This month, I’m guest blogging at the Library of Law and Liberty. I’ve begun with a series of posts on the persecution of Christians in the Mideast. This persecution has many causes, including social attitudes formed by centuries of existence as dhimmis. In today’s post, though, I argue that the West bears some responsibility as well, including the US. Here’s a sample:
Finally, there are the recent actions of the United States. The Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, coupled with the precipitous withdrawal of American troops under the Obama Administration, has been a disaster for local Christians. The invasion exposed Christians to reprisals from Islamists; the withdrawal of troops allowed the reprisals to take place on a wide scale. In Syria, the Obama Administration’s signal that it would support the overthrow of Assad—recall the red line in the summer of 2013—encouraged a rebellion; its failure to back up its words with action has led to slaughter. This is not to say the US should have intervened militarily in Syria. But it shouldn’t have encouraged a rebellion it was not prepared to back, either.
You can read the whole post here.
In December, Palgrave Macmillan released “Faith and Fascism: Catholic Intellectuals in Italy, 1925–43,” by Jorge Dagnino (Universidad de los Andes). The publisher’s description follows:
This is a study of the Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana (FUCI) between 1925 and 1943, the organisation of Catholic Action for the university sector. The FUCI is highly significant to the study of Catholic politics and intellectual ideas, as a large proportion of the future Christian Democrats who ruled the country after World War II were formed within the ranks of the federation.
In broader terms, this is a contribution to the historiography of Fascist Italy and of Catholic politics and mentalities in Europe in the mid- twentieth century. It sets out to prove the fundamental ideological, political, social and cultural influences of Catholicism on the making of modern Italy and how it was inextricably linked to more secular forces in the shaping of the nation and the challenges faced by an emerging mass society. Furthermore, the book explores the influence exercised by Catholicism on European attitudes towards modernisation and modernity, and how Catholicism has often led the way in the search for a religious alternative modernity that could countervail the perceived deleterious effects of the Western liberal version of modernity.
In March, the Cambridge University Press will release “Judicial Review and American Conservatism: Christianity, Public Education, and the Federal Courts in the Reagan Era,” by Robert Daniel Rubin. The publisher’s description follows:
The Christian Right of the 1980s forged its political identity largely in response to what it perceived as liberal ‘judicial activism’. Robert Daniel Rubin tells this story as it played out in Mobile, Alabama. There, a community conflict pitted a group of conservative evangelicals, a sympathetic federal judge, and a handful of conservative intellectuals against a religious agnostic opposed to prayer in schools, and a school system accused of promoting a religion called ‘secular humanism’. The twists in the Mobile conflict speak to the changes and continuities that marked the relationship of 1980s’ religious conservatism to democracy, the courts, and the Constitution. By alternately focusing its gaze on the local conflict and related events in Washington, DC, this book weaves a captivating narrative. Historians, political scientists, and constitutional lawyers will find, in Rubin’s study, a challenging new perspective on the history of the Christian Right in the United States.