Religion and State

Author: Leon Carl Brown
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231120395
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The year 2003 marked the fiftieth anniversary of James Watson's and Francis Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, which began a revolution in the biological sciences and radically altered the way humans view life and themselves. In this poetic account Erwin Fleissner, an eminent cancer researcher and teacher, offers a personal and professional reflection on the most significant developments in molecular genetics and cell biology over the past fifty years. Vital Harmonies is a sweeping look at these crucial scientific advances and an insider's perspective on what scientists have actually learned from them. Contrasting the humanistic side of scientific research with more deterministic or "mechanical" explanations of life processes, Fleissner discusses everything from natural selection to the tradition of rational inquiry stemming from the Enlightenment. He goes on to describe the structures of macromolecules and their "organizing" principles as well as cancer genes, stem cells, and the Human Genome Project. He also explores neuronal cells and the emergence of consciousness and how biological evolution is the foundation of our personal reality as well as our global responsibility. Fleissner asserts that scientific investigations cannot negate our essential "humanness" nor should the public fear them. Taking an optimistic perspective, he argues that a deeper knowledge of ourselves as biological entities will provide us, ultimately, with greater health, serenity, and self-knowledge. Vital Harmonies gives readers, whatever their background, an engaging analysis of some of the most important questions facing humanity today.

Religion and State

Author: Leon Carl Brown
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231120388
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
The year 2003 marked the fiftieth anniversary of James Watson's and Francis Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, which began a revolution in the biological sciences and radically altered the way humans view life and themselves. In this poetic account Erwin Fleissner, an eminent cancer researcher and teacher, offers a personal and professional reflection on the most significant developments in molecular genetics and cell biology over the past fifty years. Vital Harmonies is a sweeping look at these crucial scientific advances and an insider's perspective on what scientists have actually learned from them. Contrasting the humanistic side of scientific research with more deterministic or "mechanical" explanations of life processes, Fleissner discusses everything from natural selection to the tradition of rational inquiry stemming from the Enlightenment. He goes on to describe the structures of macromolecules and their "organizing" principles as well as cancer genes, stem cells, and the Human Genome Project. He also explores neuronal cells and the emergence of consciousness and how biological evolution is the foundation of our personal reality as well as our global responsibility. Fleissner asserts that scientific investigations cannot negate our essential "humanness" nor should the public fear them. Taking an optimistic perspective, he argues that a deeper knowledge of ourselves as biological entities will provide us, ultimately, with greater health, serenity, and self-knowledge. Vital Harmonies gives readers, whatever their background, an engaging analysis of some of the most important questions facing humanity today.

Religion and State

Author: L. Carl. Brown
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231529376
Format: PDF, Kindle
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If Westerners know a single Islamic term, it is likely to be jihad, the Arabic word for "holy war." The image of Islam as an inherently aggressive and xenophobic religion has long prevailed in the West and can at times appear to be substantiated by current events. L. Carl Brown challenges this conventional wisdom with a fascinating historical overview of the relationship between religious and political life in the Muslim world ranging from Islam's early centuries to the present day. Religion and State examines the commonplace notion—held by both radical Muslim ideologues and various Western observers alike—that in Islam there is no separation between religion and politics. By placing this assertion in a broad historical context, the book reveals both the continuities between premodern and modern Islamic political thought as well as the distinctive dimensions of modern Muslim experiences. Brown shows that both the modern-day fundamentalists and their critics have it wrong when they posit an eternally militant, unchanging Islam outside of history. "They are conflating theology and history. They are confusing the oughtand the is," he writes. As the historical record shows, mainstream Muslim political thought in premodern times tended toward political quietism. Brown maintains that we can better understand present-day politics among Muslims by accepting the reality of their historical diversity while at the same time seeking to identify what may be distinctive in Muslim thought and action. In order to illuminate the distinguishing characteristics of Islam in relation to politics, Brown compares this religion with its two Semitic sisters, Judaism and Christianity, drawing striking comparisons between Islam today and Christianity during the Reformation. With a wealth of evidence, he recreates a tradition of Islamic diversity every bit as rich as that of Judaism and Christianity.

Religion State and the United Nations

Author: Anne Stensvold
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317382587
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This volume approaches the UN as a laboratory of religio-political value politics. Over the last two decades religion has acquired increasing influence in international politics, and religious violence and terrorism has attracted much scholarly attention. But there is another parallel development which has gone largely unnoticed, namely the increasing political impact of peaceful religious actors. With several religious actors in one place and interacting under the same conditions, the UN is as a multi-religious society writ small. The contributors to this book analyse the most influential religious actors at the UN (including The Roman Catholic Church; The Organisation of Islamic Countries; the Russian Orthodox Church). Mapping the peaceful political engagements of religious actors; who they are and how they collaborate with each other - whether on an ad hoc basis or by forming more permanent networks - throwing light at the modus operandi of religious actors at the UN; their strategies and motivations. The chapters are closely interrelated through the shared focus on the UN and common theoretical perspectives, and pursue two intertwined aspects of religious value politics, namely the whys and hows of cross-religious cooperation on the one hand, and the interaction between religious actors and states on the other. Drawing together a broad range of experts on religious actors, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of Religion and Politics, International Relations and the UN.

