New Books Network

Eric Dietrich, “Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World” (Columbia UP, )
Although there are many deep criticisms of a scientific view of humanity and the world, a persistent theme is that the scientific worldview eliminates mystery, and in particular, the wonders and mysteries of the world’s religions. In Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World (Columbia... Read More
Emma Jackson, “Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility” (Routledge, 2015)
What is the experience of young homeless people? What does this experience tell us about space, place and society? In Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility (Routledge, 2015), Dr. Emma Jackson, a lecturer in the Sociology Department of Goldsmith’s College, University of London, employs an ethnographic approach... Read More
Heather Kopelson, “Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic” (NYU Press, 2014)
Heather Miyano Kopelson explores how religion, primarily expressed through bodily action, contributed to colonial notions of difference in her recent book Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic (NYU Press, 2014). She examines the religious rituals of Taíno, Algonquian, and West African peoples in the New World,... Read More
Brian Epstein, “The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences” (Oxford UP, 2015)
The social sciences are about social entities – things like corporations and traffic jams, mobs and money, parents and war criminals. What is a social entity? What makes something a social entity? Traditional views hold that these things can be fully explained by facts about people – their bodies, their... Read More
Phillip Penix-Tadsen, “Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America” (MIT Press, 2016)
Symbols have meanings that change depending upon the cultural context. But how do we discuss symbols, their meanings, and their cultural contexts without an adequate vocabulary? Phillip Penix-Tadsen, assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Delaware and author of the new book Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America (MIT Press,... Read More
Krista A. Thompson, “Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice” (Duke UP, 2015)
Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, 2015) is a gorgeous book. It’s about light and the practices of self representation in diasporic and Caribbean communities. Krista A. Thompson looks carefully and sees in the glittery surfaces of contemporary art, photographic and video... Read More
Deirdre de la Cruz, “Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
There is no female religious figure so widely known and revered as the Virgin Mary. Filipino Catholics are especially drawn to Mama Mary and have a strong belief in her power, including her ability to appear to her followers. In Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino... Read More