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Friday, February 21, 2014

Sexual Temptations that Women Face ("Umm Reem" Saba Syed), plus weekly faithwise roundup

  • WhatsApp Spreads Fast Among Ultra-Orthodox — and Rabbis Cry Foul Is Popular Free Messaging Service Kosher?
  • Judaism: Our Children's What'sApp Culture
  • Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions
  • Bar Ilan U. to Dedicate Room for Muslim Prayers Following request from Muslim student, Bar Ilan University's administration agrees to set aside one room for Muslim prayers.
  • Securing the Sacred: Religion, National Security, and the Western State (Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics) Robert M. Bosco  --
    Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Western nations have increasingly recognized religion as a consideration in domestic and foreign policy. In this empirical comparison of the securitization of Islam in Britain, France, and the United States, Robert M. Bosco argues that religion is a category of phenomena defined by the discourses and politics of both religious and state elites.Despite significant theoretical distinctions between securitization on the domestic and the international levels, he finds that the outcome of addressing religion within the context of security hinges upon partnerships. Whereas states may harness the power of international allies, they cannot often find analogous domestic allies; therefore, states that attempt to securitize religion at home are more vulnerable to counterattack and more likely to abandon their efforts. This book makes a significant contribution to the fields of political theory, international relations, Islamic studies, and security/military studies.
    “Securing the Sacred provides a superb analysis of the post-9/11 interface between religion, national security, and scholarship in Western foreign policy discourse. This is a must read for students and scholars in security studies and the sociology of public policy.” —Peter Mandaville, George Mason University
    “Though Islam entered mainstream foreign policy discourse over a decade ago, how it is understood in Britain, France, and the United States as a security issue is little understood. This book provides a concise and theoretically compelling account for how these different countries have approached religion as a security issue, demonstrating that discourse and domestic politics may be as critical to national security as power and foreign relations.” —Monica Duffy Toft, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University -

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Two Penguin authors, Jyotirmaya Sharma and Siddharth Varadarajan, want their books withdrawn, pulped

New Book Expounds On Fundamental Unity Underlying Diversity of World Religions

Difference Dissolved: Mystic Union Explained by Spencer Perdriau
Book Description:
"“You don’t need to be a prophet, holy man, saint or messiah to attain Mystic Union. If Unity were not attainable by ordinary man, then none of us would have the ability to realize The Eternal.” ...
'Spiritual/Mystical Unity is open and available to all, regardless of belief or religious preference. This is the self-realized universal ideal of contemporary mystic Spencer Perdriau. Towards the goal of world religious unity, he has written an insightful and wise tract about things that unify everyone and makes them equal in "Difference Dissolved".
On the same shelf:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marriage: What’s love got to do with it? Historically, very little, plus weekly faithwise roundup

VALENTINES News (first image (on the left): How the World Tweets I Love You: 1. Israel; 2. Sweden; 3. Norway; 4. Spain; 5. Hungary; 6. Netherlands; 7. Greece; 8. Saudi Arabia; 9. Turkey; 10. UAE): Twitter Valentines Locations
On the same shelf:

  • What Non-Christians Want Christians To Hear 
  •  Single woman seeking part-time lover?
  • Why I Keep Working to Close Guantánamo
  • The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: (With Answers) Mark Mittelberg
  • What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism Robert Schoen
  •   I'm OK - You're Not: The Message We're Sending Nonbelievers And Why We Should Stop John Shore
  • Solidarity Across Religious Lines -- World Interfaith Harmony Week at the United Nations
  • NSA denies that it eavesdropped on Vatican
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible E. Randolph Richards
  • A Manual for Creating Atheists Peter Boghossian
  • More Fruits of Multi-Faith Labor
  • Catholic Bishops' meet calls for inter-faith dialogue
  •  Interfaith couples most common in Spain, according to Facebook profiles 
  • Athiests and nonbelievers 'still have a place' in Utah's interfaith community
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality Donald Miller
  • Is It OK to Talk to the Grave of Your Loved One?
  • Evangelical women look beyond Bible study to new causes - Religion News Service
  • Will the 'Chained Wives' of Judaism Finally Be Released? 
  •  Muslim woman says people friendlier when hat, scarf cover hijab
  • Are You One of Those Sufis? Mohamed Ghilan
  • Desacralizing Arabic & Alienating Non-Arabs by Mohamed Ghilan
  • Measuring the Church’s social footprint
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Penguin's withdrawal of The Hindus, An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger won't make it disappear Note: Book recalls are certainly nothing new, and it has been all over.What is very next to impossible to accomplish is total/virtual book disappearance. For e.g, Penguin and its associated agencies will stop selling remove the relevant info from the catalog or their website. Book wholesalers/distributors, such as, Amazon, Barnes, Books a Million... etc., may comply with recall. How about retailers, libraries, second hand book dealers, used books at Amazon and many online stores that are in the market? How difficult is the process can be seen in this article: How to Make a Book Disappear

