Search results for: blasphemy-a-very-short-introduction

Blasphemy a Very Short Introduction

Author : YVONNE. SHERWOOD
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This book considers the steady presence of blasphemy in our world today, even as society grows increasingly secular. Discussing some of the most famous cases of blasphemy, it looks at factors such as the increased visibility of religious and racial minorities, new media, and engines of surveillance, and the legacies of colonial blasphemy laws.

Secularism

Author : Andrew Copson
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Secularism, the belief that religion should not be part of the affairs of the state, is an increasingly divisive topic. More than ever before, it is debated and criticized, as secular republics such as India and France face challenges from the resurgence of religious identity politics; while religious states like those of the Arab world enter into conflict with insurgent secularists. Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism from its origins in Europe and Asia to today. Throughout, he considers secularism's role in some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: blasphemy, apostasy, religious persecution, religious schools, and freedom of belief and thought.

Free Speech A Very Short Introduction

Author : Nigel Warburton
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'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' This slogan, attributed to Voltaire, is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find anyone prepared to defend all expression in every circumstance, especially if the views expressed incite violence. So where do the limits lie? What is the real value of free speech? Here, Nigel Warburton offers a concise guide to important questions facing modern society about the value and limits of free speech: Where should a civilized society draw the line? Should we be free to offend other people's religion? Are there good grounds for censoring pornography? Has the Internet changed everything? This Very Short Introduction is a thought-provoking, accessible, and up-to-date examination of the liberal assumption that free speech is worth preserving at any cost. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Muhammad A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jonathan A.C. Brown
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Drawing on traditional Muslim sources, Michael Cook describes Muhammad's life and teaching. He also attempts to stand back from this traditional picture to show how far it is historically justified.

The Marquis de Sade A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Phillips
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Discussing the 'real' Marquis de Sade from his mythical and demonic reputation, John Phillips examines Sade's life and work his libertine novels, his championing of atheism, and his uniqueness in bringing the body and sex back into philosophy.

Puritanism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Francis J. Bremer
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Written by a leading expert on the Puritans, this brief, informative volume offers a wealth of background on this key religious movement. This book traces the shaping, triumph, and decline of the Puritan world, while also examining the role of religion in the shaping of American society and the role of the Puritan legacy in American history. Francis J. Bremer discusses the rise of Puritanism in the English Reformation, the struggle of the reformers to purge what they viewed as the corruptions of Roman Catholicism from the Elizabethan church, and the struggle with the Stuart monarchs that led to a brief Puritan triumph under Oliver Cromwell. It also examines the effort of Puritans who left England to establish a godly kingdom in America. Bremer examines puritan theology, views on family and community, their beliefs about the proper relationship between religion and public life, the limits of toleration, the balance between individual rights and one's obligation to others, and the extent to which public character should be shaped by private religious belief. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

Blasphemy Islam and the State

Author : Stewart Fenwick
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This book draws on the work of Rawls to explore the interaction between faith, law and the right to religious freedom in post-Soeharto Indonesia, the world’s largest democracy after India and the United States. It argues that enforcement of Islamic principles by the state is inconsistent with religious diversity and the country’s liberal constitution. The book thus contributes to understanding the role of religion in the development of democracy in the world’s largest Muslim nation. A key objective is to test the argument that Rawls’ thinking about public reason cannot apply to the case of Indonesia, and Muslim states more broadly. The book therefore contributes to emerging scholarship that considers Rawls in a Muslim context. In addition to examining public reason in detail and considering critiques of the concept, the work highlights the fact that the theory was created to deal with value pluralism and is therefore relevant in any religious setting, including an Islamic one. In doing so, it emphasises that Islam is multifaceted and demonstrates the difficulties, and negative consequences, of integrating faith and law in a liberal state.

Secularism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Andrew Copson
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Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states - a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis. Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics - from the US to India - and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this Very Short Introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: 'blasphemy', 'apostasy', religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and freedom of thought in a divided world. Previously published in hardback as Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Habeas Corpus a Very Short Introduction

Author : Amanda L. Tyler
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"The storied writ of habeas corpus-literally, to hold the body-has enjoyed celebrated status in the common law tradition for centuries. Writing in the eighteenth century, the widely influential English jurist and commentator William Blackstone once labeled the writ of habeas corpus a "bulwark of our liberties." Soon thereafter, a member of Parliament glorified the writ as "[t]he great palladium of the liberties of the subject." Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, in the lead up to the American Revolution, the Continental Congress declared that the habeas privilege and the right to trial by jury were among the most important rights in a free society, "without which a people cannot be free and happy." A few years later, while promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution in The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton celebrated the privilege as one of the "greate[st] securities to liberty and republicanism" known. Thus, as another participant in the ratification debates wrote, the writ of habeas corpus has long been viewed as "essential to freedom.""--

