"According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies--some evangelical, some based on identity politics--to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media--particularly web-based media--have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual."--Publisher's Web site.
|Author||: Linell E. Cady,Tracy Fessenden|
|Publisher||: Columbia University Press|
|Release Date||: 2013-11-05|
|ISBN 10||: 0231536046|
|Pages||: 344 pages|
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
"Smith provides the reader with a powerful new framework for assessing the secularization of American public life, including a wealth of new insights and historical evidence on religion in American institutions. For those interested in religion's changing role in the public arena, this is essential reading, certain to have tremendous impact."—Roger Finke, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Penn State and coauthor of Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion "Finally a much welcome sociological study of secularization that eschews assumptions of inevitability in favor of flesh-and-blood institutional histories, from the fields of education, journalism, and law to science, medicine, and even religion itself."—Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of The Creationists "Secularization has long been talked about as if it were the inevitable product of vast impersonal forces operating above our heads. In this fascinating collection, the authors descend from the stratosphere to investigate the power struggles that actually brought about secularization in education, law, and journalism. A wonderful, arresting book that gives secularization a human face."—Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief "This book is sure to evoke debate, agreement, contention, and future research by historians, sociologists, political scientists, and scholars of American religion."—Rhys H. Williams, editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Are you interested in preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation? Do you think a secular system is the only way to ensure freedom of religion and conscience for all? Do you want creationism out of classrooms, religious dogma out of health care, sectarian prayers out of government meetings, and taxpayer funding out of faith-based initiatives and programs that promote religious indoctrination? Think there s not much you can do about it? If so, as secular writer and activist Dan Arel demonstrates in word and deed, think again. Drawing on his experience fighting to keep $18 million in taxpayer money out of the construction of the Noah s Ark theme park in Kentucky, Arel makes clear that the only way to stop the Religious Right s assault on the wall separating church and state is for each of us to be active and vocal. He offers pragmatic lessons and guidance for protecting secularism, whether by raising awareness on social media, protesting in the public square, or knocking on doors in government corridors. Sharing not only his story but also the stories of other secular activists, he offers an inspirational and forceful call to action. For those who are waiting for others to stand up against antisecular forces, he reminds that each of us can make an individual difference and that ultimately we must be the wall separating church and state."
In Religious, Feminist, Activist, Laurel Zwissler investigates the political and religious identities of women who understand their social-justice activism as religiously motivated. Placing these women in historical context as faith-based activists for social change, this book discusses what their activities reveal about the public significance of religion in the pluralistic context of North America and in our increasingly globalized world. Zwissler's ethnographic interviews with feminist Catholics, Pagans, and United Church Protestants reveal radically different views of religious and political expression and illuminate how individual women and their communities negotiate issues of personal identity, spirituality, and political responsibility. Political activists of faith recount adventurous tales of run-ins with police, agonizing moments of fear and powerlessness in the face of global inequality, touching moments of community support, and successful projects that improve the lives of others. Religious, Feminist, Activist combines religion, politics, and globalization--subjects frequently discussed in macro terms--with individual personalities and intimate stories to provide a fresh perspective on what it means to be religiously and politically engaged. Zwissler also provides an insightful investigation into how religion and politics intersect for women on the political left.
What should be the place of Shari'a - Islamic religious law - in predominantly Muslim societies of the world? In this book, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist envisions a positive and sustainable role for Shari'a, based on a profound rethinking of the relationship between religion and the secular state in all societies.
We live in a time when the most appalling social injustices and unjust human sufferings no longer seem to generate the moral indignation and the political will needed both to combat them effectively and to create a more just and fair society. If God Were a Human Rights Activist aims to strengthen the organization and the determination of all those who have not given up the struggle for a better society, and specifically those that have done so under the banner of human rights. It discusses the challenges to human rights arising from religious movements and political theologies that claim the presence of religion in the public sphere. Increasingly globalized, such movements and the theologies sustaining them promote discourses of human dignity that rival, and often contradict, the one underlying secular human rights. Conventional or hegemonic human rights thinking lacks the necessary theoretical and analytical tools to position itself in relation to such movements and theologies; even worse, it does not understand the importance of doing so. It applies the same abstract recipe across the board, hoping that thereby the nature of alternative discourses and ideologies will be reduced to local specificities with no impact on the universal canon of human rights. As this strategy proves increasingly lacking, this book aims to demonstrate that only a counter-hegemonic conception of human rights can adequately face such challenges.
