“Religion, State and the United Nations” (Stensvold, ed.)

In August, Routledge will release “Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics,” edited by Anne Stensvold (University of Oslo).  The publisher’s description follows:

This volume approaches the UN as a laboratory of religio-political value politics. Over the last two decades religion has acquired increasing influence in international 9781138938656politics, and religious violence and terrorism has attracted much scholarly attention. But there is another parallel development which has gone largely unnoticed, namely the increasing political impact of peaceful religious actors.

With several religious actors in one place and interacting under the same conditions, the UN is as a multi-religious society writ small. The contributors to this book analyse the most influential religious actors at the UN (including The Roman Catholic Church; The Organisation of Islamic Countries; the Russian Orthodox Church). Mapping the peaceful political engagements of religious actors; who they are and how they collaborate with each other – whether on an ad hoc basis or by forming more permanent networks – throwing light at the modus operandi of religious actors at the UN; their strategies and motivations. The chapters are closely interrelated through the shared focus on the UN and common theoretical perspectives, and pursue two intertwined aspects of religious value politics, namely the whys and hows of cross-religious cooperation on the one hand, and the interaction between religious actors and states on the other.

Drawing together a broad range of experts on religious actors, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of Religion and Politics, International Relations and the UN.

“Marmaduke Pickthall” (Nash, ed.)

In October, Brill Publishers will release “Marmaduke Pickthall: Islam and the Modern World,” edited by Geoffrey P. Nash (University of Sutherland). The publisher’s description follows:

Brill_logoThis new volume of essays marks eighty years since the death of Marmaduke Pickthall. His various roles as translator of the Qurʾan, traveller to the Near East, political journalist writing on behalf of Muslim Turkey, and creator of the Muslim novel are discussed.

In later life Pickthall became a prominent member of the British Muslim community in London and Woking, co-worker with Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, supporter of the Khilafat movement, and editor of the journal Islamic Culture under the patronage of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
Marmaduke Pickthall: Islam and the Modern World makes an important contribution to the field of Muslims in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

Gerrard, “The Church at War”

In September, Routledge will release “The Church at War: The Military Activities of Bishops, Abbots and Other Clergy in England, c. 900–1200,” by Daniel M.G. Gerrard (Oxford Brookes University). The publisher’s description follows:

The fighting bishop or abbot is a familiar figure to medievalists and much of what is known of the military organization of England in this period is based on ecclesiastical logo-rt-cevidence. Unfortunately the fighting cleric has generally been regarded as merely a baron in clerical dress and has consequently fallen into the gap between military and ecclesiastical history. This study addresses three main areas: which clergy engaged in military activity in England, why and when? By what means did they do so? And how did others understand and react to these activities? The book shows that, however vivid such characters as Odo of Bayeux might be in the historical imagination, there was no archetypal militant prelate. There was enormous variation in the character of the clergy that became involved in warfare, their circumstances, the means by which they pursued their military objectives and the way in which they were treated by contemporaries and described by chroniclers. An appreciation of the individual fighting cleric must be both thematically broad and keenly aware of his context. Such individuals cannot therefore be simply slotted into easy categories, even (or perhaps especially) when those categories are informed by contemporary polemic. The implications of this study for our understanding of clerical identity are considerable, as the easy distinction between clerics acting in a secular or ecclesiastical capacity almost entirely breaks down and the legal structures of the period are shown to be almost as equivocal and idiosyncratic as the literary depictions. The implications for military history are equally striking as organisational structures are shown to be more temporary, fluid and ’political’ than had previously been understood.