Some interesting law & religion stories from around the web this week:
- President Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time on Thursday at the Vatican and discussed, among other issues, the persecution of Christians around the world
- On Wednesday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the bishop of Limburg, who had a history of extravagant spending
- The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Crimea has been experiencing what a church official calls “total persecution”
- On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases, challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate
- At the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait, the Arab League stated it would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and blamed Israel for the lack of progress in the peace process
- A federal judge in Atlanta ruled that certain non-profit organizations in Georgia affiliated with the Catholic Church must be exempted from the contraception mandate
- The Philippines and its largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, signed a final peace pact ending 45 years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people
- World Vision, a prominent evangelical Christian charity, has changed its view about hiring married gays and lesbians at its U.S. branch. It says that its first decision was not consistent with its commitment to the sanctity of marriage
- A federal appeals court continued the stay of a district judge’s ruling that struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban
- Proposed discriminatory laws are the latest escalation in the persecution of Muslims in Burma
This April, Oxford University Press will publish Emerging Adults’ Religiousness and Spirituality: Meaning-Making in an Age of Transition edited by Carolyn McNamara Barry (Loyola University Maryland) and Mona M. Abo-Zena (Brown University). The publisher’s description follows.
Although most American children are raised in a faith tradition, by the time they reach their early twenties their outward religious expression declines significantly, with many leaving the faith in which they were raised in favor of another faith or none at all, though many still claim that religion and spirituality are important. Reasons for this change in religious behavior include adolescents’ forging their own identities, increased immersion in contexts beyond the family, and exposure to media. As emerging adults encounter events such as attending university, breaking up with a romantic partner, and traveling, they are likely to make sense out of them, a process known as meaning-making. Thus, coming into one’s own takes on great prominence during the years of emerging adulthood (18-29), making it ripe for religious and spiritual development.
Emerging Adults’ Religiousness and Spirituality seeks to understand how the developmental process of meaning-making encompasses American emerging adults’ religiousness and spirituality. This volume does not focus on disentangling religion and spirituality conceptually, but rather emphasizes their centrality in the psychology of human development. It highlights the range of experiences and perspectives of emerging adults in the U.S. grounded in social context, social position, and religious or spiritual identification. Chapters are written by an interdisciplinary group of authors and explore topics such as the benefits and detriments of religiousness and spirituality to emerging adults; contexts and socializing agents such as parents and peers, the media, religious communities, and universities; and variations of religiousness and spirituality concerning gender, sexuality, culture, and social position. Using a developmental lens and focusing on a significant period within the lifespan, this volume embodies the key aspects of a developmental perspective by highlighting specific domains of development while considering themes of continuity and discontinuity across the lifespan.
This April, Edward Elgar Publishing will publish Comparative Constitutional Law in Asia edited by Rosalind Dixon (University of New South Wales, Australia) and Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago). The publisher’s description follows.
Comparative constitutional law is a field of increasing importance around the world, but much of the literature is focused on Europe, North America, and English-speaking jurisdictions. The importance of Asia for the broader field is demonstrated here in original contributions that look thematically at issues from a general perspective, with special attention on how they have been treated in East Asian jurisdictions. The authors – leading comparativists from around the world – illuminate material from Asian jurisdictions on matters such as freedom of religion, constitutional courts, property rights, emergency regimes and the drafting process of constitutions. Together they present a picture of a region that is grappling with complex constitutional issues and is engaged with developments in the rest of the world, while at the same time pursuing distinctive local solutions that deserve close attention. This unique scholarly study will prove an important research tool for Asian scholars, constitutional lawyers within Asia and comparative constitutional scholars around the world.