Ancilla Iuris

Lagen des Rechts
Constellations of Law


Histories of Legal Orientalism

Ancilla Iuris 2021
Special Issue: Trajectories of Chinese Law

Article PDF


Legal Orientalism has two histories. One is the Orientalist statements that we find scattered through-out Western modernity, which involve imaginations of Chinese legal consciousness in particular. The other is the history of the concept of legal Orientalism itself: how this concept is understood, used, and commented upon. Taking Hegel's philosophy as its entry and exit point to legal Orientalism, this article works out the importance of reflecting on both of these histories. Such reflection contributes to avoiding that the histories of legal Orientalism hinder cross-cultural communication between "Orient" and "Occident" and to enabling comparative legal learning. Against this backcloth, the article suggests that thinking about legal Orientalism should be complemented by the concepts of dialogue and Oriental legalism.

How to quote this article
Thomas Coendet , Histories of Legal Orientalism, in: Ancilla Iuris ( 2021, 160-165.


The text is subject to a non-commercial Creative Commons license
(CC BY 4.0).