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The Politics of Sanity

Why do the UK and US disproportionately incarcerate the mentally ill, frequently poor people of color? Via multiple re-framings of the question–theological, socioeconomic, and psychological– Andrew Skotnicki diagnoses a “persecution of the prophetic” at the heart of the contemporary criminal justice system.

This interdisciplinary book draws on criminology, theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and psychiatric history to consider the increasingly intractable issue of mass incarceration. Inviting a new, collaborative conversation on penal reform as a fundamentally “life-affirming” project, it defends the dignity of those diagnosed as mentally unstable and their capacity for spiritual transcendence.

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The Spirit of Political Participation
Author: Timothy Stacey

In the wake of populism, Timothy Stacey’s book critically reflects on what is missing from the liberal project with the aim of saving liberalism.

It explains that populists have harnessed myth, ritual, magic and tradition to advance their ambitions, and why opponents need to embrace rather than eschew them. Via examples of liberally-minded activists in Vancouver, it presents an accessible theorisation of these quasi-religious concepts in secular life.

The result is to provide both a new theoretical understanding of why liberalism fails to engage people, and a toolkit for campaigners, policymakers and academics seeking to bridge the gap between liberal aspirations and lived experiences, to promote political engagement and to create unity out of division.

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Practical Tools for Improving Teaching, Research, and Scholarship

Despite progress, the Western higher education system is still largely dominated by scholars from the privileged classes of the Global North. This book presents examples of efforts to diversify points of view, include previously excluded people, and decolonize curricula.

What has worked? What hasn’t? What further visions do we need? How can we bring about a more democratic and just academic life for all?

Written by scholars from different disciplines, countries, and backgrounds, this book offers an internationally relevant, practical guide to ‘doing diversity’ in the social sciences and humanities and decolonising higher education as a whole.

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Essays on Comedy, Joking, and Mirth in Contemporary Islamic Contexts

This thought-provoking collection offers a multi-disciplinary approach on the subject of humour, Muslims and Islam.

Beginning with theoretical perspectives on the subject and scriptural guidance on permissible and restricted humour, the volume presents a variety of case studies about Muslim comedic practices in various cultural, political, and religious contexts.

This unprecedented scholarship sheds new light on common misconceptions about humour and laughter in Islam and deftly tackles sensitive themes from blasphemy to freedom of speech.

Chapters 9 is available Open Access via OAPEN under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

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An Inequality of Power
Author: Maddy Power

Exploring why food aid exists and the deeper causes of food poverty, this book addresses neglected dimensions of traditional food aid and food poverty debates.

It argues that the food aid industry is infused with neoliberal governmentality and shows how food charity upholds Christian ideals and white privilege, maintaining inequalities of class, race, religion and gender. However, it also reveals a sector that is immensely varied, embodying both individualism and mutual aid.

Drawing upon lived experiences, it documents how food sharing amid poverty fosters solidarity and gives rise to alternative modes of food redistribution among communities. By harnessing these alternative ways of being, food aid and communities can be part of movements for economic and racial justice.

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On Hope, Mercy and Restoration
Editor: Andrew Millie

At a time when criminal justice systems appear to be in a permanent state of crisis, leading scholars from criminology and theology come together to challenge criminal justice orthodoxy by questioning the dominance of retributive punishment.

This timely and unique contribution considers alternatives that draw on Christian ideas of hope, mercy and restoration.

Promoting cross-disciplinary learning, the book will be of interest to academics and students of criminology, socio-legal studies, legal philosophy, public theology and religious studies, as well as practitioners and policy makers.

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Reconnecting a Chain of Learning
Author: Adam Dinham

This book presents a crisis of religion and belief literacy to which education at every level is challenged to respond.

As understanding different religions, beliefs and influences becomes increasingly important, it fills a gap for a resource in bringing together the debates around religious literacy, from theoretical approaches to teaching and policy.

This timely publication provides a clear pathway for engaging well with religion and belief diversity in public and shared settings.

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Lessons from Uganda, Mozambique and Ethiopia

What social factors contribute to the tragic state of health care in Africa?

Focusing on East African societies, this book is the first to investigate what role religion plays in health care in African cultures. Taking into account the geopolitical and economic environments of the region, the authors examine the roles played by individual and group beliefs, government policies, and pressure from the Millennium Development Goals in affecting health outcomes.

Informed by existing related studies, and on-the-ground interviews with individuals and organizations in Uganda, Mozambique and Ethiopia, this interdisciplinary book will form an invaluable resource for scholars seeking to better understand the links between society, multi-level state instruments, and health care in East Africa.

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Author: Hans Boutellier

Moral order is disturbed by criminal events. However, in a secularized and networked society a common moral ground is increasingly hard to find.

People feel confused about the bigger issues of our time such as crime, anti-social behaviour, Islamist radicalism, sexual harassment and populism. Traditionally, issues around morality have been neglected by criminologists.

Through theory, case studies and discussion, this book sheds a new and topical light on these concerns. Using the moral perspective, Boutellier bridges the gap between people’s emotional opinions on crime, and criminologists’ rationalized answers to questions of crime and security.

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21st-century policy and practice

The need to reimagine religion and belief is precipitated by their greater visibility in public life. Meanwhile, social policy responses often see them from a problem-based, rather than an asset-based, approach. However, with growing diversity of religion and belief in every sector comes the potential for new dialogues across previously impermeable policy and disciplinary silos.

This volume brings together leading international authors to critically consider these challenges within legal and policy frameworks, including security and cohesion, welfare, law, health and social care, inequality, cohesion, extremism, migration and abuse. It challenges policy makers to re-imagine religion and belief as an integral part of public life that contains resources, practices, forms of knowledge and experience that are essential to a coherent policy approach to diversity, enhanced democracy and participation.

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