New Books Network

Kevin Gray Carr, “Plotting the Prince: Shotoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012)
Kevin Gray Carr‘s beautiful new book explores the figure of Prince Shotoku (573? – 622?) the focus of one of the most widespread visual cults in Japanese history. Introducing us to a range of stories materialized in both verbal and visual narratives, Plotting the Prince: Shotoku Cults and the Mapping... Read More
Barbara R. Ambros, “Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012)
It opens with a parakeet named Homer, and it closes with a dog named Hachiko. In the intervening pages, Barbara Ambros explores the deaths, afterlives, and necrogeographies of pets in contemporary Japan. Bones of Contention:Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012) takes readers through the urban... Read More
Christian J. Churchill and Gerald E. Levy, “The Enigmatic Academy Class, Bureaucracy, and Religion in American Education” (Temple UP, 2011)
According to the Marriam-Webster dictionary, an “enigma” can be defined as “something hard to understand or explain.” What is it that is so enigmatic about education? Aren’t schools there to teach information, and expand people’s minds? What’s so mysterious about that? In Christian J. Churchill and Gerald E. Levy’s new... Read More
Gil Troy, “Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism” (Oxford UP, 2012)
The 1970s and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict are quite possibly the two most depressing subjects an academic could study. With shag carpeting, disco, Watergate, malaise defining the former and an internecine and (seemingly) eternal clash characterizing the latter who on earth would want to study those topics in one monograph? Well,... Read More
Linford Fisher, “The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America” (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Just east of the Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville, Connecticut, stands the Mohegan Congregational Church. By most accounts, it’s little different than the thousands of white-steepled structures dotting the New England landscape: the same high-backed wooden chairs, high ceilings, images of lordly white men. To the careful observer, there is... Read More
Brian Leiter, “Why Tolerate Religion?” (Princeton UP, 2013)
Religious conviction enjoys a privileged status in our society.This is perhaps most apparent in legal contexts, where religious conviction is often given special consideration. To be more precise, religious conscience is recognized as a legitimate basis for exemption from standing laws, whereas claims of conscience deriving from non-religious commitments generally... Read More
Adam Lee, “Daylight Atheism” (Think Big, 2012)
Atheist blogger extraordinaire Adam Lee has published his first book, Daylight Atheism (Big Think, 2012), where he makes the case that religion is harmful and that secular humanism is a much better option. He demolishes many myths about atheism, such as that atheists don’t have a moral compass, or that... Read More