New Books Network

Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, “None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada” (NYU Press, 2020)
In recent decades, the number of Americans and Canadians who identify has nonreligious has risen considerably. With nearly one quarter of Canadian and American adults identifying as nonreligious, religious “nones” represent a sizable and growing group within the Canadian and American populations. In their recent book, None of the Above:... Read More
Vaneesa Cook, “Spiritual Socialists: Religion and the American Left” (U Penn Press, 2019)
In this episode of the podcast, Vaneesa Cook discusses her new book Spiritual Socialists: Religion and the American Left (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). The book shows that there is a deep religious strain within the American Left despite contrary common perceptions. Leftists Cook calls spiritual socialists believed the basic... Read More
Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
Muslims living in locations like Australia, Europe, or North America exist within a context dominated by white racial norms and are forced to grapple with those conventions on a daily basis. If they succeed in meeting the presiding criterion of secular liberalism they can be dubbed a “moderate” Muslim by... Read More
Johan Elverskog, “The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia” (U Penn Press, 2020)
Challenging the popular image of Buddhism as a religion intrinsically concerned with the environment, Dr. John Elverskog’s new monograph, The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia (University of Pennsylvania Press 2020), demonstrates that Buddhist institutions across Asia have actually been intimately connected to the accumulation of wealth, the consumption... Read More
C. M. Driscoll and M. R. Miller, “Method as Identity: Manufacturing Distance in the Academic Study of Religion” (Lexington, 2018)
In the study of religion there are various camps that each approach their subjects in unique ways. Each method is shaped by particular interpretive choices, such as to be objectively neutral, experientially invested, or use scientific measures, for example. Whatever strategy one uses there is a relationship between one’s social... Read More
Kathleen Gallagher Elkins, “Mary, Mother of Martyrs” (FSR, 2018)
Throughout Christian history, the Virgin Mary has been idealized as a self-sacrificing mother and a model for all Christian women to emulate. However, she is one of many ancient maternal figures whose narratives pivot on violent loss. In her 2018 monograph Mary, Mother of Martyrs: How Motherhood Became Self-Sacrifice in... Read More
Betsy Gaines Quammen, “American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West” (Torrey House, 2020)
In 2014, the cattle rancher Cliven Bundy entered the national spotlight after a showdown against federal officials over grazing rights on public lands. Two years later, his sons seized the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and occupied it for forty days with militia and sovereign citizen groups. As journalists rushed... Read More
John D. Caputo, “Hoping Against Hope” (Fortress Press, 2015)
John D. Caputo has a long career as one of the preeminent postmodern philosophers in America. The author of such books as Radical Hermeneutics, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida, and The Weakness of God, Caputo now reflects on his spiritual journey from a Catholic altar boy in 1950s... Read More