In August, Oxford University Press will release “London Youth, Religion, and Politics: Engagement and Activism from Brixton to Brick Lane,” by Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (King’s College London). The publisher’s description follows:
For more than a decade the “Muslim question” on integration and alleged extremism has vexed Europe, revealing cracks in long-held certainties about the role of religion in public life. Secular assumptions are being tested not only by the growing presence of Muslims but also by other fervent new arrivals such as Pentecostal Christians. London Youth, Religion, and Politics focuses on young adults of immigrant parents in two inner-city London areas: the East End and Brixton. It paints vivid portraits of dozens of young men and women met at local cafes, on park benches, and in council estate stairwells, and provides reason for a measured hope.
In East End streets like Brick Lane, revivalist Islam has been generating more civic integration although this comes at a price that includes generational conflict and cultural amnesia. In Brixton, while the influence of Pentecostal and traditional churches can be limited to family and individual renewal, there are signs that this may be changing. This groundbreaking work offers insight into the lives of urban Muslim, Christian, and non-religious youth. In times when the politics of immigration and diversity are in flux, it offers a candid appraisal of multiculturalism in practice.
In May, Routledge will release “Europe and Islam” edited by Erik Jones (Johns Hopkins University) and Saskia van Genugten (UAE-based researcher). The publisher’s description follows:
This book provides an in depth analysis of the challenging relationship between Europe and Islam. The general chapters on secularism, security, identity and solidarity show the challenge of promoting a stable multi-cultural society. In depth analysis of France, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, and Italy reveal the extent to which this challenge of stable multiculturalism differs from one country to the next. The argument that emerges is not that Europe and Islam are incompatible. Rather it is that reconciling the tensions that arise from the mixing of different cultures will require enormous patience, understanding, and investment. The contributors represent some of the leading voices in debates about European politics – and not just those focusing narrowly on the question of Islam. Hence this volume offers both a gateway to understanding the special relationship between Europe and the Muslim world and a means of tying that understanding to the future of European integration. This book was previously published as a special issue of The International Spectator.
In May, Routledge will release “South Asian Islam and British Multiculturalism” by Amir Ali (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India). The publisher’s description follows:
This book analyses South Asian Islam’s engagement with the West, and Britain in particular. It traces the roots of British multiculturalism to South Asia and the Deobandi school of Islam. The work shows how the pattern of interaction that initially emerged between the Deobandi Muslims and the colonial British state in late-19th century replicated itself in the British society in the second half of 20th century. The monograph reflects upon Islam’s ‘compatibility’ with liberal democracy as well as explores how it contributed to its origins in the Enlightenment ethos.
A nuanced, sensitive and topical study, this book will be essential to understanding the world in the light of contemporary world events—Paris 13/11 and Charlie Hebdo attacks, the Danish cartoon controversy, and the Trojan Horse incident in certain British schools as well as the much earlier Rushdie affair. It will be of great interest to researchers and scholars of political science, religion, political Islam, British and South Asian Studies, and history.
In May, Springer will release “Cultural, Religious and Political Contestations” edited by Fethi Mansouri (Deakin University). The publisher’s description follows:
This book examines the foundations of multiculturalism in the context of émigré societies and from a multi-dimensional perspective. The work considers the politics of multiculturalism and focuses on how the discourse of cultural rights and intercultural relations in western societies can and should be accounted for at a philosophical, as well as performative level. Theoretical perspectives on current debates about cultural diversity, religious minorities and minority rights emerge in this volume.
The book draws our attention to the polarised nature of contemporary multicultural debates through a well-synthesised series of empirical case studies that are grounded in solid epistemological foundations and contributed by leading experts from around the world. Readers will discover a fresh re-examination of prominent multicultural settings such as Canada and Australia but also an emphasis on less examined case studies among multicultural societies, as with New Zealand and Italy.
Authors engage critically and innovatively with the various ethical challenges and policy dilemmas surrounding the management of cultural and religious diversity in our contemporary societies. Comparative perspectives and a focus on core questions related to multiculturalism, not only at the level of practice but also from historical and philosophical perspectives, tie these chapters from different disciplines together. This work will appeal to a multi-disciplinary audience, including scholars of political philosophy, sociology, religious studies and those with an interest in migration, culture and religion in contemporary societies.
This May, Columbia University Press will release “Rawls’s Political Liberalism” edited by Thom Brooks (Durham University), and Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago). The publisher’s description follows:
Widely hailed as one of the most significant works in modern political philosophy, John Rawls’s Political Liberalism (1993) defended a powerful vision of society that respects reasonable ways of life, both religious and secular. These core values have never been more critical as anxiety grows over political and religious difference and new restrictions are placed on peaceful protest and individual expression.
This anthology of original essays suggests new, groundbreaking applications of Rawls’s work in multiple disciplines and contexts. Thom Brooks, Martha Nussbaum, Onora O’Neill (University of Cambridge), Paul Weithman (University of Notre Dame), Jeremy Waldron (New York University), and Frank Michelman (Harvard University) explore political liberalism’s relevance to the challenges of multiculturalism, the relationship between the state and religion, the struggle for political legitimacy, and the capabilities approach. Extending Rawls’s progressive thought to the fields of law, economics, and public reason, this book helps advance the project of a free society that thrives despite disagreements over religious and moral views.