    What happens when a book is banned, see the examples, (and really, they didn't realize a ban would make this book a bestseller?):
    "The US ban on James Joyce's Ulysses was lifted. (1933) The book had been banned on grounds of indecency since 1921, and several magazine publishers were fined for attempting to publish serial versions of the book, including one who tried to publish it as erotica. The ban only served to make the book more desirable to American readers, and visitors to Paris regularly brought copies back for their friends. The first authorized copy of Ulysses was published in the US the year after the ban was lifted." (source: wiseGEEK)
    "Authors and academics have taken to Twitter to voice their disgust at the apparent decision of Penguin to recall and destroy a book on the history of Hinduism, which campaigners have called offensive."
     'As one author commenting on Penguin’s surrender said: “Once we give up on the right to offend in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘respect,’ we constrain our ability to challenge those in power, and therefore to challenge injustice.” The book banners win in India, again.' Tarek Fatah
    "After a controversy broke out over the withdrawal of American Indologist Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: An Alternative History, novelist Vikram Seth has backed her “scholarly” work and cautioned against yielding to extremism of any kind. “The idiotic group, by the name of Shiksha Bachao Andolan, is saying this is only one battle. It wants to win a war. We must not put up with extremism of any kind. We are one country, and we must not allow that to happen. We are free-minded. We must not allow ourselves to be crushed,” Mr. Seth said at a session of the Patna Literature Festival, which opened on Friday." Let’s not put up with extremism, says Vikram Seth

