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What are the similarities and differences between Jewish, Canon, Islamic, Chinese, Hindu and Buddhist law? These so-called 'religious laws' apply to over half the world's population. Do they, as comparative lawyers have assumed, form a coherent group that can be contrasted with the 'secular laws' of European states? The contributors to this volume agree that they do not. The seven chapters devoted to each 'religious law' explain why not. The remaining chapters offer new legal taxonomies, and new approaches to comparing the world's legal systems. This book brings together two scholarly traditions: experts in Roman, Jewish and Islamic law, an area where scholars tend to be familiar with work in each area, and experts in the legal traditions of South and East Asia, which have tended to be less interdisciplinary. The resulting mix produces new ways of looking at comparative law and legal history from a global perspective, and these essays contribute both to our understanding of comparative religion as well as comparative law.