In April, Columbia University Press will release “Islam: An American Religion,” by Nadia Marzouki (Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)). The publisher’s description follows:
Islam: An American Religion demonstrates how Islam as formed in the United States has become an American religion in a double sense—first through the strategies of recognition adopted by Muslims and second through the performance of Islam as a faith.
Nadia Marzouki investigates how Islam has become so contentious in American politics. Focusing on the period from 2008 to 2013, she revisits the uproar over the construction of mosques, legal disputes around the prohibition of Islamic law, and the overseas promotion of religious freedom. She argues that public controversies over Islam in the United States primarily reflect the American public’s profound divisions and ambivalence toward freedom of speech and the legitimacy of liberal secular democracy.
In December, the Manchester University Press released “Church, state and social science in Ireland:Knowledge institutions and the rebalancing of power, 1937–73,” by Peter Murray (Maynooth University) and Maria Feeney (Maynooth University). The publisher’s description follows:
The immense power the Catholic Church once wielded in Ireland has considerably diminished over the last fifty years. During the same period the Irish state has pursued new economic and social development goals by wooing foreign investors and throwing the state’s lot in with an ever-widening European integration project. How a less powerful church and a more assertive state related to one another during the key third quarter of the twentieth century is the subject of this book. Drawing on newly available material, it looks at how social science, which had been a church monopoly, was taken over and bent to new purposes by politicians and civil servants. This case study casts new light on wider processes of change, and the story features a strong and somewhat surprising cast of characters ranging from Sean Lemass and T.K. Whitaker to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Father Denis Fahey.
In April, the University of California Press will release “Shari’ah on Trial: Northern Nigeria’s Islamic Revolution,” by Sarah Eltantawi (Evergreen State College). The publisher’s description follows:
In November of 1999, Nigerians took to the streets demanding the re-implementation of shari’ah law in their country. Two years later,
many Nigerians supported the death sentence by stoning of a peasant woman for alleged sexual misconduct. Public outcry in the West was met with assurances to the Western public: stoning is not a part of Islam; stoning happens “only in Africa”; reports of stoning are exaggerated by Western sensationalism. However, none of these statements are true. Shari’ah on Trial
goes beyond journalistic headlines and liberal pieties to give a powerful account of how Northern Nigerians reached a point of such desperation that they demanded the return of the strictest possible shari’ah law. Sarah Eltantawi analyzes changing conceptions of Islamic theology and practice as well as Muslim and British interactions dating back to the colonial period to explain the resurgence of shari’ah, with implications for Muslim-majority countries around the world.
In January, Springer Publishing released “Religion as a Political Resource: Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in Berlin and Paris,” by Miriam Schader (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity). The publisher’s description follows:
Miriam Schader shows that migrants can use religion as a resource for political involvement in their (new) country of residence – but under certain circumstances only. The author analyses the role religious networks and symbols play for the politicization and participation of Muslim and Christian migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Berlin and Paris. Against the widely held belief that Islam is a ’political religion’ in itself, this study demonstrates that Christian migrants draw on their religion for political action more easily than their Muslim counterparts. It also highlights that it is not religion in general which helps migrants get politically active, but particular forms of religious organisations and particular theological elements.