Shelley, “Ethical Exploration in a Multifaith Society”

In March, Palgrave Macmillan will release Ethical Exploration in a Multifaith Society by Catherine Shelley (Solicitor, Archbishop’s Faculty Office). The publisher’s description follows:

palgrave-macmillanThis book considers the theory and application of ethics for a multifaith society. Much ethics taught in the UK has been dominated by Christian ethics, their relation to secularism and by the Enlightenment’s reaction against theology as a basis for ethical thought. In contrast to these perspectives this book brings secular and theological ethics into dialogue, considering the degree to which secular ethics has common roots with theological perspectives from various traditions. The book assesses the application of ethical and theological principles in today’s multifaith society. Aiming to enhance ethical understanding and awareness across divergent worldviews, identifying at what points divergence does occur, the author examines topics such as reason and ethics in theology, natural law, utilitarianism and deontology and differences of approach to interpreting religious scriptures. The focus on ethical methods is illustrated through topical concerns in religion and ethics, for example sexuality, marriage and education and religion in relation to global ethics and human rights.

Lombardo, “Founding Father”

In March, Brill Publishers will release Founding Father: John J. Wynne, S.J. and the Inculturation of American Catholicism in the Progressive Era by Michael F. Lombardo (University of Mary’s, Rome). The publisher’s description follows:

founding-fatherIn Founding Father, Michael F. Lombardo provides the first critical biography of John J. Wynne, S.J. (1859-1948). One of the most prominent American Catholic intellectuals of the early twentieth century, Wynne was founding editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) and the Jesuit periodical America (1909), and served as vice-postulator for the canonization causes of the first American saints (the Jesuit Martyrs of North America) and Kateri Tekakwitha. Lombardo uses theological inculturation to explore the ways in which Wynne used his publications to negotiate American Catholic citizenship during the Progressive Era. He concludes that Wynne’s legacy was part of a flowering of early-twentieth century American Catholic intellectual thought that made him a key forerunner to the mid-century Catholic Revival.

Aydin, “The Idea of the Muslim World”

In March, Harvard University Press will release The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History by Cemil Aydin (University of North Carolina). The publisher’s description follows:

the-muslim-worldWhen President Barack Obama visited Cairo in 2009 to deliver an address to Muslims worldwide, he followed in the footsteps of countless politicians who have taken the existence of a unified global Muslim community for granted. But as Cemil Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. How did this belief arise, and why is it so widespread? The Idea of the Muslim World searches for the intellectual origins of a mistaken notion and explains its enduring allure for non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

Conceived as the antithesis of Western Christian civilization, the idea of the Muslim world emerged in the late nineteenth century, when European empires ruled the majority of Muslims. It was inflected from the start by theories of white supremacy, but Muslims had a hand in shaping the idea as well. Aydin reveals the role of Muslim intellectuals in envisioning and essentializing an idealized pan-Islamic society that refuted claims of Muslims’ racial and civilizational inferiority.

After playing a key role in the politics of the Ottoman Caliphate, the idea of the Muslim world survived decolonization and the Cold War, and took on new force in the late twentieth century. Standing at the center of both Islamophobic and pan-Islamic ideologies, the idea of the Muslim world continues to hold the global imagination in a grip that will need to be loosened in order to begin a more fruitful discussion about politics in Muslim societies today.

“New Perspectives on the Nation of Islam” (Gibson & Berg, eds.)

In March, Routledge will release New Perspectives on the Nation of Islam edited by Dawn-Marie Gibson (University of London), and Herbert Berg (University of North Carolina Wilmington). The publisher’s description follows:

nation-of-islamNew Perspectives on the Nation of Islam contributes to the ongoing dialogue about the nature and influence of the Nation of Islam (NOI), bringing fresh insights to areas that have previously been overlooked in the scholarship of Elijah Muhammad’s NOI, the Imam W.D. Mohammed community and Louis Farrakhan’s Resurrected NOI. Bringing together contributions that explore the formation, practices, and influence of the NOI, this volume problematizes the history of the movement, its theology, and relationships with other religious movements. Contributors offer a range of diverse perspectives, making connections between the ideology of the NOI and gender, dietary restrictions and foodways, the internationalization of the movement, and the civil rights movement. This book provides a state-of-the-art overview of current scholarship on the Nation of Islam, and will be relevant to scholars of American religion and history, Islamic studies, and African American Studies.

 

Pope John Paul II, “In God’s Hands”

In March, Harper Collins Publishers will release In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope John Paul II written by Pope John Paul II. The publisher’s description follows:

In God's Hands.pngAvailable for the first time in English, the private reflections of the modern pope recently elevated to sainthood—deeply personal writings that reveal a spiritual leader who agonized over his service to God, continually questioning whether he was doing enough.

