Chapman, “Theology at War and Peace”

In November, Routledge will release Theology at War and Peace: English Theology and Germany in the First World War by Mark D. Chapman (University of Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:

Multireligious SocietyThis book is the first detailed discussion of the impact of the First World War on English theology. Assessing the close relationships between English and German theologians before the First World War, Mark Chapman then explores developments throughout the war. A series of case studies make use of a large amount of unpublished material, showing how some theologians sought to maintain relationships with their German colleagues, while others, especially from a more Anglo-Catholic perspective, used the war as an opportunity to distance themselves from the liberal theology which was beginning to dominate the universities before the war. The increasing animosity between Britain and Germany meant that relations were never healed. English theology became increasingly insular, dividing between a more home-grown variety of liberalism and an ascendant Anglo-Catholicism.

Symposium: Religious Liberty and the Black Church (Washington D.C, November 10)

On November 10, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty will present a symposium titled “Religious Liberty and the Black Church: A Baptist Joint Committee Symposium” at Howard University Divinity School and Law School. The featured speaker at the symposium will be Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock. A brief description of the event follows:

baptist-joint-committe-for-religious-libertyThe Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock will headline a lecture and panel discussion in Washington, D.C., focusing on religious liberty and the black church.

On Thursday, November 10, Warnock will speak on the campus of Howard University Divinity School and Law School. The symposium events are free and open to the public, and more information will be released in the future. Both presentations are also part of the Howard University School of Divinity Centennial Alumni Convocation.

Magocsi & Petrovsky-Shtern, “Jews and Ukrainians”

In November, the University of Toronto Press will release Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence by Paul Robert Magocsi (University of Toronto) and Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University). The publisher’s description follows:

jews-and-ukraniansThere is much that ordinary Ukrainians do not know about Jews and that ordinary Jews do not know about Ukrainians. As a result, those Jews and Ukrainians who may care about their respective ancestral heritages usually view each other through distorted stereotypes, misperceptions, and biases. This book sheds new light on highly controversial moments of Ukrainian-Jewish relations and argues that the historical experience in Ukraine not only divided ethnic Ukrainians and Jews but also brought them together.

The story of Jews and Ukrainians is presented in an impartial manner through twelve thematic chapters. Among the themes discussed are geography, history, economic life, traditional culture, religion, language and publications, literature and theater, architecture and art, music, the diaspora, and contemporary Ukraine. The book’s easy-to-read narrative is enhanced by 335 full-color illustrations, 29 maps, and several text inserts that explain specific phenomena or address controversial issues. Jews and Ukrainians provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating land of Ukraine and two of its most historically significant peoples.

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Neary, “Crossing Parish Boundaries”

In October, the University of Chicago Press will release Crossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, and Catholic Youth in Chicago, 1914-1954 by Timothy B. Neary (Salve Regina University). The publisher’s description follows:

crossing-parish-boundariesControversy erupted in spring 2001 when Chicago’s mostly white Southside Catholic Conference youth sports league rejected the application of the predominantly black St. Sabina grade school. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, interracialism seemed stubbornly unattainable, and the national spotlight once again turned to the history of racial conflict in Catholic parishes. It’s widely understood that midcentury, working class, white ethnic Catholics were among the most virulent racists, but, as Crossing Parish Boundaries shows, that’s not the whole story.
In this book, Timothy B. Neary reveals the history of Bishop Bernard Sheil’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), which brought together thousands of young people of all races and religions from Chicago’s racially segregated neighborhoods to take part in sports and educational programming. Tens of thousands of boys and girls participated in basketball, track and field, and the most popular sport of all, boxing, which regularly filled Chicago Stadium with roaring crowds. The history of Bishop Sheil and the CYO shows a cosmopolitan version of American Catholicism, one that is usually overshadowed by accounts of white ethnic Catholics aggressively resisting the racial integration of their working-class neighborhoods. By telling the story of Catholic-sponsored interracial cooperation within Chicago, Crossing Parish Boundaries complicates our understanding of northern urban race relations in the mid-twentieth century.

Stow, “Anna and Tranquillo”

In October, Yale University Press will release Anna and Tranquillo: Catholic Anxiety and Jewish Protest in the Age of Revolutions by Kenneth Stow (Smith College). The publisher’s description follows:

anna-and-tranquilloA historical interpretation of the diary of an eighteenth-century Jewish woman who resisted the efforts of the papal authorities to force her religious conversion

After being seized by the papal police in Rome in May 1749, Anna del Monte, a Jew, kept a diary detailing her captors’ efforts over the next thirteen days to force her conversion to Catholicism. Anna’s powerful chronicle of her ordeal at the hands of authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, originally circulated by her brother Tranquillo in 1793, receives its first English-language translation along with an insightful interpretation by Kenneth Stow of the incident’s legal and historical significance. Stow’s analysis of Anna’s dramatic story of prejudice, injustice, resistance, and survival during her two-week imprisonment in the Roman House of Converts—and her brother’s later efforts to protest state-sanctioned, religion-based abuses—provides a detailed view of the separate forces on either side of the struggle between religious and civil law in the years just prior to the massive political and social upheavals in America and Europe.

