As part of the apparatus of the centralizing state, positivist law contrasted with established moral legal frameworks. Whereas these frameworks had focused on cultivating moral subjects bottom-up through communal structures, positivist law sought to discipline the individual top-down, eschewing questions of morality. This project traces the making of modern law through genealogies of five concepts essential to the nation-state system. Each case shows how translations and codification - by British and Egyptian officials and legislators, foreign missionaries, and everyday people amid the ascendance of international law - rearranged or confined moral lexicons and practices toward state-defined public order. This research sheds new light on the place of religion in public life both in Egypt and globally.