Divine Darkness and Legal Darkness: Apophasis, Cataphasis and the Making of Legal Cultures of the First Millennium
Markov S., White R., Petkoff P.
The article explores the long lost synthesis between apophatic and cataphatic theological strategies and early legal systematizations which shaped the Christian, Jewish and Islamic legal collections in the twelfth century. It argues that the theological possibilities to achieve Divine knowledge have reached out to all normative forms of human existence including law. It focuses specifically on a Christian context where imagining the law involves complex scales of cataphasis and apophasis and parallels other normative forms such as ritual and ascetic practices. The text only hints that parallel trends appear via very different routes but in a very similar ways in the Jewish and the Islamic legal projects and proposes that a comparative interreligious study of the twelfth century legal collections and their hermeneutic strategies is long overdue and critically important.