Engaging the Muslim World

Author: Juan Cole
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230620575
Format: PDF, Kindle
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With clarity and concision, Juan Cole disentangles the key foreign policy issues that America is grappling with today--from our dependence on Middle East petroleum to the promotion of Islamophobia by the American right--and delivers his informed advice on the best way forward. Cole's unique ability to take the true Muslim perspective into account when looking at East-West relations make his insights well-rounded and prescient as he suggests a course of action on fundamental issues like religion, oil, war and peace. With substantive recommendations for the next administration on how to move forward in key countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, Engaging the Muslim World reveals how we can repair the damage of the disastrous foreign policy of the last eight years and forge ahead on a path of peace and prosperity. Cole argues: * Al-Qaeda is not a mass movement like fascism or communism but rather a small political cult like the American far right circles that produced Timothy McVeigh. * The Muslim world is not a new Soviet Bloc but rather is full of close allies or potential allies. * There can be no such thing as American energy independence, we will need Islamic oil to survive as a superpower into the next century. * Iran is not an implacable enemy of the U.S.--it can and should be fruitfully engaged, which is a necessary step for American energy security since Tehran can play the spoiler in the strategic Persian Gulf. * America's best hope in Iraq is careful, deliberate military disengagement, rather than either through immediate withdrawal or a century-long military presence--in other words, both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates are wrong.

The Many Faces of Political Islam

Author: Mohammed Ayoob
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472025381
Format: PDF, Docs
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Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Mohammed Ayoob's The Many Faces of Political Islam thoroughly describes the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology and analyzes its impact on global relations. "In this beautifully crafted and utterly compelling book, Mohammed Ayoob accomplishes admirably the difficult task of offering a readily accessible yet nuanced and comprehensive analysis of an issue of enormous political importance. Both students and specialists will learn a great deal from this absolutely first-rate book." ---Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow, Cornell University "Dr. Ayoob addresses the nuances and complexities of political Islam---be it mainstream, radical, or militant---and offers a road map of the pivotal players and issues that define the movement. There is no one as qualified as Mohammed Ayoob to write a synthesis of various manifestations of political Islam. His complex narrative highlights the changes and shifts that have taken place within the Islamist universe and their implications for internal Muslim politics and relations between the world of Islam and the Christian world." ---Fawaz A. Gerges, Carnegie Scholar, and holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, Sarah Lawrence College "Let's hope that many readers---not only academics but policymakers as well---will use this invaluable book." ---Franç ois Burgat, Director, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institute for Research and Study on the Arab and Muslim World (IREMAM), Aix-en-Provence, France "This is a wonderful, concise book by an accomplished and sophisticated political scientist who nonetheless manages to convey his interpretation of complex issues and movements to even those who have little background on the subject. It is impressive in its clarity, providing a badly needed text on political Islam that's accessible to college students and the general public alike." ---Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations with a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University.

The Impossible State

Author: Wael B. Hallaq
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023116257X
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Wael B. Hallaq boldly argues that the ÒIslamic state,Ó judged by any standard definition of what the modern state represents, is both impossible and inherently self-contradictory. Comparing the legal, political, moral, and constitutional histories of premodern Islam and Euro-America, he finds the adoption and practice of the modern state to be highly problematic for modern Muslims. He also critiques more expansively modernityÕs moral predicament, which renders impossible any project resting solely on ethical foundations. The modern state not only suffers from serious legal, political, and constitutional issues, Hallaq argues, but also, by its very nature, fashions a subject inconsistent with what it means to be, or to live as, a Muslim. By Islamic standards, the stateÕs technologies of the self are severely lacking in moral substance, and todayÕs Islamic state, as Hallaq shows, has done little to advance an acceptable form of genuine ShariÕa governance. The IslamistsÕ constitutional battles in Egypt and Pakistan, the Islamic legal and political failures of the Iranian Revolution, and similar disappointments underscore this fact. Nevertheless, the state remains the favored template of the Islamists and the ulama (Muslim clergymen). Providing Muslims with a path toward realizing the good life, Hallaq turns to the rich moral resources of Islamic history. Along the way, he proves political and other Òcrises of IslamÓ are not unique to the Islamic world nor to the Muslim religion. These crises are integral to the modern condition of both East and West, and by acknowledging these parallels, Muslims can engage more productively with their Western counterparts.

Islamic Exceptionalism

Author: Shadi Hamid
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466866721
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.

The Awakening of Muslim Democracy

Author: Jocelyne Cesari
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107513294
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Why and how did Islam become such a political force in so many Muslim-majority countries? In this book, Jocelyne Cesari investigates the relationship between modernization, politics, and Islam in Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Turkey - countries that were founded by secular rulers and have since undergone secularized politics. Cesari argues that nation-building processes in these states have not created liberal democracies in the Western mold, but have instead spurred the politicization of Islam by turning it into a modern national ideology. Looking closely at examples of Islamic dominance in political modernization, this study provides a unique overview of the historical and political developments from the end of World War II to the Arab Spring that have made Islam the dominant force in the construction of the modern states, and discusses Islam's impact on emerging democracies in the contemporary Middle East.

Muslims and Political Participation in Britain

Author: Timothy Peace
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317931971
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This new volume showcases the latest research into Muslim political participation both in terms of electoral politics and civil society initiatives. Muslims play a prominent role in British political life yet what do we actually know about the involvement of British Muslims beyond the existence of a handful of Muslim MPs? What is unique about political participation in Muslim communities? All the major parties actively seek to court a ‘Muslim electorate’ but does such a phenomenon exist? Despite the impact that Muslims have had on election campaigns and their roles in various political institutions, research on this topic remains scant. Indeed, much of the existing work was couched within the broader areas of the participation of ethnic minorities or the impact of race on electoral politics. The chapters in this volume address this lacuna by highlighting different aspects of Muslim participation in British politics. They investigate voting patterns and election campaigns, civil society and grassroots political movements, the engagement of young people and the participation of Muslims in formal political institutions. Written in an accessible style, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of political participation and religious studies.