As the head of the Roman Catholic Church for twenty-five years, from the final decades of the twentieth century to the first years of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II significantly impacted our world. As famous as a rock star, this powerful leader who conferred with numerous heads of state was the ultimate model of wisdom and religious commitment for numerous Catholics around the globe.

Throughout much of his adult life, from 1962 until two years before his death in 2003, John Paul II kept a series of private diaries in which he disclosed his innermost thoughts, impressions, and concerns. Written in his native Polish and never before available in English until now, these journals provide intimate and deeply moving insight into a man, a priest, and a saint’s spirituality and a life devoted completely to God.

In God’s Hands lays bare the soul of this powerful, influential statesman, revealing a devout man untouched by his celebrity status; a selfless servant of God who spent decades questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out. Over forty years, from his bishopric in Krakow to his election to the papacy to his final years, one question guided him: “Am I serving God?”

Entrusted to his personal secretary—who defied John Paul II’s instructions to burn them after his death—these notebooks provide us with a privileged glimpse into the life of a humble man who never took for granted his mission or his exalted role in the church and in the world.

Gaposchkin, “Invisible Weapons”

This month, Cornell University Press releases Invisible Weapons: Liturgy and the Making of Crusade Ideology by M. Cecilia Gaposchkin (Dartmouth College). The publisher’s description follows:

invisible-weaponsIn 1098, three years into the First Crusade and after a brutal eight-month siege, the Franks captured the city of Antioch. Two days later, Muslim forces arrived with a relief army, and the victors became the besieged. Exhausted and ravaged by illness and hunger, the Franks were exhorted by their religious leaders to supplicate God, and for three days they performed a series of liturgical exercises, beseeching God through ritual prayer to forgive their sins and grant them victory. The following day, the Christian army, accompanied by bishops and priests reciting psalms and hymns, marched out of the city to face the Muslim forces and won a resounding and improbable victory.

From the very beginning and throughout the history of the Crusades, liturgical prayer, masses, and alms were all marshaled in the fight against the Muslim armies. During the Fifth Crusade, Pope Honorius III likened liturgy to “invisible weapons.” This book is about those invisible weapons; about the prayers and liturgical rituals that were part of the battle for the faith. M. Cecilia Gaposchkin tells the story of the greatest collective religious undertaking of the Middle Ages, putting front and center the ways in which Latin Christians communicated their ideas and aspirations for crusade to God through liturgy, how liturgy was deployed in crusading, and how liturgy absorbed ideals or priorities of crusading. Liturgy helped construct the devotional ideology of the crusading project, endowing war with religious meaning, placing crusading ideals at the heart of Christian identity, and embedding crusading warfare squarely into the eschatological economy. By connecting medieval liturgical books with the larger narrative of crusading, Gaposchkin allows us to understand a crucial facet in the culture of holy war.

Kaufmann, “Luther’s Jews”

In March, Oxford University Press will release Luther’s Jews: A Journey into Anti-Semitism by Thomas Kaufmann (University of Gottingen). The publisher’s description follows:

luthers-jewsIf there was one person who could be said to light the touch-paper for the epochal transformation of European religion and culture that we now call the Reformation, it was Martin Luther. And Luther and his followers were to play a central role in the Protestant world that was to emerge from the Reformation process, both in Germany and the wider world.

In all senses of the term, this religious pioneer was a huge figure in European history. Yet there is also the very uncomfortable but at the same time undeniable fact that he was an anti-semite. Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on the Reformation, this is the vexed and sometimes shocking story of Martin Luther’s increasingly vitriolic attitude towards the Jews over the course of his lifetime, set against the backdrop of a world in religious turmoil.

A final chapter then reflects on the extent to which the legacy of Luther’s anti-semitism was to taint the Lutheran church over the following centuries. Scheduled for publication on the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation’s birth, in light of the subsequent course of German history it is a tale both sobering and ominous in equal measure.

Holtz, “Rabbi Akiva”

In March, Yale University Press will release Rabbi Akiva: Sage of the Talmud by Barry W. Holtz (Jewish Theological Seminary of America). The publisher’s description follows:

rabbi-akivaA compelling and lucid account of the life and teachings of a founder of rabbinic Judaism and one of the most beloved heroes of Jewish history

Born in the Land of Israel around the year 50 C.E., Rabbi Akiva was the greatest rabbi of his time and one of the most important influences on Judaism as we know it today. Traditional sources tell how he was raised in poverty and unschooled in religious tradition but began to learn the Torah as an adult. In the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E., he helped shape a new direction for Judaism through his brilliance and his character. Mystic, legalist, theologian, and interpreter, he disputed with his colleagues in dramatic fashion yet was admired and beloved by his peers. Executed by Roman authorities for his insistence on teaching Torah in public, he became the exemplar of Jewish martyrdom.

Drawing on the latest historical and literary scholarship, this book goes beyond older biographies, untangling a complex assortment of ancient sources to present a clear and nuanced portrait of Talmudic hero Rabbi Akiva.

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.

%d bloggers like this: