Sikivu Hutchinson, “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels” (Infidel Books, 2013)
Why does it seem like everyone in the atheist movement is white and male? Are African-American women less interested in secularism? In her book, Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (Infidel Books, 2013), Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson critiques the mainstream atheist movement’s lack of diversity and uncovers some of the reasons... Read More
Michael D. Bailey, “Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies: The Boundaries of Superstition in Late Medieval Europe” (Cornell University Press, 2013)
Superstitions flourish in our world–think of the elaborate rituals of baseball players, or knocking wood to avoid tempting fate, or that bit of happiness (or relief) we might experience from finding a lucky (heads up only!) penny. Yet it is part of the mythology of modernity that ours is a... Read More
Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America” (UNC Press, 2012)
Jesus has inspired millions of people to both strive for social justice and commit horrific acts of violence. In the United States, Jesus has remained central in the construction of American identities and debates about Jesus have frequently revolved around his skin color and bodily appearance. In The Color of... Read More
Michael Laffan, “The Makings of Indonesian Islam: Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past” (Princeton UP, 2011)
Indonesia is often highlighted as having the right kind of Islam, ‘moderate’ and ‘peaceful.’ Whether that remains true (if it ever was a reality) will be tested in the future but what about the past? How did we end up with this picture of Islam in Indonesia? Michael Laffan, Professor... Read More
Frans De Waal, “The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among Primates” (Norton, 2013)
Humans are quite a bit like chimpanzees, genetically speaking. Of course humans are quite a bit like fruit flies, genetically speaking. But when it comes to behavior, humans are much more like chimpanzees than fruit flies. And so the question arrises: what can we learn about ourselves from chimpanzees? According... Read More
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