Category Archives: Book Announcements

New Book: Sexual Diversity and Religious Systems: Transnational Dialogues in the Contemporary World

by Martín Jaime (Editor)

Programa de Estudios de Género, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Flor Tristán Centro de la Mujer Peruana

ISBN: 978-612-4033-24-7

Sexual Diversity and Religious Systems analyzes the relations between numerous expressions of sexual diversity and, some religious systems today. In contemporary societies, the relation between sexual diversity and the religious phenomenon has proven to be impressively rich.

On one hand, we witness the continuous rejection of sexual diversity within many religions through different strategies appealing to concepts like tradition, moral and nature. On the other, many groups has addressed the question and challenge within the LGBTI movement and within its own religious communities of thinking on the production of spirituality from the position of the sexual subject itself. In this scenario, we see how the work of representing spirituality within said communities is a way to go beyond the sexual subject and subvert spiritual expropriation. Currently, we can find several ways; we see the construction of religious communities based on sexual orientation and, in some cases, on gender identity and, at the same time, some religions with a brutal rejection on the same topic. Both ways live and meet at the same time.

This book, written in English and Spanish, consists of ten papers studying this phenomenon within Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Based on different methods and sources, they insist on understanding how religions influence and embody homoerotic and transgender practices and how the latter embrace and transform them. It takes us through the realities of many countries such as Chile, Argentina, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Iran.

Thus, in the face of this scenario, is crucial to take a comparative and systematic look on the relations between religious systems and LGTBI corposubjectivities in the contemporary world. In that way, this compilation seeks to present different perspectives of analysis on said relation from a comparative perspective within specific local and regional frames. These articles show us numerous analysis on the spirituality of people with homoerotic and transgender practices and desires, emphasizing on the study of historical, social and cultural dynamics where religious traditions play a relevant role on the encouragement or rejection of the rights of LGBTI people in contemporary societies. Also, this book aims at reflecting on spiritual productions (practices, rituals, perceptions, among others) carried out by LGBTI people within religious traditions.

New books from the Center for Religion and Civic Culture

We are excited to announce that two books from our Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative were published this summer:

Congrats to all the authors!

New Book: Religion and welfare in Europe: gendered and minority perspectives

(Policy Press, September 2017)

Edited by Lina Molokotos-Liederman with Anders Bäckström and Grace Davie

Using welfare as a prism, Religion and welfare in Europe explores regional conceptions and variations in welfare and religion across Europe.

Methodological approaches to research and practice draw thematic comparisons on these issues using case studies focused on gendered and minority perspectives as they relate to the varied provision of social welfare in selected European countries.

Contributors offer comparative insights on majority-minority relations concerning practices, patterns and mechanisms of social welfare provision, explaining how these lead to conflict, cohesion or – as is so often the case – the grey area in between.

New Book: Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity

by Lori G. Beaman

Oxford University Press

While religious conflict receives plenty of attention, the everyday negotiation of religious diversity does not. Questions of how to accommodate religious minorities and of the limits of tolerance resonate in a variety of contexts and have become central preoccupations for many Western democracies. What might we see if we turned our attention to the positive narratives and success stories of the everyday working out of religious difference? Rather than “tolerance” and “accommodation,” and through the stories of ordinary people, this book traces deep equality, which is found in the respect, humor, and friendship of seemingly mundane interactions. Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity shows that the telling of such stories can create an alternative narrative to that of diversity as a problem to be solved. It explores the non-event, or micro-processes of interaction that constitute the foundation for deep equality and the conditions under which deep equality emerges, exists, and sometimes flourishes.
Through a systematic search for and examination of such narratives, Lori G. Beaman demonstrates the possibility of uncovering, revealing, and recovering deep equality–a recovery that is vital to living in an increasingly diverse society. In achieving deep equality, identities are fluid, shifting in importance and structure as social interaction unfolds. Rigid identity imaginings, especially religious identities, block our vision to the complexities of social life and press us into corners that trap us in identities that we often ourselves do not recognize, want, or know how to escape. Although the focus of this study is deep equality and its existence and persistence in relation to religious difference, deep equality is located beyond the realm of religion. Beaman draws from the work of those whose primary focus is not in fact religion, and who are doing their own ‘deep equality’ work in other domains, illustrating especially why equality matters. By retelling and exploring stories of negotiation it is possible to reshape our social imaginary to better facilitate what works, which varies from place to place and time to time.

