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Justice, Law and Punishment

Megan Reid, assistant professor of religion, has been named a 2007 Carnegie Scholar for her project titled “Punishment and Appropriate Justice in Islamic Societies,” which is also the subject of her new book.

A cultural historian, Reid studies Islamic law and ethics through the ages. She was one of 21 scholars selected for the honor this year by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Each will receive grants of up to $100,000 to explore themes relating to Islam and the modern world over the next two years.

Reid’s project will investigate concepts of punishment in Sunni Islam within the context of their sacred beginnings. She argues that the case for violent justice cannot be found in Qur’anic passages but rather in successive generations of those who interpret Islamic legal texts, resulting in evolving and fluid notions of appropriate justice.

Among other themes, she will look at the past and present attitudes of Muslim judges and legal scholars regarding corporal and capital punishments as well as the imagery of those punishments and their capacity to shock and satisfy. She intends to shed light on how Islamic societies today understand changing conceptions of fair punishment and also notions of clemency.

Justice, Law and Punishment

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