August 2018

Congratulations to CSSH author Nancy Farris (CSSH 29-3, “Anticipating the Past: History, Time, and Cosmology among the Maya of Yucatan“) on the publication of her new book, Tongues of Fire: Language and Evangelization in Colonial Mexico. Here is how Oxford University Press describes the book:

Tongues of Fire investigates the role played by language and translation in the creation of Mexican Christianity during the first centuries of colonial rule. Nancy Farriss analyzes how native elites, acting as translators and parish administrators, served to make evangelization an indigenous enterprise, and the new Mexican church an indigenous one.”

CSSH congratulates author Mirjam Künkler (co-author, with Yüksel Sezgin, of CSSH 56-2, “Regulation of ‘Religion’ and the ‘Religious’: The Politics of Judicialization and Bureaucratization in India and Indonesia“) on the publication of a new co-edited volume: Mirjam Künkler, John Madeley and Shylashri Shankar (eds.): A Secular Age Beyond the West. Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Cambridge describes the book as follows:

This book traces religion and secularity in eleven countries not shaped by Western Christianity (Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco), and how they parallel or diverge from Charles Taylor’s grand narrative of the North Atlantic world, A Secular Age (2007). In all eleven cases, the state – enhanced by post-colonial and post-imperial legacies – highly determines religious experience, by variably regulating religious belief, practice, property, education, and/or law. Taylor’s core condition of secularity – namely, legal permissibility and social acceptance of open religious unbelief (Secularity III) – is largely absent in these societies. The areas affected by state regulation, however, differ greatly. In India, Israel and most Muslim countries, questions of religious law are central to state regulation. But it is religious education and organization in China and church property and public practice in Russia that bear the brunt. This book explains these differences using the concept of ‘differential burdening.'”