    Here is a link to Doniger's book, as of now at Amazon: The Hindus: An Alternative History  Wendy Doniger, Penguin Books (2010) 
    From one of the world's foremost scholars of Hinduism, a vivid reinterpretation of its history.
    An engrossing and definitive narrative account of history and myth, The Hindus offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account. Many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated within a century; its central tenets arise at particular moments in Indian history and often differ according to gender or caste; and the differences between groups of Hindus far outnumber the commonalities. Yet the greatness of Hinduism lies precisely in many of these idiosyncratic qualities that continue to inspire debate today. This groundbreaking work elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds, the inner life and the social history of Hindus.
    What reviewers sayWendy Doniger's erudite "alternative history" shouldn't be anyone's introduction to Hinduism. But once you've learned the basics about this most spiritual of cultures, don't miss this equivalent of a brilliant graduate course from a feisty and exhilarating teacher. —The Washington Post; See also: On Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus" by Amardeep Singh; "
    Wendy Doniger's book "The Hindus, an Alternative History", published and distributed by Penguin has been a phenomenal sales success. Already (in February 2010), more than 600 libraries in North America have acquired a copy of the book, in less than one year since its publication. The Indian division of Penguin has brought out an Indian reprint as well. Doniger claims that her book is about Hindu women, low castes, dogs and horses. -- Review by Vishal Agarwal 
    "Yet it is impossible not to admire a book that strides so intrepidly into a polemical arena almost as treacherous as Israel-­Arab relations. During a lecture in London in 2003, Doniger escaped being hit by an egg thrown by a Hindu nationalist apparently angry at the “sexual thrust” of her interpretation of the “sacred” “Ramayana.” This book will no doubt further expose her to the fury of the modern-day Indian heirs of the British imperialists who invented “Hinduism.” Happily, it will also serve as a salutary antidote to the fanatics who perceive — correctly — the fluid existential identities and commodious metaphysic of practiced Indian religions as a threat to their project of a culturally homogenous and militant nation-state. " Pankaj Mishra,
    Table of Contents:  
    Table of Contents
    1 Introduction: Working with Available Light 17
    2 Time and Space in India: 50 Million to 50,000 BCE 50
    3 Civilization in the Indus Valley: 50,000 to 1500 BCE 65
    4 Between the Ruins and the Text: 2000 to 1500 BCE 85
    5 Humans, Animals, and Gods in the Rig Veda: 1500 to 1000 BCE 103
    6 Sacrifice in the Brahmanas: 800 to 500 BCE 135
    7 Renunciation in the Upanishads: 600 to 200 BCE 164
    8 The Three (or Is It Four?) Aims of Life in the Hindu Imaginary 199
    9 Women and Ogresses in the Ramayana: 400 BCE to 200 CE 212
    10 Violence in the Mahabharata: 300 BCE to 300 CE 252
    11 Dharma in the Mahabharata: 300 BCE to 300 CE 277
    12 Escape Clauses in the Shastras: 100 BCE to 400 CE 304
    13 Bhakti in South India: 100 BCE to 900 CE 338
    14 Goddesses and Gods in the Early Puranas: 300 to 600 CE 370
    15 Sects and Sex in the Tantric Puranas and the Tantras: 600 to 900 CE 406
    16 Fusion and Rivalry Under the Delhi Sultanate: 650 to 1500 CE 445
    17 Avatar and Accidental Grace in the Later Puranas: 800 to 1500 CE 473
    18 Philosophical Feuds in South India and Kashmir: 800 to 1300 CE 503
    19 Dialogue and Tolerance Under the Mughals: 1500 to 1700 CE 527
    20 Hinduism Under the Mughals: 1500 to 1700 CE 551
    21 Caste, Class, and Conversion Under the British Raj: 1600 to 1900 CE 574
    22 Suttee and Reform in the Twilight of the Raj: 1800 to 1947 CE 610
    23 Hindus in America: 1900- 636
    24 The Past in the Present: 1950- 654
    25 In conclusion, or, the Abuse of History 687 
    News about withdrawal of the book:

    Saturday, February 08, 2014

    Jain-Gujrati sisters make a film on the communal divide, plus weekly faithwise roundup

    Sunday, February 02, 2014

    Anglican Church issues 9 Twitter commandments

    Thou shalt not share: Diocese draws up 'Nine Commandments' for Anglicans using Twitter  -- "The Church of England has come up with a new way of adapting its teaching to the digital age – by drawing up a list of nine commandments... "
    [see also :]

    The nine commandments of Twitter:
    1 Don't rush in
    2 Remember updates are transient, yet permanent
    3 You are an ambassador for the church
    4 Do not hide behind anonymity
    5 Think about the blurring of public/private life boundaries
    6 Safeguarding: communicating directly online is like meeting someone in private
    7 Stay within the legal framework
    8 Respect confidentiality
    9 Be mindful of your own security
    On the same shelf:

    Imam tells Muslim clerics: 'Don't be slaves, join a union' -- Is this all about religious minister's rights?

    Sunday 2 February 2014, Herald Scotland:
    The first Muslim imam to join a trade union in the UK wants his fellow clerics to follow his lead to stop them being treated "like slaves" by mosques.
    Muhammad Sajjad Asim, who sued Edinburgh Central Mosque for breach of contract, said many imams are not paid the minimum wage, are not given holidays, are expected to supplement their pay with benefits, and sometimes given accommodation that is no more than a rolled-up mat in a corner of the mosque. Read more
    In another news: 'Nevertheless, the US Supreme court agreed that the Church was within its rights to "fire a religious minister."'... Read more : US Supreme Court backs religious freedom: A good lesson for Canada

    Faiths, Unions and Religious Minister's Rights:

    Saturday, February 01, 2014

    India's Muslim Spring, Plus Weekly faithwise roundup

    New books:
    News roundup:
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