New Books Network

Kevin Schilbrack, “Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014)
Very often evaluative questions about cultural phenomena are avoided for more descriptive or explanatory goals when approaching religions. Traditionally, this set of concerns has been left to philosophers of religion. In Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), Kevin Schilbrack, professor of Religious Studies at Appalachian State... Read More
Benjamin Lieberman, “Remaking Identities: God, Nation and Race in World History” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)
What do you say to someone who suggests that genocide is not just destructive, but constructive? This is the basic theme of Benjamin Lieberman‘s excellent new book Remaking Identities:  God, Nation and Race in World History (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013). The book surveys two thousand years of history to explain how people have... Read More
William Arnal and Russell T. McCutcheon, “The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of Religion” (Oxford UP, 2013)
What brings us together as scholars in Religious Studies? Are the various social phenomena commonly grouped together as religion really that similar? The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of “Religion” (Oxford University Press, 2012) adds to this ongoing debate over whether ‘religion’ is a useful explanatory term. In... Read More
Morris B. Hoffman, “The Punisher’s Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
Why do we feel guilty–and sometimes hurt ourselves–when we harm someone? Why do we become angry–and sometimes violent–when we see other people being harmed? Why do we forgive ourselves and others after a transgression even though “the rules” say we really shouldn’t? In his fascinating book The Punisher’s Brain: The... Read More
Cymene Howe, “Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua” (Duke UP, 2013)
With Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua (Duke University Press, 2013), Cymene Howe offers an ethnography of activism. Woven into Nicaragua’s political history of revolution and U.S. intervention, the struggle for sexual rights there takes place on three stages: in intimate settings of lesbian discussion groups,... Read More
Anne Allison, “Precarious Japan” (Duke University Press, 2013)
“[All] I want to eat is a rice ball.” This was the last entry in the diary of a 52-year-old man who starved to death in an apartment he had occupied for 20 years. His is just one of many voices of the precarity of everyday life and death that... Read More
Denise Brennan, “Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States” (Duke UP, 2014)
Denise Brennan‘s second book, Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States (Duke University Press, 2014), examines how individuals who were trafficked into forced labor go about rebuilding their lives afterward. Through her ethnography of lived experience and her analysis of immigration policy, Brennan shows that trafficking and forced... Read More