Posts Tagged ‘books’

September 23rd, 2013

The Invention of Religion in Japan

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In the book The Invention of Religion in Japan, Jason Ananda Josephson traces the roots and history of religion in Japan.

September 3rd, 2013

Reflections on summer reading

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As the fall semester gets underway, we have again invited a number of contributors to The Immanent Frame to reflect on what they’ve read these past few months on the broad topic of secularism, religion, and public life. We asked: What are the best books and essays you’ve come across this summer? What are you most looking forward to reading in the near future?

Read responses by Courtney Bender, James S. Bielo, Anderson Blanton, John D. Boy, Wendy Cadge, Simon During, Omri Elisha, M. Christian Green, Martin Kavka, Tanya Luhrmann, John Schmalzbauer, and Jeff Sharlet.

July 22nd, 2013

Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives

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In Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives, editor Anders Berg-Sørensen compiles works from leading scholars to provide an interdisciplinary, comparative approach to the debate of religion and secularism in the public sphere.

July 15th, 2013

The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable

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In his new publication, The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable, Robert Wuthnow conducted more than two hundred interviews with people of various faiths in order to analyze how middle class Americans juggle the relationship between faith and reason.

July 4th, 2013

Religious freedom and the Constitution

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Dennis J. Goldford was recently interviewed by Religion Dispatches Magazine about his new book The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics, and the First Amendment, which explores the notion of “separation of church and state” and the religious identity of America.

July 1st, 2013

No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

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In their recent publication, No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education, Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen discuss how religion has increasingly become more intertwined with the work higher education as well as how the “religious” and “secular” are blending together.

March 21st, 2013

The Future of Religious Freedom

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In The Future of Religious Freedom, editor Allen D. Hertzke assembles a diverse team of international scholars to not only determine the current status of religious freedom in the world but also understand the prospects for improvement.

December 13th, 2012

Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs

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A central source of support for the Social Science Research Council’s program on religion and the public sphere (including ongoing support for the efforts of The Immanent Frame), the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs “seeks to deepen understanding of religion as a critical but often neglected dimension of national and international policies and politics.” […]

November 15th, 2012

Los Angeles Review of Books reviews Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon

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The Los Angeles Review of Books recently reviewed TIF editor-at-large Kathryn Lofton’s book Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.

October 16th, 2012

Religion and the Political Imagination

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Religion and the Political Imagination is a volume, edited by Ira Katznelson and Gareth Stedman Jones, that brings together a group of historians and political scientists to take a new look at the theoretical and constitutional aspects of relations between religion and political institutions since the Enlightenment, in particular the theory of secularization that arose during this period.

September 21st, 2012

American secularism

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Salon has published an excerpt from a new book, How to Be Secular, where the author, Jacques Berlinerblau, diagnoses problematic connotations that have come to be associated with secularism in the United States and considers competing accounts of the history of the concept.

September 6th, 2012

The Post-Secular in Question and What Matters? reviewed

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Over at The Revealer, James S. Bielo reviews What Matters? Ethnographies of Value in a Not So Secular Age and The Post-Secular in Question: Religion in Contemporary Society, jointly published with the SSRC by Columbia University Press and New York University Press respectively.

August 6th, 2012

Contextualising Jihadi Thought

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In the recent publication, Contextualising Jihadi Thought, editors Jeevan Deol and Zaheer Kazmi compile cross-disciplinary analysis on the concept of jihadism and its impact on Middle Eastern, South Asian, and European countries.

July 24th, 2012

Paul Froese featured in New Voices

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The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) recently featured Paul Froese in their New Voices section, which recognizes leading scholars in the social sciences for outstanding and original research.

July 17th, 2012

Martha Nussbaum on religion, tolerance, and feminism

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Recently, David Johnson, Web Editor at the Boston Review, interviewed Martha Nussbaum and discussed her new publication, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age.

July 17th, 2012

Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa

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In his new publication, Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa, David Chidester explores South African indigenous religious heritage and the meaning and power of this religion in a changing South African society.

July 10th, 2012

Evolutionary theory and religion

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Charles Mathewes, of The American Interest, discusses the role of religion in evolutionary theory and analyzes two publications on this topic.

July 5th, 2012

Interview with Kathryn Lofton

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Kathryn Lofton recently sat down with Kristian Peterson of the website New Books in Religion, to discuss her recent title, Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.

