Lecture on Laïcité and Changes in French Society (Feb. 25)

NYU’s Maison Française will host a lecture by French historian Jean Baubérot (École Pratique des Hautes Études), “La Laïcité face aux mutations de la société française,” on February 25. Baubérot is identified with laïcité en mouvement, a school that represents a middle ground between the laïcité positive of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, with its less hostile view of  religion, and the more militantly secular laïcité de combat. Details are here

Brownson, “Bible, Gender, Sexuality”

Bible, Gender, SexualityThis month, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company published Bible, Gender, Sexuality by James V. Bownson (Western Theological Seminary). The publisher’s description follows.

In Bible, Gender, Sexuality James Brownson argues that Christians should reconsider whether or not the biblical strictures against same-sex relations as defined in the ancient world should apply to contemporary, committed same-sex relationships. Presenting two sides in the debate — “traditionalist” and “revisionist” — Brownson carefully analyzes each of the seven main texts that appear to address intimate same-sex relations. In the process, he explores key concepts that inform our understanding of the biblical texts, including patriarchy, complementarity, purity and impurity, honor and shame. Central to his argument is the need to uncover the moral logic behind the biblical text. Written in order to serve and inform the ongoing debate in many denominations over the questions of homosexuality, Brownson’s in-depth study will prove a useful resource for Christians who want to form a considered opinion on this important issue.

Resnicoff on Religion and Unethical Business Practices

Steven H. Resnicoff (DePaul University College of Law) has posted The Causes and Cures of Unethical Business Practices – A Jewish Perspective. The abstract follows.

The workplace seems increasingly characterized by unethical practices between and among employers, employees, customers, competitors and others, despite the fact that most leading religious traditions proscribe such conduct and many of the actors self-identify as religious. This paper examines this phenomenon through the prism of Jewish tradition. It identifies specific Jewish teachings that explain many types of misconduct and, where appropriate, it cites modern secular experiments that confirm these Judaic insights. Based on these teachings, the paper prescribes a series of steps that, if implemented, could enhance the integrity of business and financial actors. This is a working paper in connection with the Henry Kaufman Forum on Religious Traditions and Business Behavior sponsored by the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.