New Books Network

Rachel Manekin, “The Rebellion of the Daughters: Jewish Women Runaways in Habsburg Galicia” (Princeton UP, 2020)
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, over three hundred young Jewish women from Orthodox, mostly Hasidic, homes in Western Galicia (now Poland) fled their communities and sought refuge in a Kraków convent, where many converted to Catholicism. Relying on a wealth of archival documents, including court testimonies, letters,... Read More
Janet Jakobsen, “The Sex Obsession: Perversity and Possibility in American Politics” (NYU Press, 2020)
Why are Americans, and American politicians more specifically, obsessed with sex? Why, in the words of Janet Jakobsen, are gender and sexuality such riveting public policy concerns the United States? In The Sex Obsession: Perversity and Possibility in American Politics (NYU Press, 2020), Jakobsen answers this question by breaking apart... Read More
Tamura Lomax, “Jezebel Unhinged: Loosing the Black Female Body in Religion and Culture” (Duke UP, 2018)
One of the central threads in the public discourse on Black womanhood is the idea of the “Jezebel.” This trope deems Black women and girls as dishonorable and sexually deviant and the stereotype is circulated from the big screen to the pulpit. Tamura Lomax, Associate Professor at Michigan State University,... Read More
Bihani Sarkar, “Heroic Shāktism: The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Heroic Saktism is the belief that a good king and a true warrior must worship the goddess Durga, the form and substance of kingship. This belief formed the bedrock of ancient Indian practices of cultivating political power. Wildly dangerous and serenely benevolent at one and the same time, the goddess’s... Read More
Sree Padma, “Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India’s Religious Traditions” (Oxford UP, 2013)
In Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India’s Religious Traditions (Oxford UP, 2013), Padma (Bowdoin College) focuses on two types of Gramadevatas or goddesses: deified women and those associated with disease and fertility. Setting these figures in the context of their Brahmanic transformation into popular goddesses and... Read More
Karen Taliaferro, “The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Religious freedom debates set blood boiling. Just consider notable Supreme Court cases of recent years such as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission or Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania. How can we reach any agreement between those who adhere strictly to the demands of divine law and... Read More
Michael Slouber, “A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond” (U California Press, 2020)
Michael Slouber‘s new book A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond (University of California Press, 2021) surveys the diversity of India’s feminine divine tradition by bringing together a fresh array of captivating and largely overlooked Hindu goddess narratives from different regions. As the first... Read More
Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)
In the early 20th-century Muslims, primarily with roots in Lebanon, began to settle in Canada’s interior plains. In 1938, the small community in Edmonton opened the first mosque in the country, which would come to play a key role in shaping Islam’s development in the Canada. Earle H. Waugh, Professor... Read More
Rita D. Sherma, “Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship” (Routledge, 2020)
What counts as contemplative practices in Hinduism? What can Hindu Studies offer Contemplative Studies as a discipline? Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship (Routledge, 2020), edited by Rita D. Sherma and Purushottama Bilimoria, explores diverse spiritual and religious Hindu practices to grapple with meditative communion and contemplation,... Read More
John Loughlin, “Human Dignity in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)
Dignity is a fundamental aspect of our lives, yet one we rarely pause to consider; our understandings of dignity, on individual, collective and philosophical perspectives, shape how we think, act and relate to others. Human Dignity in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Perspectives (Bloomsbury Academic) offers an... Read More