This month, Palgrave Macmillan will release The Rushdie Fatwa and After: A Lesson to the Circumspect, by Brian Winston (University of Lincoln). The publisher’s description follows:
The freedom to create was rocked by the Imam Khomeini’s death sentence on Salman Rushdie 25 years ago. Ever since Khomeini’s fatwa called for Rushdie’s murder because of what he wrote in his novel The Satanic Verses, the zealous of many faiths have been moved on more than one occasion to protest – often with extreme violence – artistic expression in all its forms. The Rushdie Fatwa and After untangles that original event and the other major attacks on creative freedom it presaged. It argues that our ability to resist this assault has been seriously undermined by Western tolerance. The ripples of the stone the Imam cast that day in 1989 are travelling yet, disturbing the waters of the Western Enlightenment, circles within circles, like the stories of The 1001 Nights. Now Winston presents this sorry history as what that book might well call ‘a lesson to the circumspect’.
Next month, Random House will publish Let’s Not Forget God: Freedom of Faith, Culture, and Politics, by Cardinal Angelo Scola and John L. Allen, Jr. (Boston Globe). The publisher’s description follows:
Born out of a speech celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, in which emperors Constantine I and Licinius granted Christians legal rights, this book by Cardinal Angelo Scola gives attention to the crisis of religious freedom in the twenty-first century. Let’s Not Forget God outlines how Christianity has been at the center of creating a pluralistic society, from the Roman Empire in 313 to the American Revolution in 1776. This bold vision of freedom brings religion into the realm of public debate without allowing the state to banish or control it. “The question of religious freedom,closely connected to that of freedom of conscience,” writes Cardinal Scola, “is revealing itself today to be crucial not only to the development of Western societies but also to the peaceful evolution of their relationships with Asia, Africa, and Latin America.” Let’s Not Forget God is both a portrait of the history of religious freedom and a testament to its potential for spreading peace