New Book Series: “Class 200: New Studies in Religion” The University of Chicago Press has recently launched a new book series: “Class 200: New Studies in Religion.” The editors of the series are Kathryn Lofton (Department of Religious Studies, Yale
Judith Casselberry, Stephen D. Glazier, Minna Opas, Viola Teisenhoffer, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Brendan Jamal Thornton, Joseph Trapido, Sergio González Varela, Bruno Reinhardt, Cristóbal Bonelli, Bernardo E. Brown and Grete Viddal
ABRAMS, Andrea C., God and Blackness: Race, Gender, and Identity in a Middle Class Afrocentric Church, 195 pp., references, index. New York: New York University Press, 2014. Paperback, $26. ISBN 9780814705247.
CHRISTENSEN, Jeanne, Rastafari Reasoning and the RastaWoman: Gender Constructions in the Shaping of Rastafari Livity, 202 pp., bibliography, index. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. Hardback, $80. ISBN 9780739175736.
COX, James L., The Invention of God in Indigenous Societies, 192 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Durham: Acumen, 2014. Paperback, $ 31. ISBN 9780520280472.
DAWSON, Andrew, Santo Daime: A New World Religion, 240 pp., notes, bibliography, index. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Paperback, $40. ISBN 9781441154248.
DESCOLA, Philippe, Beyond Nature and Culture, trans. Janet Lloyd, 488 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. Hardback, $52. ISBN 9780226144450.
FLORES, Edward Orozco, God’s Gangs: Barrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery, 243 pp., notes, references, index. New York: New York University Press, 2013. Paperback, $22. ISBN 9781479878123.
GESCHIERE, Peter, God’s Witchcraft, Intimacy and Trust: Africa in Comparison, 243 pp., notes, references, index. 328 pp., notes, references, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. Hardback, $75. ISBN 9780226047584.
Johnson, Paul Christopher, ed., Spirited Things: The Work of “Possession” in Afro-Atlantic Religions, 344 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Hardback, $97.50. ISBN 9780226122625.
KLASSEN, Pamela E., Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity, 348 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Paperback, $29.95. ISBN 9780520270992.
KOHN, Eduardo, How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human, 288 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. Paperback, $29.95. ISBN 9780520276116.
LUHRMANN, T. M., When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God, 464 pp., notes, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index. New York: Vintage Books, 2012. Paperback, $20. ISBN 9780307277275.
RAMSEY, Kate, The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti, 448 pp., illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. Hardback, $50. ISBN 9780226703794.
Rebekka King, Jonathan Spencer, Liam D. Murphy, Frederick P. Lampe, Sherry Angela Smith, Michael Rowlands, Nanlai Cao, Julie Botticello, Joana Santos, Joël Noret, José Mapril, George St. Clair, Tom Boylston, Marie Brossier, Alexander Horstmann, Detelina Tocheva, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, Michael W. Scott, Uday Chandra, Ana Stela de Almeida Cunha, Steven J. Sutcliffe, Jackie Feldman, Benedikte Moeller Kristensen and Alyssa Grossman
BIELO, James S., Words Upon the Word: An Ethnography of Evangelical Group Bible Study, x, 187 pp., notes, references, index. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Paperback, $21. ISBN 9780814791226.
BLACKBURN, Anne M., Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka, xxii, 237 pp., figures, bibliographical references. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Cloth, $45. ISBN 9780226055077.
BRUCE, Steve, Paisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland, xvi, 312 pp., tables, appendix. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9780199565719.
CSORDAS, Thomas J., ed., Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization, 352 pp., introduction, index, references. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Paperback, $24.95, £16.95. ISBN 9780520257429.
HERMKENS, Anna-Karina, Willy JANSEN, and Catrien NOTERMANS, eds., Moved by Mary: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Modern World, xiv, 267 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. Surrey: Ashgate, 2009. Paperback, $29.95, £16.99. ISBN 9780754667896.
HODDER, Ian, ed., Religion in the Emergence of Civilization: Çatalhöyük as a Case Study, 372 pp., figures, tables, index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Paperback, £23.99. ISBN 978053115019.
HUANG, C. Julia, Charisma and Compassion: Cheng Yen and the Buddhist Tzu Chi Movement, 354 pp., index, references. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. Cloth, $49.95. ISBN 9780674031333.
