MacArthur Fellows Program

Lawrence Rosen

Attorney and Anthropologist | Class of June 1981

Attorney and Anthropologist
Princeton, New Jersey
40 at time of award
Area of Focus
Cultural Anthropology
Published June 1, 1981

About Lawrence's Work

Lawrence Rosen is an anthropologist and a lawyer who studies cultural concepts in society and law.

He has explored Islamic law in North African societies and the treatment of American Indians within the general legal system of the United States. He has also worked as an attorney on a number of American Indian legal cases.  Rosen is the author of Bargaining for Reality: The Construction of Social Relations in a Muslim Community (1984), The Anthropology of Justice: Law as Culture in Muslim Society (1989), The Justice of Islam: Comparative Perspectives on Islamic Law and Society (2000), and The Culture of Islam: Changing Aspects of Contemporary Muslim Life (2002).  He is the co-author of Meaning and Order in Moroccan Society (1979), and the editor of The American Indian and the Law (1976) and Other Intentions: Cultural Contexts and the Attribution of Inner States (1995).


Rosen is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Law. 

Rosen received a B.A. (1963) from Brandeis University, and an M.A. (1965), Ph.D. (1968), and J.D. (1974) from the University of Chicago.

Recent News

Lawrence Rosen continues to serve as the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and adjunct professor of law at Columbia University. He currently has two books in press, Drawn From Memory: Moroccan Lives Unremembered (University of Chicago Press) and The Balance of Justice: Islam and the Rule of Law (University of Harvard Press).

Updated July 2015

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