The Hudson Institute’s Samuel Tadros will be discussing his important book, Motherland Lost:The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity, at Georgetown University on January 30. Details are here. I interviewed Sam about this book at CLR Forum last fall.
Next month, University Press of America will publish Africa’s Social and Religious Quest: A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis of the African Situation, by Randee Ijatuyi-Morphé (ECWA Theological Seminary, Nigeria). The publisher’s description follows.
This well-crafted book probes the key dimensions of Africa’s existential predicament. It constitutes an intellectual response to a gnawing “African situation”—the starting point for grasping Africa’s social and religious quest. Beyond split explanations of external versus internal factors (e.g., colonization/slavery vs. leadership/cultural values), this study accounts more comprehensively for emergent issues shaping this situation. The situation reflects a gamut of problems in traditional African religion and material culture, which hitherto defines African communality, polities, and destinies vis-à-vis the cosmos and nature. Thus, African religion and communities, each with its own attendant values, do not operate by critical engagement with larger issues of society and civilization, especially those shaped by the advent of (post-) modernity. Rather, they operate via adaptation. The communal drive for natural and social harmony inevitably produces a preservationist view of culture (“leaving things as they are”). This study takes an integrative approach to religion, society, and civilization; eschews dichotomies; and broadly defines and re-signifies life and wholeness as a true end of Africans’ quest today.
Next month, Cambridge will publish Social Difference and Constitutionalism in Pan-Asia, edited by Susan H. Williams (Indiana University). The publisher’s description follows.
In many countries, social differences, such as religion or race and ethnicity, threaten the stability of the social and legal order. This book addresses the role of constitutions and constitutionalism in dealing with the challenge of difference. The book brings together lawyers, political scientists, historians, religious studies scholars, and area studies experts to consider how constitutions address issues of difference across “Pan-Asia,” a wide swath of the world that runs from the Middle East, through Asia, and into Oceania. The book’s multidisciplinary and comparative approach makes it unique. The book is organized into five sections, each devoted to constitutional approaches to a particular type of difference – religion, ethnicity/race, urban/rural divisions, language, and gender and sexual orientation – in two or more countries in Pan Asia. The introduction offers a framework for thinking comprehensively about the many ways constitutionalism interacts with difference.