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.

Louis, “My Soul is in Haiti”

In December, New York University Press will release My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas by Bertin M. Louis, Jr. (University of Tennessee). The publisher’s description follows:

my-soul-is-in-haitiIn the Haitian diaspora, as in Haiti itself, the majority of Haitians have long practiced Catholicism or Vodou. However, Protestant forms of Christianity now flourish both in Haiti and beyond. In the Bahamas, where approximately one in five people are now Haitian-born or Haitian-descended, Protestantism has become the majority religion for immigrant Haitians.
In My Soul Is in Haiti, Bertin M. Louis, Jr. has combined multi-sited ethnographic research in the United States, Haiti, and the Bahamas with a transnational framework to analyze why Protestantism has appealed to the Haitian diaspora community in the Bahamas. The volume illustrates how devout Haitian Protestant migrants use their religious identities to ground themselves in a place that is hostile to them as migrants, and it also uncovers how their religious faith ties in to their belief in the need to “save” their homeland, as they re-imagine Haiti politically and morally as a Protestant Christian nation.
This important look at transnational migration between second and third world countries shows how notions of nationalism among Haitian migrants in the Bahamas are filtered through their religious beliefs. By studying local transformations in the Haitian diaspora of the Bahamas, Louis offers a greater understanding of the spread of Protestant Christianity, both regionally and globally.

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.

Marks & Dollahite, “Religion and Families”

In October, Routledge will release Religion and Families: An Introduction by Loren D. Marks (Brigham Young University) and David C. Dollahite (Brigham Young University). The publisher’s description follows:Religion and Families

This is first multidisciplinary text to address the growing scholarly connection between religion and family life. The latest literature from family studies, psychology, sociology, and religion is reviewed along with narratives drawn from interviews with 200 racially, religiously, and regionally diverse families which bring the concepts to life. Written in a thought-provoking, accessible, and sometimes humorous style by two of the leading researchers in the field, the book reflects the authors’ firsthand experience in teaching today’s students about religion’s impact on families. Prior to writing the book, the authors read the sacred texts of many faiths, interviewed religious leaders, and attended religious services for a wide array of faiths. The result is an accurate and engaging account of why and how families are impacted by their religion. Boldfaced key terms defined in the glossary, text boxes, chapter conclusions, summary points, and review questions provide a study tool at exam time.

Religion and Families: An Introduction:

– Provides the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary undergraduate text on religion and families.

-Examines a score of denominations within Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

-Reviews findings from racially and ethnically diverse families, from traditional and diverse Continue reading

Lane, “Surge of Piety”

In November, Yale University Press will release Surge of Piety: Norman Vincent Peale and the Remaking of American Religious Life by Christopher Lane (Northwestern University). The publisher’s description follows:Surge of Piety

The dramatic, untold story of how Norman Vincent Peale and a handful of conservative allies fueled the massive rise of religiosity in the United States during the 1950s

Near the height of Cold War hysteria, when the threat of all-out nuclear war felt real and perilous, Presbyterian minister Norman Vincent Peale published The Power of Positive Thinking. Selling millions of copies worldwide, the book offered a gospel of self-assurance in an age of mass anxiety.

Despite Peale’s success and his ties to powerful conservatives such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover, and Joseph McCarthy, the full story of his movement has never been told. Christopher Lane shows how the famed minister’s brand of Christian psychology inflamed the nation’s religious revival by promoting the concept that belief in God was essential to the health and harmony of all Americans. We learn in vivid detail how Peale and his powerful supporters orchestrated major changes in a nation newly defined as living “under God.” This blurring of the lines between religion and medicine would reshape religion as we know it in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Sheldon, “Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics”

In October, the Manchester University Press will release “Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics: Palestine-Israel in British universities,” by Ruth Sheldon (University of London).  The publisher’s description follows:

For over four decades, events in Palestine-Israel have provoked raging conflicts within British universities around issues of free speech, ‘extremism’, antisemitism and 9781784993146Islamophobia. But why is this conflict so significant for student activists living at such a geographical distance from the region itself? And what role do emotive, polarised communications around Palestine-Israel play in the life of British academic institutions committed to the ideal of free expression?

