Fromherz, “Qatar”

In July, the Georgetown University Press will release “Qatar: A Modern History,” by Allen J. Fromherz (Georgia State University).  The publisher’s description follows:

What role does Qatar play in the Middle East and how does it differ from the other Gulf states? How has the ruling Al-Thani family shaped Qatar from a traditional tribal 9781589019102society and British protectorate to a modern state? How has Qatar become an economic superpower with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world? What are the social, political, and economic consequences of Qatar’s extremely rapid development?

In this groundbreaking history of modern Qatar, Allen J. Fromherz presents a full portrait that analyzes Qatar’s crucial role in the Middle East and its growing regional influence within a broader historical context. Drawing on original sources in Arabic, English, and French as well as his own fieldwork in the Middle East, the author deftly traces the influence of the Ottoman and British empires and Qatar’s Gulf neighbors on the country prior to Qatar’s meteoric rise in the post-independence era.

Fromherz gives particular weight to the nation’s economic and social history, from its modest origins in the pearling and fishing industries to the considerable economic clout it exerts today, a clout that comes with having the second-highest natural gas Continue reading

“Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” (Kollar & Shafiq, eds.)

In July, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” edited by Nathan R. Kollar (St. John Fisher College) and Shafiq Muhammad. The publisher’s description follows:

This book gathers scholars from the three major monotheistic religions to discuss the Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 12.29.47 AMissue of poverty and wealth from the varied perspectives of each tradition. It provides a cadre of values inherent to the sacred texts of Jews, Christians, and Muslims and illustrates how these values may be used to deal with current economic inequalities.

Contributors use the methodologies of religious studies to provide descriptions and comparisons of perspectives from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on poverty and wealth. The book presents citations from the sacred texts of all three religions. The contributors discuss the interpretations of these texts and the necessary contexts, both past and present, for deciphering the stances found there. Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam identifies and details a foundation of common values upon which individual and institutional decisions may be made.

Sadr, “The Economic System of the Early Islamic Period”

In April, Palgrave Macmillan will release “The Economic System of the Early Islamic Period: Institutions and Policies” by Seyed Kazem Sadr (International Center for Education in Islamic Finance, Malaysia). The publisher’s description follows:

This book provides an economic analysis of the earliest Islamic society, focusing on the policies of the Messenger of Islam (Sawa) and his successors during the first four formative decades of Islam. Two institutions of great importance – the market and the public treasury (Baitul Mal) – and their roles in the development of the private and public sectors are particularly emphasized in this study. The first part of the book is devoted to the economic and cultural dimensions of life in the Arabian Peninsula during the pre-Islamic period, including an analysis of trade and financial relationships with the Roman and Persian economies; the challenges faced by the Messenger’s mission and the economic policies of the Messenger after the migration to Madinah are also examined in detail. The author then moves on to a devoted analysis of the nature and functions of the public treasury, its revenues and expenditures, as well as financial and fiscal policies. Also examined is the role of the public sector in maintaining equilibrium in the financial and real sectors, as well as in promoting economic growth and employment. Analysis of the institution of the market, its characteristics, and its functions during the earliest Islamic period constitutes the third section of the book. The behaviors of consumers, producers, and investors in an economy without an interest rate mechanism are also addressed here. The final section investigates the fundamental objective of Islam for human societies – that is, justice – within the context of discussions in earlier parts of the book. The author uses historical economic data, facts, and evidences that are reported from the period, both prior to and after the establishment of the Islamic State, to explore the economic relations, policies, and models that were in practice and applied at that time.

Alserhan, “The Principles of Islamic Marketing”

This month, Ashgate releases “The Principles of Islamic Marketing,” second edition by Baker Ahmad Alserhan (Qatar University). The publisher’s description follows:

The Principles of Islamic Marketing fills a gap in international business literature covering the aspects and values of Islamic business thought. It provides a framework and practical perspectives for understanding and implementing the Islamic marketing code of conduct. It is not a religious book.

The Islamic Economic System is a business model adopted by nearly one quarter of the world’s population. Baker Alserhan identifies the features of the Islamic structure of International Marketing practices and ethics. Adherence to such ethical practices elevates the standards of behaviour of traders and consumers alike and creates a value-loaded framework for meaningful cooperation between international marketers and their Muslim markets. His book provides a complete guide for an organization when managing its entire marketing function or when customising part of its offering to suit Muslim customers. It addresses the challenges facing marketers involved in business activities with and within Islamic communities, the knowledge needs of academic institutions, and the interest of multinationals keen on tapping the huge Islamic markets.

Along the way, Baker Alserhan provides insights into key elements such as, distribution channels, retailing practices, branding, positioning, and pricing; all within the Muslim legal and cultural norms. This second edition brings the book up to date and features a number of new case studies and two additional chapters on Maqasid Al Shariah and the Islamic economy, and a strategic perspective on Islamic marketing and branding.

“Halal Matters: Islam, Politics and Markets in Global Perspective” (Bergeaud-Blackler et al., eds.)