Jad traces the transformation of the Palestinian women’s movement from the 1930s to the post-Oslo period and through the Second Intifada to examine the often-fraught relationship between women and nationalism in Palestine. Offering one of the first intensive studies of Islamist women’s activism, Jad also explores the impact of emerging feminist NGOs in depoliticizing the secular Palestinian women’s movement. Studying these two developments together illuminates the nature of women’s engagement in the Palestinian space, challenging myths of gender roles’ "immutability" under Islamand the supposed "modernizing" benefits of Western-style activism.
Anabaptists have often felt suspicious of American evangelicalism, and in turn evangelicals have found various reasons to dismiss the Anabaptist witness. Yet at various points in the past as well as the present, evangelicals and Anabaptists have found ample reason for conversation and much to appreciate about each other. The Activist Impulse represents the first book-length examination of the complex relationship between evangelicalism and Anabaptism in the past thirty years. It brings established experts and new voices together in an effort to explore the historical and theological intersection of these two rich traditions. Each of the essays provides fresh insight on at least one characteristic that both evangelicals and Anabaptists share--an impulse to engage society through the pursuit of active Christian witness.
A new group of Americans is challenging the reign of the Religious Right Today, nearly one in five Americans are nonbelievers - a rapidly growing group at a time when traditional Christian churches are dwindling in numbers - and they are flexing their muscles like never before. Yet we still see almost none of them openly serving in elected office, while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and many others continue to loudly proclaim the myth of America as a Christian nation. In Nonbeliever Nation, leading secular advocate David Niose explores what this new force in politics means for the unchallenged dominance of the Religious Right. Hitting on all the hot-button issues that divide the country – from gay marriage to education policy to contentious church-state battles – he shows how this movement is gaining traction, and fighting for its rights. Now, Secular Americans—a group comprised not just of atheists and agnostics, but lapsed Catholics, secular Jews, and millions of others who have walked away from religion—are mobilizing and forming groups all over the country (even atheist clubs in Bible-belt high schools) to challenge the exaltation of religion in American politics and public life. This is a timely and important look at how growing numbers of nonbelievers, disenchanted at how far America has wandered from its secular roots, are emerging to fight for equality and rational public policy.
Surveys over the last twenty years have seen an ever-growing number of Americans disclaim religious affiliations and instead check the "none" box. In the first sociological exploration of organized secularism in America, Richard Cimino and Christopher Smith show how one segment of these "nones" have created a new, cohesive atheist identity through activism and the creation of communities. According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies-some evangelical, some based on identity politics-to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media-particularly web-based media-have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual. This groundbreaking study will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the growing atheist movement in America.
In This Bold And Challenging New Book, The Author Charts The Shifting Dynamics Of Religion, Community And Civil Society In An Era Which Has Seen The Concurrent Rise Of Mass Media, Globalization And Religious Fundamentalism.
As the world grapples with issues of religious fanaticism, extremist politics, and rampant violence that seek justification in either OC religiousOCO or OC secularOCO discourses, women who claim Islam as a vehicle for individual and social change are often either regarded as pious subjects who subscribe to an ideology that denies them many modern freedoms, or as feminist subjects who seek empowerment only through rejecting religion and adopting secularist discourses. Such assumptions emerge from a common trend in the literature to categorize the OCysecularOCO and the OCyreligiousOCO as polarizing categories, which in turn mitigates the identities, experiences and actions of women in Islamic societies. Yet in actuality Muslim women whose activism is grounded in Islam draw equally on principles associated with secularism. In An Islam of Her Own, Sherine Hafez focuses on womenOCOs Islamic activism in Egypt to challenge these binary representations of religious versus secular subjectivities. Drawing on six non-consecutive years of ethnographic fieldwork within a women's Islamic movement in Cairo, Hafez analyzes the ways in which women who participate in Islamic activism narrate their selfhood, articulate their desires, and embody discourses in which the boundaries are blurred between the religious and the secular.
