In January, Cambridge University Press will release “Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy,” edited by Aslı Ü. Bâli (University of California, Los Angeles) and Hanna Lerner (Tel-Aviv University). The publisher’s description follows:
What role do and should constitutions play in mitigating intense disagreements over the religious character of a state? And what kind of constitutional solutions might reconcile democracy with the type of religious demands raised in contemporary democratising or democratic states? Tensions over religion-state relations are gaining increasing salience in constitution writing and rewriting around the world. This book explores the challenge of crafting a democratic constitution under conditions of deep disagreement over a state’s religious or secular identity. It draws on a broad range of relevant case studies of past and current constitutional debates in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and offers valuable lessons for societies soon to embark on constitution drafting or amendment processes where religion is an issue of contention.
In January, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Marriage, the Church, and its Judges in Renaissance Venice, 1420-1545,” by Cecilia Cristellon (Konstanz University). The publisher’s description follows:
This book investigates the actions of marriage tribunals by analyzing the richest source of marriage suits extant in Italy, those of the Venetian ecclesiastical tribunal, between 1420 and the opening of the Council of Trent. It offers a strongly representative overview of the changes the Council introduced to centuries-old marriage practices, relegating it to the realm of marginality and deviance and nearly erasing the memory of it altogether. From the eleventh century onward, the Church assured itself of a jurisdictional monopoly over the matter of marriage, operating both in concert and in conflict with secular authorities by virtue of marriage’s civil consequences, the first of which regarded the legitimacy of children. Secular tribunals were responsible for patrimonial matters between spouses, though the Church at times inserted itself into these matters either directly, by substituting itself for the secular authority, or indirectly, by influencing Rulings through their own sentences. Lay magistratures, for their part, somewhat eroded the authority of ecclesiastical tribunals by continuing to exercise autonomous jurisdiction over marriage, especially regarding separation and crimes strictly connected to the nuptial bond and its definition, including adultery, bigamy, and rape.