-Muslim goods. It will appeal to a broad audience, due to humanistic interest in interactions between Muslims and others, and due to consumer fascination -- in this age of global commerce -- with local reactions to foreign goods.