Law 798:  Family Law in Historical Context

The family is often said to be the oldest and most basic of social institutions. In many ancient legal systems, the family was the basic unit of legal analysis, and the idea of individuals as rights bearers typically appears only much later in the development of complex legal systems. How has the family been organized over time, and in different social and cultural contexts? How has the law supported different forms of family life, and how have different forms of family life supported different legal and political systems? In this seminar, we examine how the law has governed the evolving forms and functions of family life in different periods of history. What is the relationship between the family and religion? Part of the goal will be to understand what is distinctive about family law today, and what some recent developments in modern family law mean. 

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: Paper

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