Walton, “Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar”

In November, Cambridge University Press will release Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar by Matthew J. Walton (St. Antony’s College, Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:

logoThis is the first book to provide a broad overview of the ways in which Buddhist ideas have influenced political thinking and politics in Myanmar. Matthew Walton draws extensively on Burmese language sources from the last 150 years to describe the ‘moral universe’ of contemporary Theravada Buddhism that has anchored most political thought in Myanmar. In explaining multiple Burmese understandings of notions such as ‘democracy’ and ‘political participation’, the book provides readers with a conceptual framework for understanding some of the key dynamics of Myanmar’s ongoing political transition. Some of these ideas help to shed light on restrictive or exclusionary political impulses, such as anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalism or scepticism towards the ability of the masses to participate in politics. Walton provides an analytical framework for understanding Buddhist influences on politics that will be accessible to a wide range of readers and will generate future research and debate.

Thomas: Religious Liberty and Jurisdictional Separation

All this month, we are hosting an online symposium on Vincent Phillip Muñoz‘s new article, “Two Concepts of Religious Liberty.” In today’s post, George Thomas (Claremont McKenna) responds to Muñoz. For other posts in this series, please click here

Phillip Muñoz’s jurisdictional understanding of religious liberty is a powerful and persuasive challenge to the idea that religious liberty demands exemptions from otherwise valid laws. Yet I want to start with an area of agreement between Muñoz’s jurisdictional understanding and Michael McConnell’s exemptionist understanding. Both Muñoz and McConnell begin with religious liberty as a natural right that circumscribes state authority. This is altogether fitting. But it is only half the story. While civil power was a threat to religious liberty, religion itself was the source of civil disorder and religious oppression. Religious liberty was also then, particularly in the hands of James Madison, a way to limit theological authority and bring about civil peace by making religion a matter of individual choice.

Madison wrote to William Bradford, a friend from his days at Princeton, of the “diabolical, hell conceived principle of persecution” that drove those—including the clergy— who used government to enforce religious orthodoxy. Madison’s inalienable right to religious liberty, with its attendant separation of religion from civil government by way of the social compact, would keep the government out of theological disputes; yet it would just as surely prevent religious sects from using the government to enforce their beliefs. Muñoz is thus right to argue that a jurisdictional understanding of religious liberty is no small achievement. While he nods to the Middle East to make this point, he could just as easily turn to America’s history.

As America was debating the religion clauses of the Constitution, England was debating repeal of the Test Acts, which required those who held public office to take communion according to the rites of the Church of England. This was the very sort of religious test for public office that the American Constitution rejected in Article VI. The Test Acts stood alongside the Act of Toleration, so while religious dissenters were tolerated their religious liberty was conditional. They were not able to hold public office until the acts’ repeal in 1828 or to attend Oxford and Cambridge until the Universities Tests Act of 1871. Back when the free exercise clause was being framed, defenders of religious tests saw them as an essential part of having an established church (and included the likes of William Blackstone and Edmund Burke). Madison worried that such “zealous adherents” to religious hierarchy persisted in America. And they did.

A number of state constitutions required religious tests for office and otherwise favored established churches. Indeed, we might best understand the “peace and safety provisions” of state constitutions at issue between Muñoz and McConnell as remnants of Continue reading

Vaughn, “Anthology of World Religions”

In November, Oxford University Press will release Anthology of World Religions: Sacred Texts and Contemporary Perspectives by Lewis Vaughn (former editor of Free Inquiry magazine and co-founder of Philo). The publisher’s description follows:

anthology-of-world-religionsAnthology of World Religions explores the world’s religious traditions by combining substantial overviews of their history, beliefs, and practices with selections from their texts and scriptures and commentary by contemporary practitioners and scholars. It covers each major religion’s history, teachings, founder, leaders, practices, and the factors that are now challenging and changing it–secularism, modernism, pluralism, science, the status of women, and sectarian or factional conflicts. The introductory chapter reviews various approaches to the study of religion, defines religious terms and concepts, discusses theories of religion, and distinguishes between the insider and outsider perspectives on religious traditions.

Byrd, “Islam in a Post-Secular Society”

In November, Brill Publishers will release Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith by Dustin J. Byrd (Olivet College). The publisher’s description follows:

islam-in-a-post-secular-societyIslam in the Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular.

By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the ‘clash of civilization’ thesis, the author attempts to find a ‘common language’ between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.

Around the Web This Week

Here is a look at some law and religion news stories from around the web this week:

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