In June, Routledge will release “Christian Churches in European Integration” by Sergei A. Mudrov (Baranovichi State University). The publisher’s description follows:
All too often religion is largely ignored as a driver of identity formation in the European context, whereas in reality Christian Churches are central players in European identity formation at the national and continental level. Christian Churches in European Integration challenges this tendency, highlighting the position of churches as important identity formers and actors in civil society. Analysing the role of Churches in engaging with two specific EU issues—that of EU treaty reform and ongoing debates about immigration and asylum policy—the author argues that Churches are unique participants in European integration. Establishing a comprehensive view of Christian Churches as having a vital role to play in European integration, this book offers a substantial and provocative contribution both to our understanding of the European Union and the broader question of how religious and state institutions interact with each another.
In February, Four Courts Press released “Violence, Politics and Catholicism in Ireland,” by Oliver P. Rafferty (Boston College). The publisher’s description follows:
This collection of essays looks at the interrelated themes of Catholicism, violence and politics in the Irish context in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although much effort was expended by institutional Catholicism in trying to curb the violent propensities of the Fenians in the nineteenth century and the IRA in the twentieth, its efforts were largely unsuccessful. Ironically, Catholicism had greater achievements to boast of in its influence in the British Empire as a whole than over its wayward flock in Ireland. But there was a cost in the church’s commitment to British imperial expansion that did not always sit easily with growing nationalist expectations in Ireland.
Although it provided support for the British forces in the First World War, by the time of the Second World War the church’s views of that conflict differed little from those of the government of independent Ireland, although there were sufficient differences that ensured Catholicism was not just nationalism at prayer.
These and other issues such as religious perceptions of the Famine, Cardinal Cullen’s role in shaping the ethos of Irish Catholicism and the role of memory, including religious memory, in Irish violence combine to make this a fascinating study.
In June, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Islam and Competing Nationalisms in the Middle East, 1876-1926” by Kamal Soleimani (historian of the Modern Middle East and Islamic world). The publisher’s description follows:
Opposing a binary perspective that consolidates ethnicity, religion, and nationalism into separate spheres, this book demonstrates that neither nationalism nor religion can be studied in isolation in the Middle East. Religious interpretation, like other systems of meaning-production, is affected by its historical and political contexts, and the processes of interpretation and religious translation bleed into the institutional discourses and processes of nation-building. This book calls into question the foundational epistemologies of the nation-state by centering on the pivotal and intimate role Islam played in the emergence of the nation-state, showing the entanglements and reciprocities of nationalism and religious thought as they played out in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Middle East.
Last month, Springer released “Muslim-Christian Relations in Late-Ottoman Palestine: Where Nationalism and Religion Intersect,” by Erik Freas (Manhattan Community College, CUNY). The publisher’s description follows:
Numerous factors underlie the dynamic shaping of present day Muslim-Christian Arab relations as well as the formulation of Arab national identity. In Muslim- Christian Relations in Late-Ottoman Palestine, Erik Freas argues that paramount among these were three developments that transpired in the late-Ottoman period, of which Palestine provides a microcosm. One is that non-Arabic-speaking Christian communities began to define identity in nationalistic terms on the basis of faith. Second, with their transformation into politically equal Ottoman citizens, Christians were generally more intent on taking advantage of their new rights rather than with fulfilling civil obligations. Finally, for most Muslim Arabs, the transition from identifying primarily as ‘Muslim’ to ‘Arab’ in terms of their broader communal affiliation often entailed little change in how they experienced communal identity in the day-to-day. Taken together, the analysis of these developments provides an in-depth examination of Muslim-Christian Arab relations in Palestine during the nineteenth century as well as the long-term implications of these changes on the manner of Arab national identity’s formulation.
In November, Routledge will release “Islam and Nationalism in India: South Indian Contexts” by M.T. Ansari (University of Hyderabad, India). The publisher’s description follows:
Islam in India, as elsewhere, continues to be seen as a remainder in its refusal to “conform” to national and international secular-modern norms. Such a general perception has also had a tremendous impact on the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, who as individuals and communities have been shaped and transformed over centuries of socio-political and historical processes, by eroding their world-view and steadily erasing their life-worlds.
This book traces the spectral presence of Islam across narratives to note that difference and diversity, demographic as well as cultural, can be espoused rather than excised or exorcized. Focusing on Malabar – home to the Mappila Muslim community in Kerala, South India – and drawing mostly on Malayalam sources, the author investigates the question of Islam from various angles by constituting an archive comprising popular, administrative, academic, and literary discourses. The author contends that an uncritical insistence on unity has led to a formation in which “minor” subjects embody an excess of identity, in contrast to the Hindu-citizen whose identity seemingly coincides with the national. This has led to Muslims being the source of a deep-seated anxiety for secular nationalism and the targets of a resurgent Hindutva in that they expose the fault-lines of a geographically and socio-culturally unified nation.
