New Books Network

Diana Pasulka, “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology” (Oxford UP, 2019)
More than half of American adults and more than seventy-five percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. In American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology (Oxford University Press, 2019), professor Diana Pasulka examines the mechanisms at work behind the thriving... Read More
Joan Wallach Scott, “Sex and Secularism” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Joan Wallach Scott’s contributions to the history of women and gender, and to feminist theory, will be familiar to listeners across multiple disciplines. Her latest book, Sex and Secularism (Princeton University Press, 2017) is a compelling analysis of the discourse of secularism in the modern democratic (imperial) nation-states of “the West”.... Read More
Michael Ruse, “A Meaning to Life” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Does human life have any meaning? Does the question even make sense today? For centuries, the question of the meaning or purpose of human life was assumed by scholars and theologians to have a religious answer: life has meaning because humans were made in the image of a good god.... Read More
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