New Books Network

Jolyon Baraka Thomas, “Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Jolyon Baraka Thomas’s Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2019) challenges the commonsensical notion that the Japanese empire granted its subjects no religious freedom—that, despite the legal provision in the Meiji Constitution of 1890 affirming freedom of worship, “State Shinto” was the law of the... Read More
Matthew A. Sutton, “Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War” (Basic Books, 2019)
What makes a good missionary makes a good spy. Or so thought “Wild” Bill Donovan when he secretly recruited a team of religious activists for the Office of Strategic Services. They entered into a world of lies, deception, and murder, confident that their nefarious deeds would eventually help them expand... Read More
Farhat Haq, “Shariʿa and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics” (Routledge, 2019)
Few doctrinal and political issues are more controversial in Pakistan today than that of blasphemy. In her excellent and engaging new book Shariʿa and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics (Routledge, 2019), Farhat Haq presents the history and present of blasphemy laws, debates, and politics in Pakistan, in a manner that... Read More
Yael Almog, “Secularism and Hermeneutics” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2019)
In the late Enlightenment, a new imperative began to inform theories of interpretation: all literary texts should be read in the same way that we read the Bible. However, this assumption concealed a problem—there was no coherent “we” who read the Bible in the same way. In Secularism and Hermeneutics... Read More
Oren Harman, “Evolutions: Fifteen Myths That Explain Our World” (FSG, 2018)
“There are only two ways to live your life,” said Albert Einstein, “One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle.” Oren Harman clearly agrees with Einstein’s sentiments. In Evolutions: Fifteen Myths That Explain Our World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018), Harman... Read More
Jonathan Robker, “Balaam in Text and Tradition” (Mohr Siebeck, 2019)
Balaam plays a prominent role in the book of Numbers, but who was he? Where did he come from? What was his religion? What was his occupation? The mystery of Balaam has interested exegetes and scribes for millennia. Join us as we talk to Jonathan Miles Robker about his book... Read More
Andrew Steinmann, “Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary” (IVP Academic, 2019)
Genesis is a book of origins: of the world, of sin, of God’s promise of redemption, and of the people of Israel. It traces God’s pledge of a Savior through Abraham’s line down to his great-grandson Judah. It serves as a foundation for the New Testament and its teaching that... Read More