HÜWELMEIER, Gertrud, and Kristine KRAUSE, eds., Traveling Spirits: Migrants, Markets and Mobilities, 218 pp., tables, references, index. London: Routledge, 2010. Hardback, £80. ISBN 9780415998789.
LA FONTAINE, Jean, ed., The Devil’s Children. From Spirit Possession to Witchcraft: New Allegations That Affect Children, xv, 220 pp., illustrations, further reading, index. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009. Hardback, $79.95. ISBN 9780754667339.
MARY, André, Visionnaires et prophètes de l’Afrique contemporaine, 249 pp., bibliography. Paris: Karthala, 2009. Paperback, €24. ISBN 9782811102814.
MASQUELIER, Adeline, Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town, 376 pp., illustrations, maps, glossary, bibliography, index. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9780253215130.
MAYBLIN, Maya, Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives, 212 pp., acknowledgments, introduction, references. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Hardcover, $80. ISBN 9780230623125.
McINTOSH, Janet, The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast, 325 pp., bibliography, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009. Paperback, $23.95. ISBN 9780822345091.
OSELLA, Filippo, and Benjamin Soares, eds., Islam, Politics, Anthropology, viii, 243 pp., notes on contributors, index. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. Paperback, £19.99, €24. ISBN 9781444332957.
PEARSON, Thomas, Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega Refugee Community, 241 pp., map, notes, bibliography, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Hardcover, $95. ISBN 9780230615366.
PELKMANS, Mathijs, ed., Conversion after Socialism: Disruptions, Modernisms and Technologies of Faith in the Former Soviet Union, 208 pp., notes on contributors, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2009. Hardback, $85, £50. ISBN 9781845456177.
ROZENBERG, Guillaume, Renunciation and Power: The Quest for Sainthood in Contemporary Burma, xi, 180 pp., foreword, illustrations, notes, bibliography. New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 2010. Paperback, $20. ISBN 9780938692928.
RYLE, Jacqueline, My God, My Land: Interwoven Paths of Christianity and Tradition in Fiji, 340 pp., prologue, bibliography, appendices, index. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. Hardback, $124.95, £66. ISBN: 9780754679882.
SCOTT, James C., The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, 464 pp., preface, notes, glossary, index. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. Hardcover, $35, £20; Paperback, $25, £16.99. ISBN 9780300169171.
TISHKEN, Joel E., Toyin FALOLA, and Akintunde AKINYEMI, eds., Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora, ix, 365 pp., photos, maps, figures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. Paperback, $21.74, £14.95. ISBN 9780253220943.
TURNER, Bryan S., ed., The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion, xvii, 691pp. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Hardback, £125/€150. ISBN 9781405188524.
HAKAK, Yohai, and Ron Offer, dirs., Gevald, 48 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2009; Religion.com, 50 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2010, The Midwife and the Rabbi’s Daughter, 50 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2009.
MERLI, Laetitia, dir., Shaman Tour, 63 min., color. Paris: CNRS Images, 2009.
TRENCSENYI, Klara, and Vlad NAUMESCU, dirs., Bird’s Way, 56 min., color. Bucharest: Libra Films, 2009.
Giuliana Chamedes and Elizabeth A. Foster
Scholarly attention to decolonization in the French Empire and beyond has largely focused on the political transitions from colonies to nation-states. This introduction, and the essays in this special issue, present new ways of looking at decolonization by examining how religious communities and institutions imagined and experienced the end of French Empire. This approach adds valuable perspectives obscured by historiographical emphasis on French republican secularism and on the workings of the colonial state. Bringing together histories of religion and decolonization sheds new light on the late colonial period and the early successor states of the French empire. It also points to the importance of international institutions and transnational religious communities in the transitions at the end of empire.
Montserratian Migrants' Experiences of Global Processes in British Methodism
Migrants to Europe often perceive themselves as entering a secular society that threatens their religious identities and practices. Whilst some sociological models present their responses in terms of cultural defence, ethnographic analysis reveals a more complex picture of interaction with local contexts. This essay draws upon ethnographic research to explore a relatively neglected situation in migration studies, namely the interactions between distinct migration cohorts - in this case, from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, as examined through their experiences in London Methodist churches. It employs the ideas of Weber and Bourdieu to view these migrants as 'religious carriers', as collective and individual embodiments of religious dispositions and of those socio-cultural processes through which their religion is reproduced. Whilst the strategies of the cohort migrating after the Second World War were restricted through their marginalised social status and experience of racism, the recent cohort of evacuees fleeing volcanic eruptions has had greater scope for strategies which combat secularisation and fading Methodist identity.
