Lecture: “Global Institutions of Religion” (March 26)

On March 26 in Washington, Georgetown’s Berkley Center will host a book talk by Katherine Marshall, “Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers”:

Religious institutions play diverse and often poorly understood roles in world affairs, even though many were among the first organizations to gain a global reach. A new book, Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers, by Katherine Marshall, fills a gap in current literature by examining the wide range of bodies that govern and coordinate religious communities, their relations with other transnational institutions, and their role in the world today.

Marshall will discuss her latest book in the context of her career as a practitioner and scholar, and offer thoughts on the religious dimensions of issues such as human rights, human security, climate change, international development, and humanitarian relief.

Details are here.

Panel: “The Muslim Brotherhood and the West” (March 20)

The Foreign Policy Research Institute will host a briefing, “The Muslim Brotherhood and the West,” on March 20 in Washington:

Few observers foresaw the Arab Spring, but it should not have surprised anyone that the Islamist movements–the most organized movements in the Arab world–became the main beneficiaries of the turmoil that ensued. Islamism, in its gradualist and pragmatic approach embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots worldwide, seems ready to reap the rewards of its three decades-old decision to abandon violence and focus on grassroots activities. This monumental change has created many concerns among liberals, religious minorities and, more generally, all non-Islamists in the countries where Islamists have won. In addition, Arab states ruled by non-Islamist regimes have expressed concern. The former worry that Islamist ideology–even in its more contemporary, pragmatic form–remains deeply divisive and anti-democratic, often at odds with their values and interests. The latter believe that on foreign policy issues, most of the positions of various Brotherhood-inspired parties are on a collision course with the policies of established regimes in the region.

The event will be webcast live. Details are here.

Call for Papers: “Religion, Democracy, and Equality”

The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) will host its third annual conference, “Religion, Democracy, and Equality,” in Richmond this coming August and has issued a call for papers on the following themes:

  • Religious pluralism and treatment of religious minorities
  • Religion and anti-discrimination norms
  • Hate speech, hate crimes, and religious minorities
  • Religion and gender issues.

Details are here.

Rogers, “Aquinas and the Supreme Court”

This May, Wiley will publish Aquinas and the Supreme Court: Biblical Narratives of Jews, Gentiles and Gender by Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. (University of North Carolina).  The publisher’s description follows.ebook_k

This new work clarifies Aquinas’ concept of natural law through his biblical commentaries, and explores its applications to U.S. constitutional law.

  • The first time the use of Aquinas on the U.S. Supreme Court has been explored in depth, and its applications tested through a rigorous reading of the biblical commentaries
  • Shows how key judgments in the Supreme Court have rested on medieval natural law, and applies critical gender theory to discuss problems with these applications
  • Offers new research data to give a different picture of Aquinas and natural law, and a fresh take on Aquinas’ biblical commentaries
  • New research based on passages in the biblical commentaries never before available in English

Boroujerdi (ed.), “Mirror for the Muslim Prince”

This month, Syracuse University Press published Mirror for the Muslim Prince: Islam and the Theory of Statecraft edited by Mehrzad Boroujerdi (Syracuse University).  The publisher’s description follows.Muslim Prince

In this volume, a group of distinguished scholars reinterpret concepts and canons of Islamic thought in Arab, Persian, South Asian, and Turkish traditions. They demonstrate that there is no unitary “Islamic” position on important issues of statecraft and governance. They recognize that Islam is a discursive site marked by silences, agreements, and animated controversies. Rigorous debates and profound disagreements among Muslim theologians, philosophers, and literati have taken place over such questions as: What is an Islamic state? Was the state ever viewed as an independent political institution in the Islamic tradition of political thought? Is it possible that a religion that places an inordinate emphasis upon the importance of good deeds does not indeed have a vigorous notion of “public interest” or a systematic theory of government? Does Islam provide an edifice, a common idiom, and an ideological mooring for premodern and modern Muslim rulers alike? The nuanced reading of the Islamic traditions provided in this book will help future generations of Muslims contemplate a more humane style of statecraft.