June 13th, 2012

The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

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In her new publication, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, Martha C. Nussbaum discusses the growing issue of intolerance and analyzes the fear that fuels this problem.

June 5th, 2012

Translating Islam in South Asia

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At, three former International Dissertation Research Fellows (IDRF) reflect on Ronit Ricci’s Islam Translated.

May 2nd, 2012

What Matters? Ethnographies of Value in a Not So Secular Age

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Columbia University Press has just released What Matters?: Ethnographies of Value in a Not So Secular Age, edited by Courtney Bender and Ann Taves.

April 25th, 2012

Book launch: Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

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On Tuesday, May 1, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs will host the launch of Rethinking Religion and World Affairs, featuring a panel discussion with the volume’s editors, Timothy Samuel Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Duffy Toft, and three of its contributors, Michael Barnett, Thomas Farr, and Katherine Marshall.

March 13th, 2012

Cultural models and Rethinking Secularism

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Rethinking Secularism is the title of a striking new collection of essays, edited by Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen that is rich with shrewd, and often detailed and intricate, discussions of the way the political and the social, the public and the personal, are threaded with, and frequently created out of, the interpretive, the symbolic, and the imaginary. It is also a book with whose central claim I could not be in fuller agreement: the religious and the secular do not designate different ends of a historical timeline, much less a simple binary, so much as different inflections of a process beginning, at least in the West, with the slow disintegration of Latin Christendom in the Late Middle Ages, and that we have come to recognize as the longue durée of the modern.

February 15th, 2012

Globalization and secularization

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In the latest issue of the European Journal of Sociology, José Casanova reviews two recent works by eminent British sociologists: Religion and Modern Society by Bryan Turner and The Future of Christianity by David Martin.

September 23rd, 2011

The impossibility of (international) religious freedom

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Religion blogger Doughlas Remy presents his reading of Winnifred Sullivan’s The Impossibility of Religious Freedom in relation to the politics surrounding international religious freedom.

August 31st, 2011

Reflections on summer reading

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As the summer months draw to a close, we’ve turned again to a handful of our contributors, asking: What are the best books and essays on religion, secularism, and public life that you’ve come across this summer? What are you most looking forward to reading in the near future?

Read responses by Richard Amesbury, Jason Bivins, Edward E. Curtis, IV, Tracy Fessenden, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, David Kyuman Kim, Cecelia Lynch, John Lardas Modern, Justin Neuman, John Schmalzbauer, and Diane Winston.

August 12th, 2011

Secularism and its discontents

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In the current issue of the New Yorker, James Wood reviews The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now (Princeton, 2011).

August 3rd, 2011

Forthcoming SSRC book: What Matters?

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Edited by Courtney Bender and Ann Taves, and forthcoming from Columbia University Press, What Matters? Ethnographies of Value in a (not so) Secular Age is the product of a collaboration between the SSRC and the School for Advanced Research.

July 21st, 2011

Inside Scientology

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Religion Dispatches interviews Janet Reitman on her newly published book, Inside Scientology: The History of America’s Most Secretive Religion.

July 5th, 2011

The Theological and the Political

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From Fortress Press, an interview with Mark Lewis Taylor, author of The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World (Fortress, 2011).

May 12th, 2011

Crafting the secular studies syllabus

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Pitzer College having announced that it will offer a major in “secular studies,” the Harvard University Press Blog compiles a list of titles essential to the subject.

March 23rd, 2011

Roy reviewed

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Daniel Mahoney, author of The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order, reviewed Olivier Roy’s Holy Ignorance in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

March 23rd, 2011

All surface, no substance?

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Garry Wills does not like Dreyfus and Kelly’s All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age.

March 18th, 2011

Lives of Great Religious Books

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Next Thursday, March, 24, NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the SSRC’s Program on Religion and the Public Sphere will host the launch of Princeton University Press’ new book series, “The Lives of Great Religious Books.”

March 8th, 2011

A review of Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age

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Abraham Rubin reviews Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age at the blog of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo School of Law.

March 7th, 2011

A review of Paul Cliteur’s The Secular Outlook

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J. Caleb Clanton reviews Paul Cliteur’s The Secular Outlook, which aims “to show how religious believers and unbelievers can live peacefully together and what principles the state should try to stimulate in its citizenry to achieve social harmony and social cohesion.”

February 7th, 2011

Still in the province of philosophy

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Alva Noë criticizes The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.

