Conference: Endangered: Religious Minorities in the Middle East and Their Struggle for Survival

On Tuesday, May 10th, the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture will host a conference about the struggles of religious minorities in the Middle East.  The conference will take place at the Corrigan Conference Center at the Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, in New York, NY.  There is no cost for attendance.  The event’s description follows:

Persecution, fear of genocide, and even cultural extinction threaten minority faith communities in the Middle East as never before. In a region once rich in religious and cultural diversity, Christians, Yazidis, and other marginalized communities now face surging intolerance.

What are their prospects amid ongoing conflict and the rise of ISIS? Can imperiled faith traditions preserve their heritage into the future?

Find out more, here.

Crone, “The Iranian Reception of Islam”

In June, Brill released “The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands,” by Patricia Crone (Princeton University).  The publisher’s description follows:

Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history,41vto0um7ol-_sx326_bo1204203200_ arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

Rafferty, “Violence, Politics and Catholicism in Ireland”

In February, Four Courts Press released “Violence, Politics and Catholicism in Ireland,” by Oliver P. Rafferty (Boston College).  The publisher’s description follows:

This collection of essays looks at the interrelated themes of Catholicism, violence and politics in the Irish context in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. setwidth440-rafferty-violence-politics-catholicismAlthough much effort was expended by institutional Catholicism in trying to curb the violent propensities of the Fenians in the nineteenth century and the IRA in the twentieth, its efforts were largely unsuccessful. Ironically, Catholicism had greater achievements to boast of in its influence in the British Empire as a whole than over its wayward flock in Ireland. But there was a cost in the church’s commitment to British imperial expansion that did not always sit easily with growing nationalist expectations in Ireland.

Although it provided support for the British forces in the First World War, by the time of the Second World War the church’s views of that conflict differed little from those of the government of independent Ireland, although there were sufficient differences that ensured Catholicism was not just nationalism at prayer.

These and other issues such as religious perceptions of the Famine, Cardinal Cullen’s role in shaping the ethos of Irish Catholicism and the role of memory, including religious memory, in Irish violence combine to make this a fascinating study.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Corey

213081Congratulations to our friend, Baylor’s Elizabeth Corey (left), who has won this year’s Robert Novak Journalism Award from the Acton Institute. Elizabeth, a political scientist, will be one of the discussion leaders in the Tradition Project, a new Center research endeavor, which starts in the fall.

Here’s a representative sample of Elizabeth’s writing, about ideology and incompatible demands on young women today, from First Things:

Both the ethical imperatives I’ve described—“must work” and “must stay at home”reflect noble desires, the one for talents fully used and the other for the vocation of motherhood. But I worry that both are too often promoted ideologically, prescribed as answers to the anxieties young women naturally feel about what they should do. This problem is especially pressing for those high-achieving college students I have been describing, who cannot imagine doing anything—be it career or motherhood—halfheartedly.

It’s the tacit denial of the tragedy of the human condition that I’ve come to resent in the contemporary literature about “balancing” career and family. This literature is full of demands for Justice and Equality, its authors motivated by ideas of social perfection: to finally place a sufficient number of women in the ranks of management and government and to effect true gender equality in the workplace as a whole. Engaged on a quest to change the world, they write with a fervor generated by a political ideal and employ the language of political advocacy, as if the divided desires of our souls can be unified by Reform and Revolution. There is a solution for everything, they imply; we just haven’t found it yet.

We’re delighted that Elizabeth is part of our project.