On March 14, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, in conjunction with Baylor University Press, is co-sponsoring a panel discussion of Amir Hussain’s new book Muslims and the Making of America at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. A description of the event follows:
Here is a look at some law and religion news stories from around the web this week:
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the President’s controversial immigration order.
- A recent poll found that a majority of Europeans from ten countries want an immigration ban from Muslim-majority countries.
- A study by the Pew Research Center analyzing data from the State Department found that most refugees coming into the United States as religious minorities are Christians.
- The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of an Orthodox Jewish woman who was punished for taking off work on the last two days of Passover.
- In Georgia, the story of a Muslim student’s harassment by her professor is being used to introduce a new religious liberty bill.
- In Florida, the merging of a black church and a white church created unique challenges for the “racially reconciled” Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, the only intentional joint church of its kind in the United States.
- Opinion: Churches can be a great asset in the battle against modern slavery around the world.
In April, the University of Chicago Press will release Jerusalem 1900: The Holy City in the Age of Possibilities by Vincent Lemire (University of Marne-la-Vallée, Paris). The publisher’s description follows:
Perhaps the most contested patch of earth in the world, Jerusalem’s Old City experiences consistent violent unrest between Israeli and Palestinian residents, with seemingly no end in sight. Today, Jerusalem’s endless cycle of riots and arrests appears intractable—even unavoidable—and it looks unlikely that harmony will ever be achieved in the city. But with Jerusalem 1900, historian Vincent Lemire shows us that it wasn’t always that way, undoing the familiar notion of Jerusalem as a lost cause and revealing a unique moment in history when a more peaceful future seemed possible.
In this masterly history, Lemire uses newly opened archives to explore how Jerusalem’s elite residents of differing faiths cooperated through an intercommunity municipal council they created in the mid-1860s to administer the affairs of all inhabitants and improve their shared city. These residents embraced a spirit of modern urbanism and cultivated a civic identity that transcended religion and reflected the relatively secular and cosmopolitan way of life of Jerusalem at the time. These few years would turn out to be a tipping point in the city’s history—a pivotal moment when the horizon of possibility was still open, before the council broke up in 1934, under British rule, into separate Jewish and Arab factions. Uncovering this often overlooked diplomatic period, Lemire reveals that the struggle over Jerusalem was not historically inevitable—and therefore is not necessarily intractable. Jerusalem 1900 sheds light on how the Holy City once functioned peacefully and illustrates how it might one day do so again.
In April, New York University Press will release The Social Gospel in American Religion: A History by Christopher H. Evans (Boston University). The publisher’s description follows:
A remarkable history of the powerful and influential social gospel movement.
The global crises of child labor, alcoholism and poverty were all brought to our attention through the social gospel movement. Its impact on American society makes it one of the most influential developments in American religious history.
Christopher H. Evans traces the development of the social gospel in American Protestantism, and illustrates how the religious idealism of the movement also rose up within Judaism and Catholicism.
Contrary to the works of previous historians, Evans demonstrates how the presence of the social gospel continued in American culture long after its alleged demise following World War I. Evans reveals the many aspects of the social gospel and their influence on a range of social movements during the twentieth century, culminating with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It also explores the relationship between the liberal social gospel of the early twentieth century and later iterations of social reform in late twentieth century evangelicalism.
The Social Gospel in American Religion considers an impressive array of historical figures including Washington Gladden, Emil Hirsch, Frances Willard, Reverdy Ransom, Walter Rauschenbusch, Stephen Wise, John Ryan, Harry Emerson Fosdick, A.J. Muste, Georgia Harkness, and Benjamin Mays. It demonstrates how these figures contributed to the shape of the social gospel in America, while arguing that the movement’s legacy lies in its profound influence on broader traditions of liberal-progressive political reform in American history.