The Role of the Diyanet’s Women Preachers
Despite scholars’ tremendous interest in the dynamics of Turkish laicism, little to no attention has been paid to the actors and the practices through which Islamic morality is propagated among society every day. This article investigates the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)’s policy that has been increasing the number of women working as preachers since 2003. To what extent and how does the employment of the Diyanet’s women preachers affect the way in which religion and Islamic public morality grow and are spread in Turkey today? What specifically is women’s contribution in this respect? Drawing on an ethnographic observation of the Diyanet’s women preachers’ activities in Istanbul mosques, the article outlines how they contribute to reshaping Turkish laicism while diffusing Islamic morality in the public space.
In Response to Charlie
Faisal Devji, Jane Garnett, Ghassan Hage and Sondra L. Hausner
There is a close relation between satire and secularism as the latter came to emerge in Europe. Secularism, as is well-known, gained strength historically as a reaction to an era of European interreligious violence and massacres. It was not only a desire for the separation of church and state, as the classical formula has it. It was also an attempt to keep religious affect out of politics. This was in the belief that religion, because it is faith rather than reasoned thinking, produces too much of a narcissistic affect—that the faithful are unable to ‘keep their distance’ from what they believe in. It was thought that this narcissism was behind the murderous intensity of religiously driven conflicts. Being able to laugh at yourself literally means being able to not take yourself overly seriously. This, in turn, is crucial for the deintensification of the affects generated by the defense of what one believes in and for the relativization of one’s personal beliefs. Such relativization, as Claude Lévi- Strauss argued, is crucial for thinking oneself comparatively and in relation to others (the opposite of narcissism).
Jean Comaroff, Peter Geschiere, Kamari M. Clarke and Adeline Masquelier
Colonial frontiers, we have long been told, put conventional categories at risk. I grew up on one such frontier, itself an anachronism in the late-twentieth-century world—apartheid South Africa, where many of the key terms of liberal modernity were scandalously, publically violated. Religion was one of them. Some have argued that the act of separating the sacred from the secular is the founding gesture of liberal modern state making (Asad 2003: 13). In this, South Africa was a flagrant exception. There, the line between faith and politics was always overtly contested, always palpably porous. Faith-based arguments were central to politics at its most pragmatic, to competing claims of sovereignty and citizenship, to debates about the nature of civilization or the content of school curricula. As a settler colony, South Africa had long experimented with ways to ‘modernize racial domination’ (Adam 1971) in the interests of capitalist production, frequently with appeals to theology. After 1948, in contrast with the spirit of a decolonizing world, the country fell under the sway of Afrikaner rulers of overtly Calvinist bent. They set about formalizing a racial division of labor that ensured that black populations, the Children of Ham, remained economically subservient and politically marginal.
The articles in this special section focus on diverse groups of pilgrims, with each group expressing a different perspective on the Holy Land. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to state that each of these groups, together with their guides, constructs a different Holy Land, resulting in multiple Holy Lands. What exactly is it that makes a land holy? I suggest that we view religion as a social and individual endeavor to interpret experience in ways that are perceived to be meaningful, and as an effort to overcome the isolation of the self through connections with persons, values, and communities that are perceived to elevate, empower, and transcend the individual. From this perspective, places—lands—become holy through their associations with such overarching ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson 1983). Conflict has the potential to arise when the same geographic space is symbolically central for more than one such community. The articles in this section evoke the contestation of meanings as Christians—both Catholic and Protestant—as well as Jews and Muslims visit and dwell within the same territorial space, considered by all, for different reasons, to be ‘holy’.
Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World
Christopher R. Cotter, Grace Davie, James A. Beckford, Saliha Chattoo, Mia Lövheim, Manuel A. Vásquez and Abby Day
am going to restrict my comments to two brief points. The first concerns the connections that I can see between Believing in Belonging and the growing body of research into ‘non-religion’. The second includes some reflections on the place of Abby