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[Presentation] Cheating in the Bible and its legal implications

Sophie Démare-Lafont

There are several examples of Biblical narratives describing how a character managed to obtain a right or circumvent a legal obstacle for goals of either general or individual interests.

Depending on the situations, cheating appears as a personal and selfish strategy or as the last resort of desperate causes.

The paper will review three cases of such tactical plans, namely the stories of Esau and Jacob (Gn 27, 1-40), of Leah and Rachel’s wedding (Gn 29, 16-30) and of Tamar and Juda (Gn 38, 6-26).

Sophie Démare-Lafont has been Professor of history of law at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris) since 2008 and Directeur d’études at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) since 1999.

She specialises in the study of Ancient Near Eastern law (Mesopotamia – Bible), with a PhD devoted to the criminal law of women.

She has edited two books about oaths in the Ancient Near East and legal formulae and is currently editing the proceedings of a conference about the loan documents.

She has written many articles in French and foreign periodicals, and has contributed to several collective handbooks including A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, edited by the late R. Westbrook in 2003.

Drinks reception 6.00pm, Gavin de Beer room
Lecture 6.30pm, J.Z. Young lecture theatre
UCL Medical Sciences and Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

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