The hundredth anniversary of the 1905 law in France on the separation of church and state has led to a rich harvest of new scholarly work on laïcité and religion in public life. Centenaries often inspire conferences and publishing projects, especially in France. In the case of the 1905 law the temptation became irresistible in the wake of the creation of the Conseil français du culte musulman in 2002 (see the special spring 2005 issue of FPCS on the CFCM) and years of controversy over the wearing of Muslim headscarves in public schools. The Stasi Commission’s 2004 recommendation to ban the wearing of ostentatious religious signs in public schools, and a 2005 act of Parliament that made that view law, inspired sharp debate in France and beyond, adding further impetus to scholarly discussion of religion, politics, and the government’s regulation of matters religious.
On the shelves labelled ‘Just published and shortly to be remaindered’, customers of ‘all the best bookstores’ will perhaps notice a volume by Mr Clive James entitled Cultural Memories: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts. Indeed, it would be hard not to notice this 876 page monument to its author’s verbosity. US readers will perhaps not recognise the name of this television critic turned Conscience of the Twentieth Century, but UK readers will be long familiar with his inimitable brand of soft right-wing bombast masquerading as common sense and delivered with ponderous wit.
Index to Volume 24 (2006)
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