Contributed articles chiefly on communalism and secularism in India in question and answer form.
A definitive, absorbing account of the Egyptian revolution, written by a Cairo-based Egyptian-American reporter for Foreign Policy and The Times (London), who witnessed firsthand Mubarak's demise and the country's efforts to build a democracy In early 2011, the world's attention was riveted on Cairo, where after three decades of supremacy, Hosni Mubarak was driven from power. It was a revolution as swift as it was explosive. For eighteen days, anger, defiance, and resurgent national pride reigned in the streets---protestors of all ages struck back against police and state security, united toward the common goal of liberation. But the revolution was more than a spontaneous uprising. It was the end result of years of mounting tension, brought on by a state that shamelessly abused its authority, rigging elections, silencing opposition, and violently attacking its citizens. When revolution bloomed in the region in January 2011, Egypt was a country whose patience had expired---with a people suddenly primed for liberation. As a journalist based in Cairo, Ashraf Khalil was an eyewitness to the perfect storm that brought down Mubarak and his regime. Khalil was subjected to tear gas alongside protestors in Tahrir Square, barely escaped an enraged mob, and witnessed the day-to-day developments from the frontlines. From the halls of power to the back alleys of Cairo, he offers a one-of-a-kind look at a nation in the throes of an uprising. Liberation Square is a revealing and dramatic look at the revolution that transformed the modern history of one of the world's oldest civilizations.
Preaching to Convert offers an intriguing new perspective on the outreach strategies of U.S. evangelicals. Author John Fletcher frames these activities, from door-to-door proselytizing to the spirited sermons of superstar televangelists, as examples of activist performance, broadly defined here as acts performed before an audience in the hopes of changing hearts and minds. Most writing about activist performance has focused on left-progressive causes, events, and actors, and if evangelicals have appeared at all, they often appear as one-dimensional forces of ignorance or bigotry against which brave (left-leaning) activists must fight. Preaching to Convert argues against such a constricted view of activism and for a more nuanced understanding of U.S. evangelicalism as a movement defined by its desire to win converts and spread the gospel. In other words, evangelicals are activist performers par excellence. The book positions evangelicals as a diverse, complicated group confronting the loss of conservative Christianity’s default status in twenty-first–century U.S. culture. In the face of an increasingly secular age, evangelicals have been reassessing models of outreach. In acts like handing out Bible tracts to strangers on the street or going door-to-door with a Bible in hand, in elaborately staged horror-themed morality plays or multi-million-dollar creationist discovery centers, in megachurch services beamed to dozens of satellite campuses, and in controversial “ex-gay” ministries striving to return gays and lesbians to the straight and narrow, evangelicals are redefining what it means to be deeply committed in a pluralist world. The book’s engaging style and careful argumentation make it accessible and appealing to scholars and students across a range of fields.
Religious nationalists and women’s activists have transformed India over the past century. They debated the idea of India under colonial rule, shaped the constitutional structure of Indian democracy, and questioned the legitimacy of the postcolonial consensus, as they politicized one dimension of identity. Using a historical comparative approach, the book argues that external events, activist agency in strategizing, and the political economy of transnational networks explain the relative success and failure of Hindu nationalism and the Indian women’s movement rather than the ideological claims each movement makes. By focusing on how particular activist strategies lead to increased levels of public support, it shows how it is these strategies rather than the ideologies of Hindutva and feminism that mobilize people. Both of these social movements have had decades of great power and influence, and decades of relative irrelevance, and both challenge postcolonial India’s secular settlement – its division of public and private. The book goes on to highlight new insights into the inner dynamics of each movement by showing how the same strategies - grassroots education, electoral mobilization, media management, donor cultivation - lead to similarly positive results. Bringing together the study of Hindu nationalism and the Indian women’s movement, the book will be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian Religion, Gender Studies, and South Asian Politics.