This book draws on original ethnographic research with student activists on different sides of this conflict to initiate a conversation with students, academics and members of the public who are concerned with the transnational politics of Palestine-Israel and with the changing role of the public university. It shows how, in an increasingly globalised world that is shaped by entangled histories of European antisemitism and colonial violence, ethnography can open up ethical responses to questions of justice

McSkimming, “Leaving Christian Fundamentalism and the Reconstruction of Identity”

In September, Routledge will release Leaving Christian Fundamentalism and the Reconstruction of Identity by Josie McSkimming (University of New South Wales). The publisher’s description follows:

Leaving Christian Fundamentalsim

There is an increasing interest in the influence of religious fundamentalism upon people’s motivation, identity and decision-making. Leaving Christian Fundamentalism and the Re-construction of Identity details the stories of those who have left Christian fundamentalist churches and how they change after they have left. It considers how the previous fundamentalist identity is shaped by aspects of church teaching and discipline that are less authoritarian and coercive, and more subtle and widely spread throughout the church body. That is, individuals are understood as not only subject to a form of judgment, but also exercise it, with everyone seemingly complicit in maintaining the stability of the church organization. This book provocatively illustrates that the reasons for leaving an evangelical Christian church may be less about what happens outside the church in terms of the lures and attractions of the secular world, and more about the experience within the community itself.


Clarke & Halofoff, “Religion and Development in the Asia-Pacific”

In September, Routledge will release “Religion and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Sacred Places as Development Spaces,” by Matthew Clarke (Deakin University) and Anna Halafoff  (Deakin University).  The publisher’s description follows:

Community development is most effective and efficient when it is situated and led at the local level and considers the social behaviours, needs and worldviews of local 9781138792364communities. With more than eight out of ten people globally self-reporting religious belief, Religion and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Sacred places as development spaces argues that the role and impact of religions on community development needs to be better understood. It also calls for greater attention to be given to the role of sacred places as sites for development activities, and for a deeper appreciation of the way in which sacred stories and teachings inspire people to work for the benefit of others in particular locations.

The book considers theories of ‘place’ as a component of successful development interventions and expands this analysis to consider the specific role that sacred places – buildings and social networks – have in planning, implementing and promoting sustainable development. A series of case studies examine various sacred places as sites for development activities. These case studies include Christian churches and disaster relief in Vanuatu; Muslim shrines and welfare provision in Pakistan; a women’s Buddhist monastery in Thailand advancing gender equity; a Jewish aid organisation providing language training to Muslim Women in Australia; and Hawaiian sacred sites located within a holistic retreat centre committed to ecological sustainability.

Religion and Development in the Asia-Pacific demonstrates the important role that sacred spaces can play in development interventions, covering diverse major world religions, interfaith and spiritual contexts, and as such will be of considerable interest for postgraduate students and researchers in development studies, religious studies, sociology of religion and geography.

Gingrich, “Out of Place”

In July, Toronto University Press released Out of Place: Social Exclusion and Mennonite Migrants in Canada by Luann Good Gingrich (York University). The publisher’s description follows:Out of Place

The flow of migrants from south to north and east to west carries with it growing concerns about the economic integration, political incorporation, and social inclusion of newcomers and their children. But what happens when a group of people deliberately excludes themselves from mainstream society? How can social policies, human services, and communities best understand and respond to them?

In Out of Place, Luann Good Gingrich explores social inclusion and exclusion in relation to the approximately 60,000 Low German-speaking Mennonites who have migrated from traditionally self-sufficient and agrarian colonies in Latin America to rural areas of Canada. By examining the free-market principles that organize the human services industry the author exposes the inherent conflict that arises when this “market logic” is imposed on a group that does not embrace these ideals. The author’s innovative approach to social policy and human services which emphasizes the relationship between dominant and subordinate cultures, encourages us to find new ways to authentically engage with difference and bridge the gaps that divide us.


Afaf, “Gendered Politics and Law in Jordan”

In August, Springer will release “Gendered Politics and Law in Jordan: Guardianship over Women,” by Afaf Jabiri (University of London).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book analyzes how the state constructs and reproduces gender identities in the context and geopolitics of Jordan. Guardianship over women is examined as not only 9783319326429the basis of women’s legal and social subordination, but also a key factor in the construction and reproduction of a gender hierarchy system. Afaf Jabiri probes how a masculine state gives power and legitimacy through guardianship to institutions—including family, religion, and tribe—in managing, producing, and constructing gender identity. Does the masculine institution succeed in imposing a dominant form of femininity? Or are there ways by which women escape and resist the social and legal construction of femininity? Based on over 60 case studies of contemporary women in Jordan, the book additionally examines how the resultant strategies and tactics developed by women in Jordan are influenced by and affect their status within the guardianship system.

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