In November, the Oxford University Press will release “Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring,” by John L. Esposito (Georgetown University), Tamara Sonn (Georgetown University), and John O. Voll (Georgetown University). The publisher’s description follows:
The landscape of the Middle East has changed dramatically since 2011, as have the political arena and the discourse around democracy. In Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring, John L. Esposito, John Voll, and Tamara Sonn examine the state of democracy in Muslim-majority societies today. Applying a twenty-first century perspective to the question of whether Islam is “compatible” with democracy, they redirect the conversation toward a new politics of democracy that transcends both secular authoritarianism and Political Islam.
While the opposition movements of the Arab Spring vary from country to country, each has raised questions regarding equality, economic justice, democratic participation, and the relationship between Islam and democracy in their respective countries. Does democracy require a secular political regime? Are religious movements the most effective opponents of authoritarian secularist regimes? Esposito, Voll, and Sonn examine these questions and shed light on how these opposition movements reflect the new global realities of media communication and sources of influence and power. Positioned for a broad readership of scholars and students, policy-makers, and media experts, Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring will quickly become a go-to for all who watch the Middle East, inside and outside of academia.
In August, the Cornell University Press released “Christian Imperialism:
In 1812, eight American missionaries, under the direction of the recently formed American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, sailed from the United States to South Asia. The plans that motivated their voyage were no less grand than taking part in the Protestant conversion of the entire world. Over the next several decades, these men and women were joined by hundreds more American missionaries at stations all over the globe. Emily Conroy-Krutz shows the surprising extent of the early missionary impulse and demonstrates that American evangelical Protestants of the early nineteenth century were motivated by Christian imperialism—an understanding of international relations that asserted the duty of supposedly Christian nations, such as the United States and Britain, to use their colonial and commercial power to spread Christianity.
In describing how American missionaries interacted with a range of foreign locations (including India, Liberia, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, North America, and Singapore) and imperial contexts, Christian Imperialism provides a new perspective on how Americans thought of their country’s role in the world. While in the early republican period many were engaged in territorial expansion in the west, missionary supporters looked east and across the seas toward Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Conroy-Krutz’s history of the mission movement reveals that strong Anglo-American and global connections persisted through the early republic. Considering Britain and its empire to be models for their work, the missionaries of the American Board attempted to convert the globe into the image of Anglo-American civilization.
In October, Cambridge University Press will release “The Declaration of Independence and God: Self-Evident Truths in American Law” by Owen Anderson (Arizona State University). The publisher’s description follows:
“Self-evident truths” was a profound concept used by the drafters of the American Declaration of Independence to insist on their rights and freedom from oppressive government. How did this Enlightenment notion of self-evident human rights come to be used in this historic document and what is its true meaning? In The Declaration of Independence and God, Owen Anderson traces the concept of a self-evident creator through America’s legal history. Starting from the Declaration of Independence, Anderson considers both challenges to belief in God from thinkers like Thomas Paine and American Darwinists, as well as modifications to the concept of God by theologians like Charles Finney and Paul Tillich. Combining history, philosophy, and law in a unique focus, this book opens exciting new avenues for the study of America’s legal history.
In November, Brill will release “Legal Maxims in Islamic Criminal Law: Theory and Applications” by Luqman Zakariyah (International Islamic University Malaysia). The publisher’s description follows:
Using contemporary illustrations, Legal Maxims in Islamic Criminal Law delves into the theoretical and practical studies of al-Qawaid al-Fiqhiyyah in Islamic legal theory. It elucidates the importance of this concept in the application of Islamic law and demonstrates how the concept relates to the objectives of Islamic law (maqāṣid al-Sharī‘ah), generally. Included in this examination are the following maxims: al-Umūr bi-Maqāṣidihā (“Matters shall be Judged by their Objectives”); al-Yaqīn lā Yazūl bi-sh-Shakk (“Certainty Cannot be Overruled by Doubt”); al-Mashaqqa Tajlib at-Taysīr (“Hardship begets Facility”); Lā Ḍarar wa-lā Ḍirār (“No Injury or Harm shall be Inflicted or Reciprocated”); and al-ʿĀda Muḥakkama (“Custom is Authoritative”).