New Book: Religion and the Global City

Edited by David Garbin & Anna Strhan


This is the first book to explore how religious movements and actors shape and are shaped by aspects of global city dynamics. Theoretically grounded and empirically informed, Religion and the Global City advances discussions in the field of urban religion, and establishes future research directions. The book brings together a wealth of ethnographically rich and vivid case studies in a diversity of urban settings, in both Global North and Global South contexts. These case studies are drawn from both ‘classical’ global cities such as London and Paris, and also from large cosmopolitan metropolises  such as Bangalore, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Singapore and Hong Kong – which all constitute, in their own terms, powerful sites within the informational, cultural and moral networked economies of contemporary globalization.

By taking on what makes a city truly religiously ‘global’ and what makes a global religion truly urban outside the west, on a variety of scales and in a variety of places, Garbin and Strhan’s edited volume successfully reframes our understanding of the urban religion-globalization nexus.” 

Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College, USA and author of God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape (2007) 

This volume opens up the world of urban religions, showing how they connect globalization and urbanization through everyday acts of place-making, co-operation and conviviality. Impressive in its geographical purview and inter-disciplinary ambition, this is an important collection and one that deserves to be read by all those interested in the state of our cities.” 

Phil Hubbard, Professor of Urban Studies, King’s College London, UK

New Book: Devotional Fitness

Devotional Fitness
An Analysis of Contemporary Christian Dieting and Fitness Programs

by Martin Radermacher

Series: Popular Culture, Religion and Society. A Social-Scientific Approach


This book examines evangelical dieting and fitness programs and provides a systematic approach of this diverse field with its wide variety of programs. When evangelical Christians engage in fitness and dieting classes in order to “glorify God,” they often face skepticism. This book approaches devotional fitness culture in North America from a religious studies perspective, outlining the basic structures, ideas, and practices of the field. Starting with the historical backgrounds of this current, the book approaches both practice and ideology, highlighting how devotional fitness programs construe their identity in the face of various competing offers in religious and non-religious sectors of society. The book suggests a nuanced and complex understanding of the relationship between sports and religion, beyond ‘simple’ functional equivalency. It provides insights into the formation of secular and religious body ideals and the way these body ideals are sacralized in the frame of an evangelical worldview.

New Book: American Jewish Year Book 2016

American Jewish Year Book 2016:
The Annual Record of North American Jewish Communities

Dashefsky, Arnold, Sheskin, Ira M (Eds.)


The American Jewish Year Book, now in its 116th year, is the annual record of the North American Jewish communities and provides insight into their major trends. Part I presents a forum on the Pew Survey, “A Portrait of American Orthodox Jews. Part II begins with Chapter 13, “The Jewish Family.” Chapter 14 examines “American Jews and the International Arena (April 1, 2015 – April 15, 2016), which focuses on US–Israel Relations. Chapters 15-17 analyze the demography and geography of the US, Canadian, and world Jewish populations. In Part III, Chapter 18 provides lists of Jewish institutions, including federations, community centers, social service agencies, national organizations, synagogues, Hillels, day schools, camps, museums, and Israeli consulates. In the final chapters, Chapter 19 presents national and local Jewish periodicals and broadcast media; Chapter 20 provides academic resources, including Jewish Studies programs, books, articles, websites, and research libraries; and Chapter 21 presents lists of major events in the past year, Jewish honorees, and obituaries.

An invaluable record of Jewish life, the American Jewish Year Book illuminates contemporary issues with insight and breadth. It is a window into a complex and ever-changing world.

Deborah Dash Moore, Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies, and Director Emerita of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

A century from now and more, the stately volumes of the American Jewish Year Book will stand as the authoritative record of Jewish life since 1900. For anyone interested in tracing the long-term evolution of Jewish social, political, religious, and cultural trends from an objective yet passionately Jewish perspective, there simply is no substitute.

Lawrence Grossman, American Jewish Year Book Editor (1999-2008) and Contributor (1988-2015)