Recent Books by Faculty
Reasons and Lives in Buddhist Traditions: this collection of essays pays tribute to Matthew Kapstein, Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, a luminary in the field, by exemplifying some of the diverse work in Buddhist and Asian studies that has been impacted by his scholarship and teaching. Engaging matters as diverse as the legal foundations of Tibetan religious thought, the teaching careers of modern Chinese Buddhists, the history of Bhutan, and the hermeneutical insights of Vasubandhu, these essays are offered as testament to a singular scholar and teacher whose wide-ranging work is unified by a rare intellectual selflessness. Edited by Daniel A. Arnold, Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religions.
The Mystics of al-Andalus: Ibn Barrajān and Islamic Thought in the Twelfth Century by Yousef Casewit, Assistant Professor of Qur'anic Studies, focuses on the twelfth century CE, a watershed moment for mysticism in the Muslim West. In al-Andalus, the pioneers of this mystical tradition, the Mu'tabirun or 'Contemplators', championed a synthesis between Muslim scriptural sources and Neoplatonic cosmology. Ibn Barrajān of Seville was most responsible for shaping this new intellectual approach, and is the focus of Casewit's book.
The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny by Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, shows that metaphysical experimentation lies at the center of some of the most influential intellectual and religious movements in modern Iran. These forms of exploration have not only produced a plurality of rational orientations toward metaphysical phenomena but have also fundamentally shaped what is understood as orthodox Shi‘i Islam, including the forms of Islamic rationality at the heart of projects for building and sustaining an Islamic Republic. Winner of the 2018 Albert Hourani Book Award from MESA, the Middle East Studies Association.
Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida, and the Literary Afterline of Religion by Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism, is a reexamination of Derrida and Levinas's textual exchange. The book not only produces a new account of this friendship but also has significant ramifications for debates within Continental philosophy, the study of religion, and political theology.
The Political Lives of Saints: Christian-Muslim Mediation in Egypt by Angie Heo, Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion journeys into the quieter corners of divine intercession to consider what martyrs, miracles, and mysteries have to do with the routine challenges faced by Christians and Muslims living together under the modern nation-state. Drawing on years of extensive fieldwork, Angie Heo argues for understanding popular saints as material media that organize social relations between Christians and Muslims in Egypt toward varying political ends. With an ethnographer’s eye for traces of antiquity, she deciphers how long-cherished imaginaries of holiness broker bonds of revolutionary sacrifice, reconfigure national sites of sacred territory, and pose sectarian threats to security and order. A study of tradition and nationhood at their limits, The Political Lives of Saints shows that Coptic Orthodoxy is a core domain of minoritarian regulation and authoritarian rule, powerfully reversing the recurrent thesis of its impending extinction in the Arab Muslim world.
What do African American men have to do with gender? In Black Theology: Essays on Gender Perspectives, Professor of Theology Dwight N. Hopkins draws on over thirty-five years of wrestling with these questions. Too often gender is seen as a "woman's only" discussion. But in reality, men have a gender too. Some say it is biological; others claim it has to do with socialization. Hopkins's career has focused on defining what a black American man is, and how he builds bridges of support and engagement with women.
Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life is by Cynthia Gano Lindner, Director of Ministry Studies. The practice of ministry in our rapidly changing, increasingly diverse context is a complicated business. Varieties of Gifts highlights the stories of ministers who thrive in this environment, offering inspiration to readers—ministers, seminary students, and people who care for them—on engaging their own multiplicity to build healthy, sustainable ministry.
Brève apologie pour une moment catholique: Jean-Luc Marion, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology, explores the possibility that this could be an extraordinary moment in French history.
In Dark Lens: Imaging Germany, 1945, Françoise Meltzer, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy of Religions, explores questions around the images of war ruins in Nazi Germany to investigate problems of aestheticization, the representation of catastrophe, and the targeting of civilians in war.
Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture by Richard B. Miller, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Religious Ethics, seeks to chart and expand the field of religious ethics by exploring the implications of taking a cultural turn in the humanities and social sciences.
Emptiness and Omnipresence: An Essential Introduction to Tiantai Buddhism by Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought, puts Tiantai into dialogue with modern philosophical concerns to draw out its implications for ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Ziporyn reveals the profound insights of Tiantai Buddhism while stimulating philosophical reflection on its unexpected effects