Monday, May 12th, marked the ninth and final phase of India’s general elections, and the results announced in coming hours will likely declare Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister. Modi, the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance, would then lead the world largest democracy—one with a staggering 814.5 million registered voters—but has been denied entry into ours: for almost a decade, the Department of State has banned Modi from entering the United States. Looking back at how this came to be highlights the uneven history of religious freedom as part of American foreign policy.Read the rest of The complicated case of Narendra Modi’s visa.
Wei Zhu is a program associate for the SSRC program on Religion and the Public Sphere and an editorial associate for The Immanent Frame. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics and in International Relations. He tweets at @newyorkwei.
Posts by Wei Zhu:
On April 7th the Quebec Liberal Party won a majority government in the 41st Quebec general election, with incumbent Parti Québécois, and its controversial Charter of Quebec Values, finishing second.Read the rest of The Charter of Quebec Values derailed.
In a recently published edited volume, Varieties of Religious Establishment, editors Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Lori G. Beaman asks contributors to think about religion in public life by considering varieties of religious establishment, rather than of religious freedom.Read the rest of Varieties of Religious Establishment.
In his new book, Securing the Sacred, Robert M. Bosco examines how secular states attempt to understand and engage religious ideas and actors in the name of national security.Read the rest of Securing the Sacred: Religion, National Security, and the Western State.
Recently, The New York Times published an article by Nicholas Kristof that lamented how academics, cloistered like medieval monks, have retreated from the public policy arena. Kristof cites a few institutional reasons for this phenomenon, including the decline in humanities funding, but also critiques academics for marginalizing themselves. The column has, unsurprisingly, triggered a debate among academics, policy-makers, and journalists about the merits of Kristof’s arguments, as well as potential causes and solutions.Read the rest of Are academics cloistered?.
On May 22-23, 2014, John Cabot University, as part of its Summer Institute for Religion and Global Politics will host an international conference entitled “Rethinking Political Catholicism: Empirical and Normative Perspectives.”Read the rest of CFP: Rethinking Political Catholicism.
Walking down Bowne Street in Flushing, Queens, you may see a most interesting sign. “Bowne House; Built in 1661,” it reads, “A National Shrine to Religious Freedom.” Flushing is known for many things—the New York Mets, for example, or its Chinatown. It is not, however, known for being the location of one of the first debates over religious conscience and tolerance in the American colonies.Read the rest of The forgotten story of the Flushing Remonstrance.