Steen-Johnsen, “State and Politics in Religious Peacebuilding”

Next month, Palgrave Macmillan will release “State and Politics in Religious Peacebuilding,” by Tale Steen-Johnsen.  The publisher’s description follows:

In this book, Tale Steen-Johnsen explains how religious peacebuilders are limited by9781137593894 both formal and more subtle political strategies aimed at regulating civil society.  Political authorities have a vested interest in keeping social and religious movements under control, which limits the opportunities religious leaders have to diminish violent conflicts between religious groups. This volume offers empirical examples of these connections in Ethiopia, Kenya, Zanzibar and Tanzania. It is valuable resource for both scholars and development practitioners interested in how politics and religion become conflated when religious actors engage to build peace.

“Laicidad and Religious Diversity in Latin America” (Vaggione & Morán Faúndes, eds.)

In November, Springer will release “Laicidad and Religious Diversity in Latin America,” edited by Juan Marco Vaggione (National University of Cordoba) and José Manuel Morán Faúndes (National University of Cordoba).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book presents revealing reflections on historical, socio-political, and legal
aspects, as well as their contexts, in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador,9783319447445Mexico, and Peru. Further, it includes theoretical and empirical analyses that identify the connections between religion and politics that characterize Latin American countries in general.

The individual chapters are based on a dialogue between regional and international approaches, renewing them and taking them to their limits by incorporating the Latin American experience. The book reflects the current intensification of research on religion in Latin America, the resulting reassessment of previous approaches, and the strengthening of empirical studies. It provides vital insight into the ways in which politics regulates the religious sphere, as well as how religion modulates and intervenes in politics in Latin America. In doing so it builds a bridge between the findings of researchers in the region on the one hand and the English-speaking academic public on the other, contributing to a dialogue that enriches comparative perspectives.

Aasmundsen, “Pentecostals, Politics, and Religious Equality in Argentina”

In November, Brill Publishers will release Pentecostals, Politics, and Religious Equality in Argentina by Hans Geir Aasmundsen (University of Sødertørn). The publisher’s description follows:

pentecostals-politicsIn Argentina, Pentecostalism had a breakthrough in the early 1980s, and today more than 10 per cent of the population are Pentecostals. The revival coincided with a socio-political transformation of Argentinean society. After half a century of dictatorships and Perónism, democracy was restored, and structural changes paved the way for an autonomisation of the political, economic, scientific and religious spheres. The “new” form of society that developed resembles what in this study is called a Western model, which to a large degree has been, and still is, spread on a global scale. In this book, Aasmundsen examines the religious sphere and how Pentecostals relate to society at large, and the political and judicial spheres in particular.

Berman, “Boundaries of Loyalty”

This month, Cambridge University Press releases “Boundaries of Loyalty: Testimony Against Fellow Jews in Non-Jewish Courts,” by Saul Berman (Yeshiva University).  The publisher’s description follows:

Talmudic legislation prescribed penalty for a Jew to testify in a non-Jewish 9781107090651court, against a fellow Jew, to benefit a gentile – for breach of a duty of loyalty to a fellow Jew. Through close textual analysis, Saul Berman explores how Jewish jurists responded when this virtue of loyalty conflicted with values such as Justice, avoidance of desecration of God’s Name, deterrence of crime, defence of self, protection of Jewish community, and the duty to adhere to Law of the Land. Essential for scholars and graduate students in Talmud, Jewish law and comparative law, this key volume details the nature of these loyalties as values within the Jewish legal system, and how the resolution of these conflicts was handled. Berman additionally explores why this issue has intensified in contemporary times and how the related area of ‘Mesirah’ has wrongfully come to be prominently associated with this law regulating testimony.

Bonino, “Muslims in Scotland”

In November, Edinburgh University Press will release Muslims in Scotland: The Making of Community in a Post-9/11 World by Stefano Bonino (Northumbria University). The publisher’s description follows:

muslims-in-scotlandThe experience of being a Muslim in Scotland today is shaped by the global and national post-9/11 shift in public attitudes towards Muslims, and is infused by the particular social, cultural and political Scottish ways of dealing with minorities, diversity and integration. This book explores the settlement and development of Muslim communities in Scotland, highlighting the ongoing changes in their structure and the move towards a Scottish experience of being Muslim. This experience combines a sense of civic and social belonging to Scotland with a strong religious and ideological commitment to Islam.

“The Atheist Bus Campaign” (Tomlins & Bullivant, eds.)

In October, Brill Publishers will release The Atheist Bus Campaign: Global Manifestations and Responses edited by Steven Tomlins (University of Ottawa) and Spencer Culham Bullivant (University of Ottawa). The publisher’s description follows:

the-atheist-bus-campaignThe international “Atheist Bus Campaign” generated news coverage and controversy, and this volume is the first to systematically and thoroughly explore and analyze each manifestation of that campaign. It includes a chapter for each of the countries which enacted – or attempted to enact – localized versions of the original United Kingdom campaign which ran the slogan, “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life,” prominently on public buses. Its novel focus, using a singular micro-level event as a prism for analysis, allows for cross-country comparison of legal and social reactions to each campaign, as well as an understanding of issues pertaining to the historical and contemporary status of religion and the regulation of nonreligion in various national settings.

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.

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.

Syed, “Coercion and Responsibility in Islam”

In November, Oxford University Press will release “Coercion and Responsibility in Islam: A Study in Ethics and Law,” by Mairaj Syed (University of California, Davis). The publisher’s description follows:

In Coercion and Responsibility in Islam, Mairaj Syed explores how classical Muslim theologians and jurists from four intellectual traditions argue about the thorny issues 9780198788775.jpegthat coercion raises about responsibility for one’s action. This is done by assessing four ethical problems: whether the absence of coercion or compulsion is a condition for moral agency; how the law ought to define what is coercive; coercion’s effect on the legal validity of speech acts; and its effects on moral and legal responsibility in the cases of rape and murder.

Through a comparative and historical examination of these ethical problems, the book demonstrates the usefulness of a new model for analyzing ethical thought produced by intellectuals working within traditions in a competitive pluralistic environment. The book compares classical Muslim thought on coercion with that of modern Western thinkers on these issues and finds significant parallels between them. The finding suggests that a fruitful starting point for comparative ethical inquiry, especially inquiry aimed at the discovery of common ground for ethical action, may be found in an examination of how ethicists from different traditions considered concrete problems.

Farquhar, “Circuits of Faith”

In November, the Stanford University Press will release “Circuits of Faith: Migration, Education, and the Wahhabi Mission,” by Michael Farquhar (King’s College London).  The publisher’s description follows:

The Islamic University of Medina was established by the Saudi state in 1961 to provide religious instruction primarily to foreign students. Students would come to Medina for religious education and were then expected to act as missionaries, promoting an pid_25998understanding of Islam in line with the core tenets of Wahhabism. By the early 2000s, more than 11,000 young men from across the globe had graduated from the Islamic University.

Circuits of Faith offers the first examination of the Islamic University and considers the efforts undertaken by Saudi actors and institutions to exert religious influence far beyond the kingdom’s borders. Michael Farquhar draws on Arabic sources, including biographical materials, memoirs, syllabi, and back issues of the Islamic University journal, as well as interviews with former staff and students, to explore the institution’s history and faculty, the content and style of instruction, and the trajectories and experiences of its students. Countering typical assumptions, Farquhar argues that the project undertaken through the Islamic University amounts to something more complex than just the one-way “export” of Wahhabism. Through transnational networks of students and faculty, this Saudi state-funded religious mission also relies upon, and has in turn been influenced by, far-reaching circulations of persons and ideas.

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