This December, Oxford University Press will release “Mapping the Legal Boundaries: Religion and Multiculturalism from Israel to Canada” edited by Rene Provost (McGill University). The publisher’s description follows:
For several decades, culture played a central role in challenging the liberal tradition. More recently however, religion has re-emerged as one of the central challenges facing Western liberal societies’ conception of multiculturalism. Mapping the Legal Boundaries of Belonging explores the complex relationship between religion and multiculturalism and the role of the state and law in the creation of boundaries.
The intersection between religion, nationalism and other vectors of difference in Canada and Israel offer an ideal laboratory in which to examine multiculturalism in particular and the governance of diversity in general. The contributors to this volume investigate concepts of religious difference and diversity and the ways in which these two states and legal systems understand and respond to them. As a consequence of a purportedly secular human rights perspective, they show, state laws may appear to define religious identity in a way that contradicts the definition found within a particular religion. Both state and religion make the same mistake if they take a court decision that emphasizes individual belief and practice as effecting a direct modification of a religious norm: the court lacks the power to change the authoritative internal definition of who belongs to a particular faith. Similarly, in the pursuit of a particular model of social diversity, the state may adopt policies that imply a particular private/public distinction foreign to some religious traditions.
This month Polity Books will publish Multiculturalism by Tariq Modood (University of Bristol). The publisher’s description follows.
At a time when many public commentators are turning against multiculturalism in response to fears about militant Islam, immigration or social cohesion, Tariq Modood, one of the world’s leading authorities on multiculturalism, provides a distinctive contribution to these debates. He contends that the rise of Islamic terrorism has neither discredited multiculturalism nor heralded a clash of civilizations. Instead, it has highlighted a central challenge for the 21st century – the urgent need to include Muslims in contemporary conceptions of democratic citizenship.
In the second edition of this popular and compelling book, Modood updates his original argument with two new chapters. He reassesses the relationship between multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and assimilation, demonstrating that multiculturalism is crucial for successful integration. He also argues that while multiculturalism poses a significant challenge to existing forms of secularism, this challenge should not be exaggerated into a crisis. In so doing, Modood adds new vigor to the claim that multiculturalism remains a living force which is shaping our polities, even as its death is repeatedly announced.
This book will appeal to students, researchers and teachers of politics, sociology and public policy, as well as to anyone interested in the prospects of multiculturalism today.
This December, Wilfrid Laurier University Press will publish Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent: Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic Schooling in Canada edited by Graham P. McDonough (University of Victoria), Nadeem A. Memon (Islamic Teacher Education Program and Wilfrid Laurier University), and Avi I. Mintz (University of Tulsa). The publisher’s description follows.
The education provided by Canada’s faith-based schools is a subject of public, political, and scholarly controversy. As the population becomes more religiously diverse, the continued establishment and support of faith-based schools has reignited debates about whether they should be funded publicly and to what extent they threaten social cohesion.
These discussions tend to occur without considering a fundamental question: How do faith-based schools envision and enact their educational missions?Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent offers responses to that question by examining a selection of Canada’s Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic schools. The daily reality of these schools is illuminated through essays that address the aims and practices that characterize these schools, how they prepare their students to become citizens of a multicultural Canada, and how they respond to dissent in the classroom.
The essays in this book reveal that Canada’s faith-based schools sometimes succeed and sometimes struggle in bridging the demands of the faith and the need to create participating citizens of a multicultural society. Discussion surrounding faith-based schools in Canada would be enriched by a better understanding of the aims and practices of these schools, and this book provides a gateway to the subject.
Julian Rivers (U. of Bristol Law School) has posted The Secularisation of the British Constitution. The abstract follows.
In recent years, the relationship between law and religion has been subject to increased scholarly interest. In part this is the result of new laws protecting religious liberty and non-discrimination, and it may be that overall levels of litigation have increased as well. In all this activity, there are signs that the relationship between law and religion is changing. While unable to address every matter of detail, this article seeks to identify the underlying themes and trends. It starts by suggesting that the constitutional settlement achieved by the end of the nineteenth century has often been overlooked, religion only appearing in the guise of inadequately theorised commitments to individual liberty and equality. The article then considers the role of multiculturalism in promoting recent legal changes. However, the new commitment to multiculturalism cannot explain a number of features of the law: the minimal impact of the Human Rights Act 1998, the uncertain effect of equality legislation, an apparent rise in litigation in established areas of law and religion, and some striking cases in which acts have been found to be unlawful in surprising ways. In contrast, the article proposes a new secularisation thesis. The law is coming to treat religions as merely recreational and trivial. This has the effect of reducing the significance of religion as a matter of conscience, as legal system and as a context for public service. As a way of managing the ever-deepening forms of religious diversity present within the United Kingdom, such a secularisation strategy is implausible.