An interdisciplinary study of Islam in India from the South Indian context, this book will be of interest to scholars of modern Indian history, political science, literary and cultural studies, and Islamic studies.
This month, The University of Chicago Press releases “Revival and Awakening: American Evangelical Missionaries in Iran and the Origins of Assyrian Nationalism” by Adam Becker (New York University). The publisher’s description follows:
Most Americans have little understanding of the relationship between religion and nationalism in the Middle East. They assume that the two are rooted fundamentally in regional history, not in the history of contact with the broader world. However, as Adam H. Becker shows in this book, Americans—through their missionaries—had a strong hand in the development of a national and modern religious identity among one of the Middle East’s most intriguing (and little-known) groups: the modern Assyrians. Detailing the history of the Assyrian Christian minority and the powerful influence American missionaries had on them, he unveils the underlying connection between modern global contact and the retrieval of an ancient identity.
American evangelicals arrived in Iran in the 1830s. Becker examines how these missionaries, working with the “Nestorian” Church of the East—an Aramaic-speaking Christian community in the borderlands between Qajar Iran and the Ottoman Empire—catalyzed, over the span of sixty years, a new national identity. Instructed at missionary schools in both Protestant piety and Western science, this indigenous group eventually used its newfound scriptural and archaeological knowledge to link itself to the history of the ancient Assyrians, which in time led to demands for national autonomy. Exploring the unintended results of this American attempt to reform the Orient, Becker paints a larger picture of religion, nationalism, and ethnic identity in the modern era.
This December, Oxford University Press will release “Religion and Nation in South India: Maraimalai Adigal, the Neo-Saivite Movement and Tamil Nationalism, 1876-1950” by Ravi Vaitheespara (University of Manitoba). The publisher’s description follows:
While most scholarship on nationalism have focused on the recent secular foundations of nationalism, this work examines the religious roots of nationalism and specifically the (Neo) Shaivite roots of Tamil nationalism and the Dravidian movement. The book traces the anti-Aryan, anti-Brahmin character of Tamil nationalism and the Dravidian movement to the Tamil Neo-Shaivite movement that emerged against the background of Neo-Vedantic and Vaishnavite revivalist current that accompanied the rise of pan-Indian nationalism. Drawing from a range of influences including European Orientalist and Missionary critiques of the philosophical idealism found in Brahmanism and Neo-Vedantic thought, the Neo-Shaivite articulation of non-Brahmin Tamil nationalism endowed Tamil nationalism with a critical spirit and critical grammar that not only rejected such idealism—but also celebrated the more firmly grounded and sensuous Tamil tradition celebrated in ancient Tamil and Bhakti poetry. The book presents these insights and arguments through a critical exploration of the life and work of Maraimalai Adigal (1876-1950) who not only played a central role in consolidating the intellectual and cultural foundation for non-Brahmin Tamil nationalism but whose life intersected with many of the pioneer figures in the Tamil nationalist and Dravidian movement.
This December, Routledge Press will release “Politics of Religion and Nationalism: Federalism, Consociationalism and Secession” edited by Ferran Requejo and Klaus-Jürgen Nagel (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona). The publisher’s description follows:
There are numerous examples of how religion and nationalism intertwine. In some cases, a common religion is the fundamental marker of a nation’s identity, whereas in others secular nationalism tries to hold together people of different religious beliefs.
This book examines the link between religion and nationalism in contemporary polities. By exploring case studies on India, Russia, Israel, Canada, Chechnya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Catalonia and the Basque Country, it seeks to understand the relationship between these two key societal forms of diversity and assess the interaction between religious and nationalist perspectives. Expert contributors examine a variety of phenomena, including secular nationalism, secessionism, and polities in which religious pluralism is evolving.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, religion and politics, nationalism, federalism, secession, political philosophy, racial and ethnic politics and comparative politics.
Next month, Manchester University Press will publish Freedom and the Fifth Commandment: Catholic Priests and Political Violence in Ireland, 1919–21, by Brian Heffernan (Independent Scholar). The publisher’s description follows.
The guerilla war waged between the IRA and the crown forces between 1919 and 1921 was a pivotal episode in the modern history of Ireland. This book addresses the War of Independence from a new perspective by focusing on the attitude of a powerful social elite: the Catholic clergy.
The close relationship between Irish nationalism and Catholicism was put to the test when a pugnacious new republicanism emerged after the 1916 Easter rising. When the IRA and the crown forces became involved in a guerilla war between 1919 and 1921, priests had to define their position anew.
Using a wealth of source material, much of it newly available, this book assesses the clergy’s response to political violence. It describes how the image of shared victimhood at the hands of the British helped to contain tensions between the clergy and the republican movement, and shows how the links between Catholicism and Irish nationalism were sustained.