In September, the Manchester University Press will release “Schools and the Politics of Religion and Diversity in the Republic of Ireland: Separate but Equal?” by Karin Fischer (University of Orléans). The publisher’s description follows:
This book focuses on the historical and current place of religion in the Irish education system from the perspective of children’s rights and citizenship. It offers a critical analysis of the political, cultural and social forces that have shaped the system, looking at how the denominational model has been adapted to increased religious and cultural diversity in Irish society and showing that recent changes have failed to address persistent discrimination and the absence of respect for freedom of conscience. It relates current debates on the denominational system and the role of the State in education to competing narratives of national identity that reflect nationalist-communitarian or republican political outlooks.
This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in the fields of education policy and Church/State relations in Ireland and will also engage non-academic audiences with an interest or involvement in Irish education.
This month, Routledge releases “Medieval Foundations of International Relations,” edited by William Bain (National University of Singapore). The publisher’s description follows:
The purpose of this volume is to explore the medieval inheritance of modern international relations. Recent years have seen a flourishing of work on the history of international political thought, but the bulk of this has focused on the early modern and modern periods, leaving continuities with the medieval world largely ignored. The medieval is often used as a synonym for the barbaric and obsolete, yet this picture does not match that found in relevant work in the history of political thought. The book thus offers a chance to correct this misconception of the evolution of Western international thought, highlighting that the history of international thought should be regarded as an important dimension of thinking about the international and one that should not be consigned to history departments.
Questions addressed include:
- what is the medieval influence on modern conception of rights, law, and community?
- how have medieval ideas shaped modern conceptions of self-determination, consent, and legitimacy?
- are there ‘medieval’ answers to ‘modern’ questions?
- is the modern world still working its way through the Middle Ages?
- to what extent is the ‘modern outlook’ genuinely secular?
- is there a ‘theology’ of international relations?
- what are the implications of continuity for predominant historical narrative of the emergence and expansion of international society?
Medieval and modern are certainly different; however, this collection of essays proceeds from the conviction that the modern world was not built on a new plot with new building materials. Instead, it was constructed out of the rubble, that is, the raw materials, of the Middle Ages.This will be of great interest to students and scholars of IR, IR theory and political theory.
Last month, Palgrave Macmillan released “Religion, Authority, and the State: From Constantine to the Contemporary World,” edited by Leo D. Lefebure (Georgetown University). The publisher’s description follows:
In commemoration of Constantine’s grant of freedom of religion to Christians, this wide-ranging volume examines the ambiguous legacy of this emperor in relation to the present world, discussing the perennial challenges of relations between religions and governments. The authors examine the new global ecumenical movement inspired by Pentecostals, the role of religion in the Irish Easter rebellion against the British, and the relation between religious freedom and government in the United States. Other essays debate the relation of Islam to the violence in Nigeria, the place of the family in church-state relations in the Philippines, the role of confessional identity in the political struggles in the Balkans, and the construction of Slavophile identity in nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox political theology. The volume also investigates the contrast between written constitutions and actual practice in the relations between governments and religions in Australia, Indonesia, and Egypt. The case studies and surveys illuminate both specific contexts and also widespread currents in religion-state relations across the world.