Christian Ethics A Very Short Introduction

Author : D. Stephen Long
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This Very Short Introduction to Christian ethics introduces the topic by examining its sources and historical basis. D. Stephen Long presents a discussion of the relationship between Christian ethics, modern, and postmodern ethics, and explores practical issues including sex, money, and power. Long recognises the inherent difficulties in bringing together 'Christian' and 'ethics' but argues that this is an important task for both the Christian faith and for ethics. Arguing that Christian ethics are not a precise science, but the cultivation of practical wisdom from a range of sources, Long also discusses some of the failures of the Christian tradition, including the crusades, the conquest, slavery, inquistions, and the Galileo affair. Placing them in the context of the theory and practice of ethics and their historical persepctive, he notes the challenges they raise for Christian ethics. He concludes with a discussion of their implications in the modern era, considering how this affects our lives in the present age. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Angels A Very Short Introduction

Author : David Albert Jones
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What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, fairies, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? This Very Short Introduction investigates stories and speculations about angels in religions old and new, in art, literature, film, and the popular imagination.

Media Law a Very Short Introduction

Author : Lucas A. Powe Jr.
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Between 1964 and 1989, the US Supreme Court largely rewrote the constitutional law of the media. In doing so the Court protected virtually all materials from laws that penalized dissemination. But simultaneously the Court also approved some government policies that made access to information more difficult, causing Justice Potter Stewart to observe that the "Constitution is neither a Freedom of Information Act nor an Official Secrets Act." The media that existed during the twenty-five years of explosive legal change was relatively stable. Most Americans who wished to learn about news and public affairs received quite similar information. Over the last twenty-five years, and especially the last decade, cable, social media, and the internet combined to transform the media. The law that developed to deal with the old media is the law that now applies to the new media. Yet the underlying assumptions of that law, especially that citizens rationally consider various sides of a debate, may no longer hold. Media Law: A Very Short Introduction provides a description of the development and status of the law relating to all media -- newspapers, magazines, books, broadcasting, the Internet -- in the United States and the United Kingdom. It deals with criticism of government, taxation, defamation, privacy, libel, access to people, data, and places, obscenity, blasphemy, and the various issues created by the Internet.

Roman Britain A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Salway
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For four centuries Britain was an integral part of the Roman Empire, a political system stretching from Turkey to Portugal and from the Red Sea to the Tyne and beyond. Its involvement with Rome started long before the Conquest launched by the Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, and it continued to be a part of the Roman world for some time after the final break with Roman rule. Bringing together archaeological investigation and historical scholarship, Peter Salway explores some of the key issues arising from this period in Britain's history, discussing the question of identity at this time and analysing the importance of widespread literacy in Roman Britain. Covering the period from Julius Caesar's first forays into Britain and Claudius' subsequent conquest, as well as Britain under the later Roman Empire, Salway outlines the key events of this time period, providing a focus on society in Roman Britain, and offering a thoughtful consideration of the aftermath of Roman rule. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Peter Salway makes a number of essential updates in light of recent research in the area. He looks at issues of ethnicity, 'Britishness', and post-colonialism, provides alternative theories to the end of the Roman period in Britain, and draws parallels between the history of Roman Britain and a wide range of other periods, territories, and themes, including the modern experience of empires and national stereotypes. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Jesus A Very Short Introduction

