New Books Network

Margaret C. Jacob, “The Secular Enlightenment” (Princeton UP, 2019)
The Secular Enlightenment by Professor Margaret C. Jacob, has been called a major new history on how the Enlightenment transformed people’s everyday lives. It’s a panoramic account of the radical ways that life began to change for ordinary people in the age of Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau. In this landmark... Read More
Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin, “Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Clichés” (Bloomsbury, 2017)
You’ve heard them all before. “Religions are Belief Systems.” “Religion is a Private Matter.” “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative. Many people uncritically assume that religion is intrinsically violent, or that religion makes people moral, or that it... Read More
Jules Evans, “The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience” (Canongate Books, 2017)
People have always sought ecstatic experiences – moments where they go beyond their ordinary self and feel connected to something greater than them. Such moments are fundamental to human flourishing, but they can also be dangerous. Beginning around the Enlightenment, western intellectual culture has written off ecstasy as ignorance or... Read More
Gregory Dawes, “Galileo and the Conflict between Religion and Science” (Routledge, 2016)
Open conflict between religion and science may not be inevitable, but a germ of discord resides in some of the fundamental commitments of both; in this sense, war is always, potentially, just around the corner. In Galileo and the Conflict between Religion and Science (Routledge, 2016), Gregory Dawes uses the... Read More
Michael Ruse, “The Problem of War: Darwinism, Christianity, and Their Battle to Understand Human Conflict” (Oxford UP, 2018)
What accounts for the antagonism between Christianity and Darwinism? For Michael Ruse, a professor of the history and philosophy of science at Florida State University, the answer is simple: Darwinism is not just a robust empirical science, but also a secular religious perspective—hence, a clear rival to Christianity. In The... Read More
Martin Demant Frederiksen, “An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular” (Zero Books, 2018)
An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular (Zero Books, 2018) is an “exploration of what goes missing when one looks for meaning” (p. 1). The book is both an experimental ethnography and a theoretical treatise on how we can understand and represent absence of meaning. Its author, Martin Demant Frederiksen, approaches... Read More
Alexandre Kojève, “Atheism” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Columbia University press has just released a new translation of a work by philosopher Alexandre Kojève, simply titled Atheism, translated by Professor Jeff Love. Considered to be one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and unconventional thinkers, Kojève was a Russian émigré to France whose lectures on Hegel in the... Read More