January 27th, 2011

David Sehat: the moral establishment of American Protestantism

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David Sehat talks about his new book, The Myth of American Religious Freedom, in a two-part interview with Paul Harvey on the Religion in American History blog.

December 16th, 2010

Discussing After Pluralism

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Last week, Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life hosted a panel discussion with several contributors to the volume After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement. Moderated by Craig Calhoun, the panel featured commentary by Courtney Bender, Rosemary Hicks, Janet Jakobsen, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, and J. Terry Todd. Listen to the panel discussion here.

August 31st, 2010

Reflections on summer reading

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As the start of the fall semester inches closer, we’ve invited a handful of our contributors to reflect on what they’ve read over the summer. We asked:

What are the best books and essays on religion, secularism, and public life that you’ve come across this summer? What are you most looking forward to reading in the near future?

Read responses from Richard Amesbury, Courtney Bender, Jason Bivins, Tracy Fessenden, David Kyuman Kim, Pamela Klassen, Patrick Lee Miller, John Schmalzbauer, James K.A. Smith, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, and John Torpey.

August 23rd, 2010

‘Legitimate’ Laicite

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Margarita Mooney review’s Raphael Liogier’s ‘Legitimate’ Laicite: France and its State Religions (Entrelacs, 2006) in Contemporary Sociology (sub. required).

August 6th, 2010

After the postsecular

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Inside Higher Ed interviews Anthony Paul Smith and Daniel Whistler, the editors of the recently-published volume After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion. They highlight the experimental aspects of newer work in the philosophy of religion, which often means revisiting philosophers from the past two centuries and reading them anew in the wake of Deleuze.

August 5th, 2010

Islamic feminism

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Is secular feminism feasible in the Middle East and throughout the Muslim-majority nations of the world? Isobel Coleman, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that it cannot subsist on its own and that it must be allied with a form of Islamic feminism. In her most recent book, Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East, she argues that we are already witnessing the emergence of many progressive social movements within the Islamic world.

July 28th, 2010

What does it mean to be cool and Christian?

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Thomas Turner, author of the blog Everyday Liturgy, interviews Brett McCracken on his new book, Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide. Focusing mainly on the role of music in popular Christian youth culture, the interview also covers the driving question behind McCracken’s book: can, or perhaps should, Christianity be “on trend”?

July 28th, 2010

“Theologians seldom write memoirs”

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“Theologians seldom write memoirs.”  This, Stanley Hauerwas concedes in a follow up to his recent memoir: Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir (2010).  It is precisely this sentiment that makes the entire project intriguing.  Stanley Hauerwas, named “America’s best theologian” by Time magazine shortly before the September 11 attacks in 2001, “has made himself a very fine career as an iconoclastic ethicist, condemning assimilationist Christianity, academic “respectability,” the military, ill treatment of the differently-abled, and any number of other contemporary issues where Christian mediocrity is laid bare.”  With this description of the author taken to heart, Jack Downey, a doctoral candidate in Theology at Fordham University, reviews this memoir and looks to identify why and how he wrote it.

July 27th, 2010

Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism

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John Calvert, Professor of History at Creighton University and a specialist in political Islam, in hisforthcoming biography of Sayyid Qutb, “rescues Qutb from misrepresentation, tracing the evolution of his thought within the context of his time.”  InSayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism(2010), he does not look to absolve Qutb of his virulent rhetoric but pushes the reader to understand Qutb in his own setting and time and to delve deeper into the writing of the influential Islamist thinker. Qutb, who was executed in Egypt in 1966, has been studied extensively but Thomas Hegghammer from Harvard University states: “We are dealing with a rare book that is likely to become a classic in the field of political Islam.”

July 21st, 2010

Tamara Sonn on The Future of Islam

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Tamara Sonn, Professor of Religion and Humanities at the College of William and Mary, reviews The Future of Islam, by John L. Esposito.

June 30th, 2010

“The Lady Twilight”

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Over at Killing the Buddha, William Dalrymple is excerpting his new book, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India.

June 28th, 2010

Muslim political history: two views from the West

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In this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review, Max Rodenbeck has an essay on two recent books on Islam: Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East, by Bernard Lewis, and Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam, by Fred M. Donner. Rodenbeck suggests that these two works, though both published quite recently, are representative of two very different approaches to the history of Islam.

June 24th, 2010

Is internet dependence sacrilegious?

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Commenting on Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, Religion dispatches’ Jonathan L. Walton cites an absent discussion: the relationship between texting, twittering, and tweening and religious worship.