Author : Richard Bauckham
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Two billion people today identify as Christians, with the implication that Jesus is the focus of their relationship with God, and their way of living in the world. Such followers of Jesus are now more numerous and make up a greater proportion of the world's population than ever before. Despite its decline in the West, Christianity is rapidly increasing in areas such as Africa and China. Richard Bauckham explores the historical figure of Jesus, evaluating the sources and concluding that they provide us with good historical evidence for his life and teaching. In order to place Jesus in his proper historical context, as a Jew from Galilee in the early first century of our era, Bauckham looks at Jewish religion and society in the land of Israel under Roman rule. He explores Jesus' symbolic practices as well as his teachings, looks at his public career and emphasises how his actions, such as healing and his association with notorious sinners, were just as important as his words. Bauckham shows that Jesus was devoted to the God of Israel, with a special focus on God's fatherly love and compassion, and like every Jewish teacher he expounded the Torah, but did so in his own distinctive way. With a discussion about the way Jesus understood himself and what finally led to his death as a criminal on a Roman cross, he concludes by considering the significance Jesus has come to have for Christian faith worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Calvinism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jon Balserak
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In this Very Short Introduction, Jon Balserak explores major ideas associated with the Calvinist system of thought. Beginning during the Protestant Reformation in cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Basel, Calvinismâalso known as Reformed Theologyâspread rapidly throughout Europe and the New World, eventually making its way to the African Continent and the East. Balserak examines how Calvinist thought and practice spread and took root, helping shape church and society. Much of contemporary thought, especially western thought, on everything from theology to civil government, economics, the arts, work and leisure, education, and the family has been influenced by Calvinism. Balserak explores this influence. He also examines common misconceptions and objections to Calvinism, and sets forth a Calvinist understanding of God, the world, humankind, and the meaning of life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Criminology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Tim Newburn
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Crime is big news. From murder to theft to drug gangs, crime and criminal justice affect the lives of millions of people worldwide. Hardly surprisingly, crime has been pushed high up the public policy agenda across the world. But how can we measure crime, or evaluate the effectiveness of preventative measures? Does the threat of prison reduce someone's likelihood of reoffending, or would rehabilitation be more constructive? In this Very Short Introduction Tim Newburn considers how we can study trends in crime, and use them to inform preventative policy and criminal justice. Analysing the history of the subject, he reflects on our understanding of crime and responses to crime in earlier historical periods. Considering trends in crime in the developed world, Newburn discusses its causes, exploring the relationship between drugs and crime, analysing what we know about why people stop offending, and looking at both formal and informal responses to crime. Newburn concludes by discussing what role criminology can plausibly be anticipated to have in crime control and politics, and what its limits are. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Martin Luther A Very Short Introduction

Author : Scott H. Hendrix
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When Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses (reputedly nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg), he unwittingly launch a movement that would dramatically change the course of European history. This superb short introduction to Martin Luther, written by a leading authority on Luther and the Reformation, presents this pivotal figure as historians now see him. Instead of singling him out as a modern hero, historian Scott Hendrix emphasizes the context in which Luther worked, the colleagues who supported him, and the opponents who adamantly opposed his agenda for change. The author explains the religious reformation and Luther's importance without ignoring the political and cultural forces, like princely power and Islam, which led the reformation down paths Luther could neither foresee nor influence. The book pays tribute to Luther's genius but also recognizes the self-righteous attitude that alienated contemporaries. The author offers a unique explanation for that attitude and for Luther's anti-Jewish writings, which are especially hard to comprehend after the Holocaust.

Gandhi A Very Short Introduction

Author : Bhikhu Parekh
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. His life and thought has had an enormous impact on the Indian nation, and he continues to be widely revered - known before and after his death by assassination as Mahatma, the Great Soul.

Biochemistry a Very Short Introduction

Author : Mark Lorch
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All living things are composed of cells, which have fundamentally the same chemistry. Biochemistry is the study of reactions within these cells, and the molecules that are created, manipulated, and destroyed as a result of them. This book discusses the key concepts of biochemistry, as well as the recent discoveries and innovations in the field.

The Devil A Very Short Introduction

Author : Darren Oldridge
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Why do the innocent suffer in a world created by a loving God? Does this mean that God cannot prevent this suffering, despite His supposed omnipotence? Or is God not loving after all? This in brief is 'the problem of evil'. The Devil provides one solution to this problem: his rebellion against God and hatred of His works is responsible for evil. The Christian Devil has fascinated writers and theologians since the time of the New Testament, and inspired many dramatic and haunting works of art. Today he remains a potent image in popular culture. The Devil: A Very Short Introduction presents an introduction to the Devil in the history of ideas and the lives of real people. Darren Oldridge shows us that he is a more important figure in western history than is often appreciated, and also a richly complex and contradictory one. Oldridge focuses on three main themes: the idea of the Devil being integral to western thought from the early Middle Ages to the beginnings of modernity; the principle of 'demonic inversion' (the idea that as the eternal leader of the opposition, the Devil represents the mirror image of goodness); and the multiplicity and instability of ideas about the Devil. While belief in the Devil has declined, the idea of an abstract force of evil is still remarkably strong. Oldridge concludes by exploring 'demonological' ways of thinking in our own time, including allegations of 'satanic ritual abuse' and the on-going 'war on terror'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.