In classical times, India’s diverse groups – whether defined by family or caste, professional or religious association – settled on a concept of law. How did they reach consensus? Was it based in religion or transcendent knowledge? Did it depend on time and place? What apparatus existed to ensure justice and fair verdicts?
Addressing these questions and more, A Dharma Reader traces the definition and process of Indian law from the third century bce to the middle ages. Its breadth captures the centuries-long struggle by Indian thinkers to theorize law in a complex society.
The volume includes new and accessible translations of key texts, notes that explain the significance and chronology of selections, and a comprehensive introduction that summarizes the development of various disciplines in intellectual and historical terms.
With exceptional detail and historical precision, this Reader provides unique insights into the legal interactions among India’s many groups. (jacket)