This month, Routledge releases “Halal Matters: Islam, Politics and Markets in Global Perspective” edited by Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France), Johan Fischer (University of Huddersfield Business School), and John Lever (Roskilde University, Denmark). The publisher’s description follows:

In today’s globalized world, halal (meaning ‘permissible’ or ‘lawful’) is about more than food. Politics, power and ethics all play a role in the halal industry in setting new standards for production, trade, consumption and regulation. The question of how modern halal markets are constituted is increasingly important and complex. Written from a unique interdisciplinary global perspective, this book demonstrates that as the market for halal products and services is expanding and standardizing, it is also fraught with political, social and economic contestation and difference. The discussion is illustrated by rich ethnographic case studies from a range of contexts, and consideration is given to both Muslim majority and minority societies. Halal Matters will be of interest to students and scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, sociology and religious studies.

Wilson, “Islam and Economic Policy: An Introduction”

In May, Edinburgh University Press will release “Islam and Economic Policy: An Introduction” by Rodney Wilson (Durham University). The publisher’s description follows:

To what extent do Islamic values have implications for economic policy making?

Islamist political parties have enjoyed unprecedented election victories in recent times. The Islamic Revolution in Iran, the election of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the coming to power of Islamists, albeit briefly, after the Arab Spring, has changed the political landscape in the Middle East and has ramifications for the entire Muslim World. Yet the continuing success of these parties depends on their record on economic development and employment creation. Are their economic policies different from those of their autocratic predecessors? Have they been influenced by the writings of academic Islamist economists? This book looks at the impact of Islamic teaching on public economic policy and asks how Islamic economics differs from mainstream micro and macroeconomics.

“Religion and the Marketplace in the United States” (Stievermann et al., eds.)

This month, Oxford University Press releases “Religion and the Marketplace in the United States”  edited by Jan Stievermann (Heidelberg University), Philip Goff (Indiana University Indianapolis), Detlef Junker (Heidelberg University), with Anthony Santoro (Heidelberg University), and Daniel Silliman (Heidelberg University). The publisher’s description follows:

Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: “How much money will it bring in?” G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a “nation with a soul of a church.” At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics.

Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.

Conference: The Economic & Business Case for Freedom of Religion or Belief (Dec. 10)

On December 10, the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York will explore the connection between religious freedom and economic growth with a panel discussion featuring Dr. Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, and with responses from Prof. Silvio Ferrari, an expert on freedom of religion and the law, and Jeffrey French, an expert in the peacemaking potential of business.

Get more information here.

“Islam and Development: Exploring the Invisible Aid Economy,” (Clarke, et al., eds.)

This month Ashgate Publishing releases “Islam and Development: Exploring the Invisible Aid Economy,” edited by Matthew Clarke (Deakin University, Australia) and David Tittensor (Deakin University, Australia). The publisher’s description follows:

The study of Islam since the advent of 9/11 has made a significant resurgence. However, much of the work produced since then has tended to focus on the movements that not only provide aid to their fellow Muslims, but also have political and at times violent agendas. This tendency has led to a dearth of research on the wider Muslim aid and development scene.

Focusing on the role and impact of Islam and Islamic FBOs, an arena that has come to be regarded by some as the ‘invisible aid economy’, Islam and Development considers Islamic theology and its application to development and how Islamic teaching is actualized in case studies of Muslim FBOs. It brings together contributions from the disciplines of theology, sociology, politics and economics, aiming both to raise awareness and to function as a corrective step within the development studies literature.

Announcing the Libertas Project

I’m delighted to post the following announcement about the “Libertas Project,” two workshops of which will occur this summer at Villanova Law School under the able direction of Associate Dean Michael Moreland. I’ll be participating as a moderator in the religious liberty workshop together with my friend, Zak Calo. See below for the call for applications to participate.

The Libertas Project at Villanova University School of Law is seeking applications for participation in its 2014 summer workshops on religious and economic freedom. The project will seek to bring together concerns about religious freedom and economic freedom in a framework that situates both topics amid a larger conversation about freedom, law, and virtue. The Libertas Project aspires to broaden the academic and public appreciation for religious freedom as a human good, while also bringing the insights of religion to bear on conversations about economic freedom as an essential component of a free society. A more detailed description of the project’s inspiration and goals is below. The Libertas Project is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

To address these issues of religious and economic freedom, the Libertas Project will host a series of summer workshops at Villanova University School of Law. Each workshop will be comprised of approximately 20 participants drawn primarily from law but also welcoming scholars from related fields (philosophy, political science, religion, business, and economics, for example) as well as judges, policymakers, and journalists. The workshops will be structured around a set of common readings on each topic with group discussions, break-out sessions, and meals in order to foster scholarly networks and collaborative projects among the participants.

The dates for the 2014 summer workshops are July 7-9 on economic freedom and July 14-16 on religious freedom. Participants in the workshops will each receive an honorarium of $1500.

The workshop moderators will be Thomas Smith (Villanova University) and Mary Hirschfeld (Villanova University) on economic freedom, and Marc DeGirolami (St. John’s University) and Zachary Calo (Valparaiso University) on religious freedom.

The workshops will take place at Villanova University School of Law. Villanova is located 12 miles west of Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city on the East Coast. The campus is situated on Philadelphia’s suburban Main Line, and Villanova is easily accessible by train, plane, car, or regional public transportation.

Due to limited travel funds, participants are asked to obtain travel funding from their home institutions, but travel scholarships are also available.

To apply, please submit a brief statement of interest (and specifying whether you are interested in the workshop on economic freedom or religious freedom) with a current c.v. to the project leader, Michael Moreland, Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law (Moreland@law.villanova.edu) by April 30, 2014.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Libertas Project addresses two topics related to freedom in the context of law and religion in American public life: religious freedom and economic freedom.

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