The Center for Law and Religion is pleased to co-sponsor a symposium on Professor Nelson Tebbe’s forthcoming book, Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age, here at St. John’s Law School next month. The symposium is also sponsored by the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development and the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights. In addition to the author, participants include Carlos Ball (Rutgers-Newark), Alan Brownstein (UC-Davis), Chad Flanders (St. Louis), Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern), and Patricia Marino (Waterloo). For more information, please click here.
The Lumen Christi Institute has announced a reception for and discussion of Kenneth Woodward’s newly released book, “Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, & Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama,” to take place on September 27th, at the University Club of Chicago. More information follows below:
Impeccably researched, thought-challenging and leavened by wit, Getting Religion (Convergent Books), the highly-anticipated new book from Kenneth L. Woodward, is perfect for readers looking to understand how religion came to be a contentious element in 21st century public life.
Here the award-winning author blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with copious reporting and shrewd historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture and politics influenced each other in the second half of the 20th century. For readers interested in how religion, economics, family life and politics influence each other, Woodward introduces a fresh vocabulary of terms such as “embedded religion,” “movement religion” and “entrepreneurial religion” to illuminate the interweaving of the secular and sacred in American public life.
This is one of those rare books that changes the way Americans think about belief, behavior and belonging.
Find out more about the event here.
In October, the Oxford University Press will release “Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka,” edited by John Clifford Holt (Bowdoin College). The publisher’s description follows:
The year 2009 brought the end of the protracted civil war in Sri Lanka, and observers hoped to see the re-establishment of harmonious religious and ethnic relations among the various communities in the country. Immediately following the war’s end, however, almost 300,000 Tamil people in the Northern Province were detained for up to a year’s time in hurriedly constructed camps where they were closely scrutinized by military investigators to determine whether they might pose a threat to the country. While almost all had been released and resettled by 2011, the current government has not introduced, nor even seriously entertained, any significant measures of power devolution that might create meaningful degrees of autonomy in the regions that remain dominated by Tamil peoples. The Sri Lankan government has grown increasingly autocratic, attempting to assert its control over the local media and non-governmental organizations while at the same time reorienting its foreign policy away from the US, UK, EU, and Japan, to an orbit that now includes China, Burma, Russia and Iran. At the same time, hardline right-wing groups of Sinhala Buddhists have propagated-arguably with the government’s tacit approval-the idea of an international conspiracy designed to destabilize Sri Lanka. The local targets of these extremist groups, the so-called fronts of this alleged conspiracy, have been identified as Christians and Muslims. Many Christian churches have suffered numerous attacks at the hands of Buddhist extremists, but the Muslim community has borne the brunt of the suffering.
Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities presents a collection of essays that investigate the history and current conditions of Buddhist-Muslim relations in Sri Lanka in an attempt to ascertain the causes of the present conflict. Readers unfamiliar with this story will be surprised to learn that it inverts common stereotypes of the two religious groups. In this context, certain groups of Buddhists, generally regarded as peace-oriented , are engaged in victimizing Muslims, who are increasingly regarded as militant , in unwarranted and irreligious ways. The essays reveal that the motivations for these attacks often stem from deep-seated economic disparity, but the contributors also argue that elements of religious culture have served as catalysts for the explosive violence. This is a much-needed, timely commentary that can potentially shift the standard narrative on Muslims and religious violence.
In September, Routledge will release Leaving Christian Fundamentalism and the Reconstruction of Identity by Josie McSkimming (University of New South Wales). The publisher’s description follows:
There is an increasing interest in the influence of religious fundamentalism upon people’s motivation, identity and decision-making. Leaving Christian Fundamentalism and the Re-construction of Identity details the stories of those who have left Christian fundamentalist churches and how they change after they have left. It considers how the previous fundamentalist identity is shaped by aspects of church teaching and discipline that are less authoritarian and coercive, and more subtle and widely spread throughout the church body. That is, individuals are understood as not only subject to a form of judgment, but also exercise it, with everyone seemingly complicit in maintaining the stability of the church organization. This book provocatively illustrates that the reasons for leaving an evangelical Christian church may be less about what happens outside the church in terms of the lures and attractions of the secular world, and more about the experience within the community itself.