Rafael Palomino (Complutense): Legal Dimensions of Secularism: Challenges and Problems. Craig Calhoun on religion’s many powers: An excerpt from The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, with chapters by Judith Butler, Jurgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West. The introduction to The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now. A review of The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism by Paul Cliteur. Disenchantment and the mind-dependence of the moral: How does secularism crowd values out of our picture of the world? An interview with Richard Dawkins about the shortcomings of religion, the grandeur of reality and the God Gene. Unreasonable Doubt: The reasons for unbelief are more complex than many atheists let on. A review of The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul. Damon Linker reviews The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life by Jesse Bering. In trying to make religion sound more logical and scientific, are educated Indians actually having a crisis of faith? 200 years ago Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from Oxford for publishing The Necessity of Atheism; Jonathan Ree reassesses the romantic poet’s rationalism. From Arion, how did God get started? Far from providing aid and comfort to those who seek evidence for a Creator, the quantum computer universe makes not only the existence of a Creator unnecessary, it makes it unlikely. A review of The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism by ST Joshi. Is secular humanism a religion? Andrew Hartman investigates. A review of The Errors of Atheism by J. Angelo Corlett. What would “evidence” for God look like? Bernard Schweizer on why some people hate God. Why would (otherwise intelligent) scholars believe in "religion"? Pascal Boyer wants to know.
Emre Gokalp (Anadolu): Pride and Anger: Orhan Pamuk's Nobel Prize and Discourses of Nationalism. From Jacobin, by revealing the increasing impotence and irrelevance of the American empire, the people of Egypt and Libya helped free us to concentrate on our own domestic struggles (and an addendum). On Libya’s Revolutionary Road: Robert F. Worth on the sudden, bloody transformation of normal citizens into rebels. A review of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet (and more and more). Pat Kane on ten years of the Play Ethic: There's nothing like the tenth anniversary of your own cultural meme to help you mark the passage of time. Canada, how does it work? Michelle Dean on Canada, its politics and the upcoming election. Donald Trump, birther: Will the Republican candidates for 2012 make Obama's birth certificate a primary issue? A new obsession sweeps Japan: With hundreds of thousands of people displaced and many still missing, anything with the barest hint of luxury invites condemnation in post-tsunami Japan. Let’s talk about the differences between environmentalists and scientists. The first sexual revolution and its discontents: How the sex freedom of the 1920s sexual revolution was not intended to promote true freedom, especially not for women. The first chapter from Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories by Federico Varese. An interview with Alex Steffen of Worldchanging: "The big open secret about sustainability work is not how bad things are. It is how good things can get". Mark Phelan argues that our judgements about the intentions of others are not as simple as they seem.
From the inaugural issue of Interdisciplinary Political Studies, a special issue on the European Union. From Economic Sociology, a special issue on the euro and the global financial crisis. From The Guardian, getting to know our neighbours better: An in-depth look at four European countries. Frank Jacobs looks at the United Diagrams of Europe. Diogo De Sousa e Alvim (Macau): Secessionist Movements in Western Europe: Is It a Case of Self-Determination? Conundrums of geopolitical classification: Martin W. Lewis on how the Netherlands is no longer a low country. Liana Giorgi (ICCR): Tariq Ramadan vs. Daniel Cohn-Bendit or Why a European Model of Society Based on Weak Citizenship is Not Such a Good Idea. A review of The Nordic Way: Shared Norms for the New Reality. Research suggests Denmark, Finland and Belgium have best democracies. Unified Italy reaches its 150th anniversary — but Italians still lack a national identity. A review of The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples by David Gilmour (and more and more). Cooperate or Fail! Ulrich Beck on the way out of the Euro crisis. From e-flux, Peio Aguirre on the state of Spain: Nationalism, critical regionalism, and biennialization; Sven Lutticken on heteronomous hobby: Report from the Netherlands; and Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen on the turn towards liberal state racism in Denmark. The multiculturalism the European right fears so much is a fiction — it never existed. Scared of instability and waves of immigration, European governments have wrongly privileged their own national interests over democracy in the Middle East. Michael Schuman on Europe's other “Germany problem”. From Reuters, a special report on how lobbyists rewrite Europe's laws. What is left of the promise that was Europe? A review of Perry Anderson’s The New Old World.
Benjamin J. Richardson (UBC): A Damp Squib: Environmental Law from a Human Evolutionary Perspective. From the Graduate Journal of Social Science, a special issue on Transgender Studies. An interview with Dean Spade, America’s first openly transgendered law professor, on the power of zines, the sacrifice social movements require, and the limits of legal reform. After Three Mile Island: Christian Parenti on the rise and fall of nuclear safety culture. Still crusading, but now on the inside: Samantha Power, President Obama’s adviser on foreign policy, champions the idea that nations have a moral obligation to prevent genocide. Revolution and liberalism just don’t mix: Simmering just beneath the ideals is something far less noble — the pull of solidarity. The Island Nation: Japan will rebuild, but not how you think — and 20 years of misread history holds the clues. While defining prostitution as "sex work" implies entitlements, it also glosses over gendered inequality; can the abolitionist arguments of the nineteenth century provide the basis for an alternative? A look at what reindeer herding reveals about communism. Gaffes, lies, and dumb mistakes, which politicians spread falsehoods? From Palin to Bachmann to Biden, The Daily Beast ranks the country’s 10 most ill-informed leaders. From Popular Mechanics, a series on how to disaster-proof your life. Deeper into commodification: Social media represents new threats to and possibilities for the perceived moral basis of capitalism. The Manhattan Meltdown Scenario: Antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott on how New York’s nightmare would unfold. The Fukushima nuclear disaster: How will U.S. energy policy be affected? How pornography drugs and changes your brain: The mind likes what it sees and then rewards (with pheromones) the body.
From Logos, Eduardo Mendieta (Stony Brook): Interspecies Cosmopolitanism: Towards a Discourse Ethics Grounding of Animal Rights; and Paola Cavalieri on Cetaceans: From bare life to nonhuman others. From Yes!, a special issue: "Can Animals Save Us?" Racism versus speciesism: Are white animal rights advocates who promote veganism inherently racist by not taking into account different cultures’ perspectives on animals? The creature connection: Our love for animals can be traced to our capacity to infer the mental states of others, which archaeological evidence suggests emerged more than 50,000 ago. Clare Palmer on her book Animal Ethics in Context. Is meat eating justified by the fact that millions of animals would never exist should no one care to eat them? An excerpt from Practical Ethics by Peter Singer. A review of The Moral Lives of Animals by Dale Peterson. A review of Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals by Jean Kazez. An interview with Jonathan Safran Foer on Eating Animals. From The Believer, an interview with Gary Francione, co-author of The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? It's a dog's life, and it matters: With the rise of utilitarianism in the 18th century, the ability to feel pain became central to moral calculus, guiding how we treat animals. Animal welfare does not damage competitiveness: EU farmers hold their own well in competition with the rest of the world, despite the comparatively high demands the EU places on agricultural production. Emotional power broker of the modern family: Pets alter not only a family’s routines but also its hierarchy, social rhythm and web of relationships. Why don't farm animals get the respect pets do?