Dr. Lena Salaymeh

מנהלת הפקולטה למשפטים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Lena Salaymeh
Phone: 03-6407490


Lena Salaymeh, Associate Professor at Tel Aviv Law, is on leave at Princeton's Davis Center during the 2018-2019 academic year. She researches and teaches Islamic and Jewish jurisprudence in both historical and contemporary legal systems. Her book, The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions (Cambridge University Press, 2016) explores how critical historiography can illuminate Islamic legal beginnings and was awarded the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Textual Studies. She has published in Law and History Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Islamic Law & Society, Journal of Legal Education, and The Immanent Frame. Her forthcoming publications use critical feminist theory and critical secularism studies to examine contemporary controversies about law and religion. She earned her PhD in Legal and Middle Eastern History from UC Berkeley and her JD from Harvard Law School; she is a member of the California Bar. (Her publications can be downloaded at http://telaviv.academia.edu/LenaSalaymeh/)

Research Interests and Teaching

Islamic jurisprudence and legal history; Jewish jurisprudence and legal history; legal historiography; law, “religion,” and secularism; law in the contemporary “Middle East” and North Africa; contemporary Islamic law



PhD     University of California, Berkeley

MA       University of California, Berkeley

JD        Harvard Law School

BA       University of California, Berkeley


Academic appointments

Associate Professor of Law

Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law



Abbreviated CV

Representative Publications


The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. (listen to the New Books Network Podcast or AAR Religious Studies News)


Salaymeh, Lena, Yosef Schwartz, and Galili Shahar, eds. Der Orient: Imaginationen in deutscher Sprache, Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 45. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag; Minerva Institut für deutsche Geschichte Universität Tel Aviv, 2017.


Temporalities of marriage: medieval Jewish and Islamic legal debates.” with Zvi Septimus, in Talmudic transgressions: engaging the work of Daniel Boyarin, edited by Charlotte Fonrobert, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Aharon Shemesh and Moulie Vidas, 201-39. Leiden: Brill, 2017.


Taxing citizens: socio-legal constructions of late antique Muslim identity.” Islamic Law and Society 23:4 (2016): 333-67.


A genealogy of Islamic law: a critical approach to late antique Islamic legal history.” Mizan (March 23, 2017)


 “Tunisia’s ‘revolutionary’ lawyers: political mobilization and professional autonomy.” with Eric Gobe, Law & Social Inquiry 40, no. 4 (2016): 311-345.


“Juvenile justice in Muslim-majority states.” Chap. 6 In Juvenile justice in global perspective, edited by Franklin E. Zimring, Maximo Langer and David S. Tanenhaus, 249-87. New York: NYU Press, 2015.


'Comparing' Jewish and Islamic legal traditions: between disciplinarity and critical historical jurisprudence.” Critical Analysis of Law, New Historical Jurisprudence, 2, no. 1 (2015): 153-172.


Book sections with Ira M. Lapidus in A history of Islamic societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.  Additional book sections with Ira M. Lapidus in Islamic societies to the nineteenth century: a global history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.


Propaganda, politics, and profiteering: Islamic law in the contemporary U.S.Jadaliyya (September 29, 2014).


Commodifying ‘Islamic law’ in the U.S. legal academy.” Journal of Legal Education 63, no. 4 (May 2014): 640-646.


Between scholarship and polemic in Judeo-Islamic studies.” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations 24, no. 3 (2013): 407-418.


Abbreviated CV

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