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.

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.

Buckley, “Faithful to Secularism”

In March, the Columbia University Press will release “Faithful to Secularism: The Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines,” by David Buckley (University of Louisville).  The publisher’s description follows:

Religion and democracy can make tense bedfellows. Secular elites may view 9780231180061religious movements as conflict-prone and incapable of compromise, while religious actors may fear that anticlericalism will drive religion from public life. Yet such tensions are not inevitable: from Asia to Latin America, religious actors coexist with, and even help to preserve, democracy.

In Faithful to Secularism, David T. Buckley argues that political institutions that encourage an active role for public religion are a key part in explaining this variation. He develops the concept of “benevolent secularism” to describe institutions that combine a basic division of religion and state with extensive room for participation of religious actors in public life. He traces the impact of benevolent secularism on religious and secular elites, both at critical junctures in state formation and as politics evolves over time. Buckley shows how religious and secular actors build credibility and shared norms over time, and explains how such coalitions can endure challenges from both religious revivals and periods of anticlericalism. Faithful to Secularism tests this institutional theory in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines, using a blend of archival, interview, and public opinion data. These case studies illustrate how even countries with an active religious majority can become and remain faithful to secularism.

Rabinovich, “Yitzhak Rabin”

In March, Yale University Press will release Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman by Itamar Rabinovich (New York University). The publisher’s description follows:
Yitzhak Rabin.jpgMore than two decades have passed since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, yet he remains an unusually intriguing and admired modern leader. A native-born Israeli, Rabin became an inextricable part of his nation’s pre-state history and subsequent evolution. This revealing account of his life, character, and contributions draws not only on original research but also on the author’s recollections as one of Rabin’s closest aides.

An awkward politician who became a statesman, a soldier who became a peacemaker, Rabin is best remembered for his valiant efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for the Oslo Accords. Itamar Rabinovich provides extraordinary new insights into Rabin’s relationships with powerful leaders including Bill Clinton, Jordan’s King Hussein, and Henry Kissinger, his desire for an Israeli-Syrian peace plan, and the political developments that shaped his tenure. The author also assesses the repercussions of Rabin’s murder: Netanyahu’s ensuing election and the rise of Israel’s radical right wing.

Parvez, “Politicizing Islam”

In February, Oxford University Press will release Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India by Z. Fareen Parvez (University of Massachusetts). The publisher’s description follows:

politicizing-islamHome to the largest Muslim minorities in Western Europe and Asia, France and India are both grappling with crises of secularism. In Politicizing Islam, Fareen Parvez offers an in-depth look at how Muslims have responded to these crises, focusing on Islamic revival movements in the French city of Lyon and the Indian city of Hyderabad. Presenting a novel comparative view of middle-class and poor Muslims in both cities, Parvez illuminates how Muslims from every social class are denigrated but struggle in different ways to improve their lives and make claims on the state. In Hyderabad’s slums, Muslims have created vibrant political communities, while in Lyon’s banlieues they have retreated into the private sphere. Politicizing Islam elegantly explains how these divergent reactions originated in India’s flexible secularism and France’s militant secularism and in specific patterns of Muslim class relations in both cities. This fine-grained ethnography pushes beyond stereotypes and has consequences for burning public debates over Islam, feminism, and secular democracy.

Masri, “The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism”

In February, Hart Publishing will release “The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State,” by Mazen Masri (University of London).  The publisher’s description follows:

What does Israel’s definition as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state mean? How does it affect constitutional law? How does it play out in the daily life of the people living in 9781509902552Israel? This book provides a unique and detailed examination of the consequences of the ‘Jewish and democratic’ definition. It explores how the definition affects the internal ordering of the state, the operation of the law, and the ways it is used to justify, protect and regenerate certain features of Israeli constitutional law. It also considers the relationship between law and settler-colonialism, and how this relationship manifests itself in the constitutional order.

The book offers a novel perspective on the Jewish and democratic definition rooted in constitutional theory and informed by a socio-legal approach. Relying on a wide range of court cases and statutes as well as secondary sources, the book shows how the definition is deeply embedded in the constitutional structure, and operates, as a matter of law, in a manner that concentrates political power in the hands of the Jewish citizens and excludes the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel from the political process. The book is a timely intervention in an increasingly important question, and is essential reading for those who want to understand Israel’s character, its relationship with the constitutional order, and its impact on society.

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