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Publications by Program Affiliates

Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence

Completely revised and updated, this new edition of Terror in the Mind of God incorporates the events of September 11, 2001 into Mark Juergensmeyer's landmark study of religious terrorism. Juergensmeyer explores the 1993 World Trade Center explosion, Hamas suicide bombings, the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack, and the killing of abortion clinic doctors in the United States.

What Tunisia Did Right

Strong legislatures are a key ingredient in successful democratic transitions -- and Tunisia is showing the way.

Constitutional Reform, Legislatures’ Powers, and Democracy’s Prospects in the Middle East and North Africa

Abstract: The fate of democratization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) depends vitally on constitutional provisions that define the powers of national legislatures. Where the legislature is free from executive appointees and enjoys sole custody of the right to make laws, the probability of escaping autocracy is markedly higher than were the legislature contains executive appointees and shares lawmaking authority with the executive. Our analyses show how constitutional reform may reshape the prospects for democratic attainment in MENA.

Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers

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In 1919, in the wake of the upheaval of World War I, a remarkable group of English women came up with their own solution to the world's grief: a new religion. At the heart of the Panacea Society was a charismatic and autocratic leader, a vicar's widow named Mabel Bartlrop. Her followers called her Octavia, and they believed that she was the daughter of God, sent to build the New Jerusalem in Bedford.

A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart has been acclaimed as the most significant book yet about American Buddhism-a definitive guide to the practice of traditional mindfulness in America today. On this audio edition, Kornfield teaches the key principles of Buddhism's cherished vipassana (insight) tradition and puts them into direct service, with the unique needs of the contemporary seeker in mind.

Muslims and Global Justice

Over the course of his distinguished career, legal scholar Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im has sought to reconcile his identity as a Muslim with his commitment to universal human rights. In Muslims and Global Justice, he advances the theme of global justice from an Islamic perspective, critically examining the role that Muslims must play in the development of a pragmatic, rights-based framework for justice.

Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law

Toward an Islamic Reformation is an ambitious attempt to modernize Islamic law, calling for reform of the historical formulations of Islamic law, commonly known as Shari'a that is perceived by many Muslims to be part of the Islamic faith. 

As a Muslim, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is sensitive to and appreciative of the delicate relationship between Islam as a religion and Islamic law. Nevertheless, he considers that the questions raised here must be resolved if the public law of Islam is to be implemented today. 

Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran

Following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the re-introduction of Sharica law relating to gender and the family, women's rights in Iran suffered a major setback. However, as the implementers of the law have faced the social realities of women's lives and aspirations, positive changes have gradually come about. Here Ziba Mir-Hosseini takes us to the heart of the growing debates concerning the ways in which justice for women should be achieved.

Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible

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The simple yet grand language of the King James Bible has pervaded American culture from the beginning--and its powerful eloquence continues to be felt even today. In this book, acclaimed biblical translator and literary critic Robert Alter traces some of the fascinating ways that American novelists--from Melville, Hemingway, and Faulkner to Bellow, Marilynne Robinson, and Cormac McCarthy--have drawn on the rich stylistic resources of the canonical English Bible to fashion their own strongly resonant styles and distinctive visions of reality.

Crucibles of Political Loyalty: Church Institutions and Electoral Continuity in Hungary

This book, first published in 2006, investigates one of the oldest paradoxes in political science: why do mass political loyalties persist even amid prolonged social upheaval and disruptive economic development. Drawing on extensive archival research and an original database of election results, this book explores the paradox of political persistence by examining Hungary's often tortuous path from pre- to post-communism.

Passive Revolution: Absorbing the Islamic Challenge to Capitalism

Over the last decade, pious Muslims all over the world have gone through contradictory transformations. Though public attention commonly rests on the turn toward violence, this book's stories of transformation to "moderate Islam" in a previously radical district in Istanbul exemplify another experience. In a shift away from distrust of the state to partial secularization, Islamists in Turkey transitioned through a process of absorption into existing power structures.

Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity: Studies in Ethnoracial, Religious and Professional Affiliation in the United States

"Who are we?" is the question at the core of these fascinating essays from one of the nation's leading intellectual historians. With old identities increasingly destabilized throughout the world—the result of demographic migration, declining empires, and the quickening integration of the global capitalist economy and its attendant communications systems—David A. Hollinger argues that the problem of group solidarity is emerging as one of the central challenges of the twenty-first century.  

Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America

Losing weight and changing your sexual orientation are both notoriously difficult to do successfully. Yet many faithful evangelical Christians believe that thinness and heterosexuality are godly ideals—and that God will provide reliable paths toward them for those who fall short. Seeking the Straight and Narrowis a fascinating account of the world of evangelical efforts to alter our strongest bodily desires.
 

War on Sacred Grounds

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In War on Sacred Grounds, Ron E. Hassner investigates the causes and properties of conflicts over sites that are both venerated and contested; he also proposes potential means for managing these disputes. Hassner illustrates a complex and poorly understood political dilemma with accounts of the failures to reach settlement at Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif, leading to the clashes of 2000, and the competing claims of Hindus and Muslims at Ayodhya, which resulted in the destruction of the mosque there in 1992.

Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence

Are Muslims Distinctive? represents the first major scientific effort to assess how Muslims and non-Muslims differ--and do not differ--in the contemporary world. Using rigorous methods and data drawn from around the globe, M. Steven Fish reveals that in some areas Muslims and non-Muslims differ less than is commonly imagined. Muslims are not inclined to favor the fusion of religious and political authority or especially prone to mass political violence.

The Jews: A History

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New research has conspired to unsettle many established ideas about the Jewish past, challenging how historians have thought about and described it, and sometimes making it appear less accessible than it was thought to be in earlier generations. While these recent developments would appear to make a history of the Jewish people more difficult, the authors of The Jews: A History believe it has deepened and broadened our understanding.

Sense of the Faithful: How American Catholics Live Their Faith

The image of the "cafeteria Catholic" -- one who blithely picks and chooses those doctrines that suit him -- is a staple of American culture. But are American Catholics really so nonchalant about how they integrate the ancient devotional practices of Catholicism with the everyday struggles of the modern world?