Hunter-Henin (ed.), “Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe”

Ashgate Publishing has published Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe (February 2012) edited by Myriam Hunter-Henin (University College London – Faculty of Laws).  The publisher’s description follows.

This collection considers how contemporary cultural and religious diversity challenges and redefines national constitutional and legal frameworks and concepts, within the context of education. It offers a critical reflection on the extent and meanings given to religious freedom in education across Europe. The contributions deal primarily with Western Europe although the book also includes a study of the US vibrant debates on Creationism.

This volume considers issues such as religious expression, faith schooling and worship in schools, in a multidisciplinary and comparative approach. The book first examines key concepts, before presenting national models of religion and education in Europe and analyzing case studies relating to religious symbols worn at school and to the teaching of religious education. Read more

Ahmed, “Narratives of Islamic Legal Theory”

Next month, Oxford University Press will publish Narratives of Islamic Legal Theory (OUP March 2012) by Rumee Ahmed (University of British Columbia).  The publisher’s description follows.

In the critical period when Islamic law first developed, a new breed of jurists developed a genre of legal theory treatises to explore how the fundamental moral teachings of Islam might operate as a legal system. Seemingly rhetorical and formulaic, these manuals have long been overlooked for the insight they offer into the early formation of Islamic conceptions of law and its role in social life.

In this book, Rumee Ahmed shatters the prevailing misconceptions of the purpose and form of the Islamic legal treatise. Ahmed describes how Muslim jurists used the genre of legal theory to argue for individualized, highly creative narratives about the application of Islamic law while demonstrating loyalty to inherited principles and general prohibitions. These narratives are revealed through careful attention to the nuanced way in which legal theorists defined terms and concepts particular to the legal theory genre, and developed pictures of multiple worlds in which Islamic law should ideally function. Ahmed takes the reader into the logic of Islamic legal theory to uncover diverse conceptions of law and legal application in the Islamic tradition, clarifying and making accessible the sometimes obscure legal theories of central figures in the history of Islamic law. The book offers important insights about the ways in which legal philosophy and theology mutually influenced premodern jurists as they formulated their respective visions of law, ethics, and theology. Read more

Kuru and Stepan (ed.), “Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey”

Ahmet T. Kuru (San Diego State University) and Alfred Stepan (Columbia University) have edited Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey (Columbia University Press, February 2012).   The publisher’s description follows.

While Turkey has grown as a world power, promoting the image of a progressive and stable nation, several choices in policy have strained its relationship with the East and the West. Providing historical, social, and religious context for this behavior, the essays in Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey examine issues relevant to Turkish debates and global concerns, from the state’s position on religion to its involvement with the European Union.   Read more

“The Competing Claims of Law and Religion” at Pepperdine School of Law

The Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics  is hosting a conference entitled, “The Competing Claims of Law and Religion: Who Should Influence Whom?” this weekend at Pepperdine School of Law.  The Conference begins today and continue through Saturday. On Friday, Marc DeGirolami will be presenting a talk entitled, “The Method of Tragedy and History Applied.” On Saturday, Mark Movsesian will be presenting his talk, “Crosses and Culture: Public Religious Symbols in the U.S. and Europe.”  Both Marc and Mark will be liveblogging from the conference throughout the weekend.