Around the Web This Week

Some interesting law and religion news stories from around the web this week:

Ropi, “Religion and Regulation in Indonesia”

This month, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Religion and Regulation in Indonesia,” by Ismatu Ropi (Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book analyses the relation between state and religion in Indonesia, considering both the philosophical underpinning of government intervention on religious life but 41ifhrgw0al-_sx351_bo1204203200_also cases and regulations related to religious affairs in Indonesia. Examining state regulation of religious affairs, it focuses on understanding its origin, history and consequences on citizens’ religious life in modern Indonesia, arguing that while Indonesian constitutions have preserved religious freedom, they have also tended to construct wide-ranging discretionary powers in the government to control religious life and oversee religious freedom. Over more than four decades, Indonesian governments have constructed a variety of policies on religion based on constitutional legacies interpreted in the light of the norms and values of the existing religious majority group. A cutting edge examination of the tension between religious order and harmony on one hand, and protecting religious freedom for all on the other, this book offers a cutting edge study of how the history of regulating religion has been about the constant negotiation for the boundaries of authority between the state and the religious majority group.

“Institutionalizing Rights and Religion” (Batnitzky & Dagan, eds.)

In March, the Cambridge University Press will release “Institutionalizing Rights and Religion: Competing Supremacies,” edited by Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University) and Hanoch Dagan (Tel-Aviv University).  The publisher’s description follows:

Modern statesmen and political theorists have long struggled to design institutions that will simultaneously respect individual freedom of religion, nurture religion’s 9781107153714capacity to be a force for civic good and human rights, and tame religion’s illiberal tendencies. Moving past the usual focus on personal free expression of religion, this illuminating book – written by renowned scholars of law and religion from the United States, England, and Israel – considers how the institutional design of both religions and political regimes influences the relationship between religious practice and activity and human rights. The authors examine how the organization of religious communities affects human rights, and investigate the scope of a just state’s authority with respect to organized religion in the name of human rights. They explore the institutional challenges posed by, and possible responses to, the fraught relationship between religion and rights in the world today.

Dagnino, “Faith and Fascism”

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 9781137448934highly 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.

Rubin, “Judicial Review and American Conservatism”

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 9781107060555as 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.

Zubrzycki, “Beheading the Saint”

In December, the University of Chicago Press released “Beheading the Saint: Nationalism, Religion, and Secularism in Quebec,” by Geneviève Zubrzycki (University of Michigan). The publisher’s description follows:

Through much of its existence, Québec’s neighbors called it the “priest-ridden province.” Today, however, Québec society is staunchly secular, with a modern welfare 9780226391687state built on lay provision of social services—a transformation rooted in the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s.

In Beheading the Saint, Geneviève Zubrzycki studies that transformation through a close investigation of the annual Feast of St. John the Baptist of June 24. The celebrations of that national holiday, she shows, provided a venue for a public contesting of the dominant ethno-Catholic conception of French Canadian identity and, via the violent rejection of Catholic symbols, the articulation of a new, secular Québécois identity. From there, Zubrzycki extends her analysis to the present, looking at the role of Québécois identity in recent debates over immigration, the place of religious symbols in the public sphere, and the politics of cultural heritage—issues that also offer insight on similar debates elsewhere in the world.

Schonthal, “Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law”

In November, Cambridge University Press released “Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law: The Pyrrhic Constitutionalism of Sri Lanka,” by Benjamin Schonthal (University of Otago).   The publisher’s description follows: 

It is widely assumed that a well-designed and well-implemented constitution can help ensure religious harmony in modern states. Yet how correct is this assumption? 9781107152236Drawing on groundbreaking research from Sri Lanka, this book argues persuasively for another possibility: when it comes to religion, relying on constitutional law may not be helpful, but harmful; constitutional practice may give way to pyrrhic constitutionalism. Written in a lucid and direct style, and aimed at both specialists and non-specialists, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law explains why constitutional law has deepened, rather than diminished, conflicts over religion in Sri Lanka. Examining the roles of Buddhist monks, civil society groups, political coalitions and more, the book provides the first extended study of the legal regulation of religion in Sri Lanka as well as the first book-length analysis of the intersections of Buddhism and contemporary constitutional law.

Pearson, “Proportionality, Equality Laws and Religion”

In March, Routledge will release “Proportionality, Equality Laws and Religion:  Conflicts in England, Canada and the USA,” by Megan Pearson (University of Southampton).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book considers how the law should manage conflicts between the right of religious freedom and that of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual 9781472456502orientation. These disputes are often high-profile and frequently receive a lot of media attention and public debate. Starting from the basis that both these rights are valuable and worthy of protection, but that such disputes are often characterised by animosity, it contends that a proportionality analysis provides the best method for resolving these conflicts. The work takes a comparative approach, examining the law in England and Wales, Canada and the USA and examines four main areas of law, considering how a proportionality approach could be used in each. The book will be an invaluable resource for students and researchers in the areas of Public Law, Human Rights Law, Law and Religion, Discrimination Law, and Comparative Law.

Sodiq, “A History of the Application of Islamic Law in Nigeria”

In March, Springer will release “A History of the Application of Islamic Law in Nigeria,” by Yushau Sodiq (Texas Christian University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This work analyzes the history of the application of Islamic law (Shari`ah) in Nigeria. It analyzes how Islamic law emerged in Nigeria toward the beginning of the 19th century 9783319505992and remained applicable until the arrival of the British Colonial regime in Northern Nigeria in 1903. It sheds light on how the law survived colonial rule and continues until today.

Dr. Yushau Sodiq analyzes progressive elements in Islamic law over the past two centuries. He goes on to discuss many objections raised by the Nigerian Christians against the application of Islamic law, as well as how Muslims respond to such criticism. In a world that is often saturated with Islamophobia and ignorant misconceptions about Islam, this book aims to clarify and respond to many important concepts and ideas within Islamic religious tradition.

Event Announcement: Religion and the Presidents of Our Time

On January 31st, the Columbia Club of New York will host a reception and presentation by David L. Holmes about current, past, and future American presidents and the role of religion in American public life.  More information follows below:

The Columbia Club is proud to present David L. Holmes ’71, and his presentation on the religion of past presidents and an analysis on the religion of President-elect, Donald Trump. Morality, values and faith play integral roles in American politics. Beginning with Dwight Eisenhower’s background in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Richard Nixon’s secret Unitarianism and Bill Clinton’s Saturday night/Sunday morning personae, David L. Holmes will conclude by discussing the religious faith of the nation’s newly inaugurated 45th president.

To learn more, and to register, please visit this page.

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