House Subcommittee Hearing on Human Rights Abuses in Egypt (Oct. 1)

As readers of this site know, the situation for Copts and other Christians in Egypt is truly dire. On October 1, the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations will hold a hearing on the situation. Speakers include Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Church, author Samuel Tadros, and Rutgers Professor Morad Abou-Sabe. The hearing will be webcast live. Details are here.

The PluRel Blog

If you are not familiar with Helge Årsheim’s blog–PluRel–which is a project of the University of Oslo, you should check it out! He has posted an exchange between Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Sindre Bangstad that is well worth reading on some of the subjects that I’ve recently been discussing. Helge has also kindly reproduced some of my thoughts over there, which, though not composed as direct responses, are in various ways responsive to Sullivan and Bangstad.

Helge is a PhD student in the school of theology doing some very interesting work on religious pluralism and international law at the United Nations.

Fudge, “The Trial of Jan Hus: Medieval Heresy and Criminal Procedure”

This May, Oxford published The Trial of Jan Hus: Medieval Hersey and Criminal9780199988082_140 Procedure by Thomas A. Fudge (University of New England, Australia). The publisher’s description follows.

Six hundred years ago, the Czech priest Jan Hus (1371-1415) traveled out of Bohemia, never to return. After a five-year legal ordeal that took place in Prague, in the papal curia, and finally in southern Germany, the case of Jan Hus was heard by one of the largest and most magnificent church gatherings in medieval history: the Council of Constance. Before a huge audience, Hus was burned alive as a stubborn and disobedient heretic. His trial sparked intense reactions and opinions ranging from satisfaction to accusations of judicial murder.

Thomas A. Fudge offers the first English-language examination of the indictment, relevant canon law, and questions of procedural legality. In the modern world, there is instinctive sympathy for a man burned alive for his convictions, and it is presumed that any court that sanctioned such an action must have been irregular. Was Hus guilty of heresy? Were his doctrinal convictions contrary to established ideas espoused by the Latin Church? Was his trial legal? Despite its historical significance and the controversy it provoked, the trial of Jan Hus has never before been the subject of a thorough legal analysis or assessed against prevailing canonical legislation and procedural law in the later Middle Ages.

The Trial of Jan Hus shows how this popular and successful priest became a criminal suspect and a convicted felon, and why he was publicly executed, providing critical insight into what may have been the most significant heresy trial of the Middle Ages.

“European States and their Muslim Citizens: The Impact of Institutions on Perceptions and Boundaries” (Bowen et al., eds.)

Next month, Cambridge will publish European States and their Muslim Citizens: 9781107038646The Impact of Institutions on Perceptions and Boundaries, edited by John R. Bowen (Washington University, St. Louis), Christophe Bertossi (French Institute of International Relations), Jan Willem Duyvendak (University of Amsterdam), and Mona Lena Krook (Washington University, St. Louis). The publisher’s description follows.

This book responds to the often loud debates about the place of Muslims in Western Europe by proposing an analysis based in institutions, including schools, courts, hospitals, the military, electoral politics, the labor market, and civic education courses. The contributors consider the way people draw on practical schemas regarding others in their midst who are often categorized as Muslims. Chapters based on fieldwork and policy analysis across several countries examine how people interact in their everyday work lives, where they construct moral boundaries, and how they formulate policies concerning tolerable diversity, immigration, discrimination, and political representation. Rather than assuming that each country has its own national ideology that explains such interactions, contributors trace diverse pathways along which institutions complicate or disrupt allegedly consistent national ideologies. These studies shed light on how Muslims encounter particular faces and facets of the state as they go about their lives, seeking help and legitimacy as new citizens of a fast-changing Europe.

    • Considers the most important institutions in a number of countries: schools, hospitals, the army, courts related to their Muslim citizens
    • Explains how policies about tolerable diversity, immigration, and discrimination are created and applied
    • Combines contrasts across institutions with contrasts across major countries, including France, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Norway, and The Netherlands