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Polity publishes a number of textbooks and original works in the area of Religious Studies. Our list is especially rich in books exploring the sociology of religion, including Alan Aldridge’s Religion in the Contemporary World, Steve Bruce’s Fundamentalism and Sutton and Vertigans’ Resurgent Islam.
Polity also publishes a number of Religious Studies texts designed to appeal to a broader readership. Recent highlights have included Kandil's Inside the Brotherhood, Roudinesco's Revisiting the Jewish Question and a number of books by psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan.
We also publish many leading philosophers and social thinkers whose work is directly relevant to students and scholars of religion, including Jürgen Habermas, Paul Ricoeur and Gianni Vattimo.
Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.
Mark Coffey & Dennis Brown: Ethics for OCR Religious Studies
A comprehensive guide to AS and A2 Ethics for the OCR board, this textbook aims to provide a rigorous and accessible introduction to both historical and contemporary ethical thinkers. It guides students through exam essay technique and the application of ethical theory to key areas of debate in ethics today.
Daniel Speak: The Problem of Evil
"Philosophical investigations during the last 50 years have shed a good deal of new light on the ancient problem of evil. Daniel Speak’s judicious book covers all these developments. This book will be a great resource for anyone interested in the compatibility of God and evil – from true believer to die-hard atheist."
Dean Zimmerman, Rutgers University
Peter Kivisto: Religion and Immigration
"An excellent, readable guide to the changing contours of religion, migration, and the relationship between the two. Kivisto's account is thorough, thoughtful, and thought-provoking — a great synthesis of past thinking and a smart roadmap for important directions forward."
Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University
Alan Aldridge: Religion in the Contemporary World 3e
"The new edition of Religion in the Contemporary World is a timely guide to the social significance of religion. It is comprehensive, clear and convincing. Alan Aldridge is to be congratulated for writing such a well-informed and readable account of both the routine and the eye-catching aspects of religion in various regions of the world. From 'cults' to civil religion, from secularization to state control, and from diversity to identity, the analysis of arguments and examples is challenging and shrewd. This is the sociology of religion at its best."
James A. Beckford, University of Warwick
Tariq Modood: Multiculturalism 2e
In the second edition of this popular and compelling book, Modood shows how the rise of Islamic terrorism has neither discredited multiculturalism nor heralded a clash of civilizations. Instead, it has highlighted an enduring challenge for the 21st century - the urgent need to include Muslims in contemporary conceptions of democratic citizenship.
Alan Dowty: Israel/Palestine 3e
In this fully revised and updated third edition of his highly respected introductory text, Alan Dowty demystifies the conflict by putting it in broad historical perspective, identifying its roots, and tracing its evolution up to the current impasse. His account offers a clear analytic framework for understanding transformations over time, and in doing so, punctures the myths of an "age-old" conflict with an unbridgeable gap between the two sides.
Leslie Stein: Israel Since the Six-Day War
Completing his acclaimed trilogy on the history of Israel, Leslie Stein brings readers right up to contemporary events in Israel Since the Six Day War. Stein chronicles Israel's wars and military engagements, but he also assesses many other issues, including Israel's economic development, and the nature of the PLO and Palestinian Authority.
Beverley Clack and Brian R. Clack: The Philosophy of Religion 2e
The fully revised and updated second edition of Beverley Clack and Brian R. Clack's exciting and innovative introduction to the philosophy of religion provides a bold and refreshing alternative to the standard analytic approaches to the subject. Retaining the accessibility which made it popular for both teachers and students, the new edition reflects recent developments in the subject, and, in a move that highlights the originality of the authors' approach, they offer a critical engagement with current world events. An entirely new concluding chapter interrogates the connection between religion and terror, and demonstrates how philosophy of religion might be conducted under the terrible shadow of 9/11.
Oliver Leaman: Islamic Philosophy: An Introduction 2e
A concise and accessible introduction to the major movements, thinkers and concepts within Islamic philosophy, from the foundation of Islam to the present day. Leaman outlines this history and demonstrates that, although the development of Islamic philosophy is closely linked with Islam itself, its form is not essentially connected to religion, and its leading ideas and arguments are of general philosophical significance. The author illustrates the importance of Islamic thought within philosophy through the use of many modern examples.
Zygmunt Bauman & Stanislaw Obirek: Of God and Man
In this engaging dialogue, Zygmunt Bauman, sociologist and philosopher, and Stanislaw Obirek, theologian and cultural historian, explore the place of spirituality and religion in the world today and in the everyday lives of individuals.
Peter Sloterdijk: In the Shadow of Mount Sinai
In this book, Sloterdijk clarifies his views on religion and its role in pre-modern and modern societies. He begins with the Mount Sinai episode in Exodus, identifying the emergence of what he calls the ‘Sinai Schema’. At the core of monotheism is the logic of belonging to a community of confession–what Sloterdijk calls the Sinai Schema.
Christian Joppke: The Secular State Under Siege
"In this impressive work, the author follows up a sustained historical and conceptual discussion of the relations between political and religious power with a penetrating analysis of some of their major contemporary problematics. Throughout, the scholarly intensity of Joppke’s argument is matched by his capacity for clear, literate exposition." Gianfranco Poggi, University of Virginia
Hazem Kandil: Inside the Brotherhood
This is the first in-depth study of the relationship between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its own members. Drawing on extensive research, the book provides an intimate portrayal of the recruitment and socialization of Brothers, the evolution of their social networks, and the construction of the ideology that shapes their everyday practices.
Élizabeth Roudinesco: Revisiting the Jewish Question
What does it mean to be Jewish? What is an anti-Semite? Why does the enigmatic identity of the men who founded the first monotheistic religion arouse such passions? Re-examining the Jewish question, Roudinesco shows that there is a permanent tension between the figures of the 'universal Jew' and the 'territorial Jew'.
Navid Kermani: God is Beautiful
The melodious recitation of the Quran is a fundamental aesthetic experience for Muslims, and the start of a compelling journey of ideas. Navid Kermani considers the manner in which the Quran has been perceived, apprehended and experienced by its recipients from the time of the Prophet to the present day.
Jacques Lacan: The Triumph of Religion
Lacan argues that Christianity is the one true religion and predicts that it will triumph over psychoanalysis due to its enduring power, and even more so in a time of scientific advances. He argues that religion has always been all about giving meaning to things that previously were natural and it will continue to carry out this role in the future.
Jacques Lacan: On the Names-of-the-Father
The book is comprised of two key texts that were decisive in the making of Jacques Lacan - one which introduces for the first time his key concepts of the symbolic, the imaginary and the real, and another which he wrote just at the moment when he split off from mainstream psychoanalysis.
Jack Goody: Islam in Europe
This vigorously argued book reveals the central role that Islam has played in European history. Following the movement of people, culture and religion from East to West, Goody breaks down the perceived opposition between Islam and Europe, showing Islam to be a part of Europe's past and present. In an historical analysis of religious warfare and forced migration, Goody examines our understanding of legitimate violence, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. His comparative perspective offers important and illuminating insights into current political problems and conflicts.
Jan Assmann: Religio Duplex
In this important new book, the distinguished Egyptologist Jan Assmann provides a masterful overview of a crucial theme in the religious history of the West – that of 'religio duplex', or dual religion. He examines Ancient Egyptian theology, the reception in the Enlightenment and also considers the nature of religion in our times.