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“Great Divergence” lecture series bridges historical research in early empires with legal studies

26 May 2021

Participants of the first roundtable include (clockwise from top left) Dr Cai Liang of the University of Notre Dame, who chaired the session, Dr Peter F Bang of the University of Copenhagen, Professor Karen L Turner of the College of the Holy Cross, and Professor Taisu Zhang of Yale University.
Participants of the first roundtable include (clockwise from top left) Dr Cai Liang of the University of Notre Dame, who chaired the session, Dr Peter F Bang of the University of Copenhagen, Professor Karen L Turner of the College of the Holy Cross, and Professor Taisu Zhang of Yale University.

The Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology at HKBU, together with the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame in the US, curated an online lecture series called “Great Divergence: Law, Justice, and Empire in Comparative Perspective” with the generous support of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and Notre Dame International at the University of Notre Dame.

 

The lecture series in comparative history aims to bridge historical research with the fields of legal studies, political science, sociology and philosophy, and the first event coalesced the expertise of the invited scholars to reach a broader understanding of early imperial China and its contemporaneous civilisations while reflecting on the theoretical frameworks deployed in comparative studies.

 

The first roundtable was conducted on 6 May with the topic “Rule of Law for What?: Crime and Punishment in Classical China and Rome”. It attracted more than a hundred HKBU students and faculty members, as well as scholars from local and international institutions. 

 

Professor Karen L Turner, Sinologist and Distinguished Professor of Humanities and History at the College of the Holy Cross in the US, delivered a lecture entitled “Law and Love in Han China: The Emperor’s Two Faces”, and Dr Peter F Bang, an Associate Professor of the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, presented a lecture on “Empire and Law: Tributary Empires, Universal Rule and the Practice of Government without Bureaucracy”, with Professor Taisu Zhang, Professor of Law in the Yale Law School at Yale University, invited as the discussant.