Wake Up, America! Thought-provoking new book espouses the ideals of conservatism to protect American interests Lone Pine, CA (Release Date TBD) With financial powerhouses going bankrupt or being sold, and America deep in the despair of an economic recession, there is something definitely wrong with our country today. The US Presidential elections is looming in the horizon, the chance to set this great nation back on track is an opportunity that should not be missed. Author and conservative thinker R.D. Cook enlightens readers with the problems besetting the US and proposals to correct them in this thought-provoking book, A Primer for Conservative Activism. R.D. Cook, who bills himself as An Everyday, Non-famous American, slams secular and socialist liberals in A Primer for Conservative Activism. Even some Republicans will feel his barbs as he exposes some of the more blatant abuses being forced on American citizens by all three branches of our government but more especially by the far left liberals in our society. This book identifies the problems in our country and proposes actions for conservatives and moderates to counter these erosions of the Constitution, our way of life, and national identity. Some of the areas addressed include the following: the tragedy of abortion rulings by the courts; the twisting of the meaning of the Constitution by the Supreme Court; the dangers of liberal indoctrination in our public schools; irresponsible government spending; taxes and their effects on our economy and society; the political and societal costs of illegal immigration; the dangers of Islamofascism; the misguided approach to climate change; and the true meaning of religion as intended by our Founding Fathers. Conservatives and moderates are encouraged throughout the pages of A Primer for Conservative Activism to become more informed and become activists in the conservative cause! So get a copy now. For more information, log on to www.Xlibris.com. About the Author The author was born in 1942 in Modesto California and raised through my freshman year of high school in Turlock California. Small town values were an integral part of the community I was raised in and had a profound impact on my worldview. Religion, moral and ethical values were the backbone of the community and they were practiced in every level of the community at that time. Although I did not obtain a degree from college, I concentrated on the biological and physical sciences in high school and college. I joined the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and served there for 28 years, retiring as a sergeant in 1992. Since my retirement I have worked as a heavy equipment operator in Underground utility installation and also on wetland mitigation projects. I consider myself to be politically conservative but I am registered as an Independent. A Primer for Conservative Activism * by R.D. Cook How Does Your Garden Grow? Publication Date: Trade Paperback; $24.99; 192 pages; 978-1-4363-4801-0 Cloth Hardback; $34.99; 192 pages; 978-1-4363-4802-7 To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7479. Tear sheets may be sent by regular or electronic mail to Marketing Services. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x.7876. Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at (888) 795-4274 or on the web at www.Xlibris.com.
This collection of essays concerns the development of contextualized theologies of liberation in Palestine and the indigenous Palestinian people's struggle for justice and liberation. The work is innovative because of its inclusion of indigenous perspectives within its remit and the introduction of new concepts such as civil liberation theology. The collection offers other ways to look at biblical discourses and their impact on the ongoing conflict, ways to live peace, ways to be ethical when visiting these conflicted lands, understandings of resource ethics, and even a new way to understand how we approach our understanding of liberation theology. Contributors include well-known scholars from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Palestinian-Israeli, Indian, American, and British contexts. This work goes beyond standard academic collections. It is aimed not only at scholars and students but also at peace activists and policymakers. It should be of use not only in academic courses but also for practitioners of conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation.
In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, morality, and identity are built. The inextricable embedment of religion in Muslim culture has forced a new generation of non-believing Muslims to face the heavy costs of abandoning their parents’ religion: disowned by their families, marginalized from their communities, imprisoned, or even sentenced to death by their governments. Struggling to reconcile the Muslim society he was living in as a scientist and physician and the religion he was being raised in, Ali A. Rizvi eventually loses his faith. Discovering that he is not alone, he moves to North America and promises to use his new freedom of speech to represent the voices that are usually quashed before reaching the mainstream media—the Atheist Muslim. In The Atheist Muslim, we follow Rizvi as he finds himself caught between two narrative voices he cannot relate to: extreme Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry in a post-9/11 world. The Atheist Muslim recounts the journey that allows Rizvi to criticize Islam—as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas—without demonizing his entire people. Emotionally and intellectually compelling, his personal story outlines the challenges of modern Islam and the factors that could help lead it toward a substantive, progressive reformation.