New Books Network

Waitman Beorn, “Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus” (Harvard UP, 2013)
The question of Wehrmacht complicity in the Holocaust is an old one. What might be called the “received view” until recently was that while a small number of German army units took part in anti-Jewish atrocities, the great bulk of the army neither knew about nor participated in the Nazi... Read More
Ahmed El Shamsy, “The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
In his brilliant new book, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History (Cambridge UP, 2013), Ahmed El Shamsy, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago, explores the question of how the discursive tradition of Islamic law was canonized during the eighth and ninth centuries CE.... Read More
Leora Batnitzky, “How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought” (Princeton UP, 2011)
From her first book about the Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig, Leora Batnitzky has been heralded as a rising star in contemporary Jewish thought and the philosophy of religion. Batnitzky, a professor of Jewish studies and chair of the Department of Religion at Princeton University,  joins host Jonathan Judaken to discuss the social construction of religion, the... Read More
James A. Lindsay, “Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly” (Onus Books, 2013)
In the depths of the internet there is many an article discussing the infinity of God. Its authors argue that God is infinite and endless and knows no bounds (what the difference is among those attributes is not usually explained). Imputing infinity to God is nothing new – one rarely... Read More
Lawrence J. Friedman, “The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet” (Columbia UP, 2013)
Erich Fromm, one of the most widely known psychoanalysts of the previous century, was involved in the exploration of spirituality throughout his life. His landmark book The Art of Loving, which sold more than six million copies worldwide, is seen as a popular handbook on how to relate to others... Read More
Darrin M. McMahon, “Divine Fury: A History of Genius” (Basic Books, 2013)
Here’s an odd thing: there really haven’t been any universally-acclaimed geniuses since Einstein. At least I can’t think of any. Really smart people, yes. But geniuses per se, no. It seems Einstein was such a genius that he destroyed the entire concept of genius for us. Or perhaps we’ve just... Read More
Carla Bellamy, “The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place” (University of California Press, 2011)
In The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place (University of California Press, 2011), Carla Bellamy explores the role of saint shrines in India, while focusing on a particular venue known as Husain Tekri, or “Husain Hill.” Through her in-depth ethnographic research, Bellamy’s monograph provides vivid description and... Read More