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A Global Perspective

In this book, faith leaders, scholars and activists from around the globe provide their perspective on faith and abortion. They reflect on examples of faith organisations which have provided leadership on the issue as well as examining religious approaches from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and interfaith perspectives.

Challenging the assumption that all people of faith are anti-abortion, this book provides a counterpoint to right-wing faith perspectives and outlines how faith communities reimagine abortion as an issue of social, pastoral and theological concern.

Providing perspectives from the global North and South, it includes settings where abortion is legal, and where it is restricted, and settings where abortion stigma is ever-present to settings where abortion is normalised. It also demonstrates the complex connections between faith and abortion, how women and pregnant people are positioned in society and how morality is claimed and challenged.

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Rereading the History of Western and US Criminological Thought
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This book presents a critical history of Western criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the development of modern criminological theories, mainly in the United States, over the last hundred years. It explores a variety of approaches including the classical school, the various currents of positivist criminology, and the managerial movement.

Mehozay contends that Western criminological thought can be seen as an ideological project based on ‘otherness’, justifying social hierarchies and sustaining the control of some people over others. He demonstrates how ideologies of otherness, such as the non-rational other, the pathological other and more, validate projects of control, exclusion, modernization, and care.

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Religious Inequality and the Struggle for Sustainable Development

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Freedom of religion and belief is crucial to any sustainable development process, yet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pay little attention to religious inequalities.

This book offers a comprehensive overview of how efforts to achieve SDGs can be enhanced by paying greater attention to freedom of religion and belief. In particular, it illustrates how poverty is often a direct result of religious prejudice and how religious identity can shape a person’s job prospects, their children’s education and the quality of public services they receive. Drawing on evidence from Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, the book foregrounds the lived experiences of marginalized communities as well as researchers and action organizations.

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Whose Reality Counts?
Editors: and

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Examining countries where religious pluralism is in decline, including Iraq, India, Pakistan and Nigeria, this book brings together reflections, knowledge and learning about the daily experiences of religious minorities, generated using participatory research methods. It also showcases the participatory methodologies implemented by its international team of contributors and highlights the importance of using non-extractive methods for engaging with participants.

Including a careful consideration of the ethics and limitations of participatory research with persecuted groups, the book reflects on the implications for people’s agency when research creates space for them to reflect on their realities in a group setting and uses methods which put their own experience and analysis at the centre of the process.

Open access
Finding Faith, Freedom and Fraternity

Are you a prison officer who feels nervous about dealing with Muslims on the wings?

Are you a prison chaplain who wants to know how your chaplaincy affects the lives of prisoners?

Are you a policymaker who needs a robust base of evidence for Islam in prison?

Are you an academic or a journalist seeking ground-breaking social science in a contentious field?

Based on original evidence from 279 Muslim prisoners and 79 prison officers, we explore how Muslims come to be incarcerated, how the practice of Islam affects prison life and rehabilitation, the types of Islam and the effects of Islamic conversion in prison and the professional practice of officers and chaplains. We also investigate the common belief that incarceration fosters Islamist extremism and suggest improvements to faith provision and rehabilitative opportunities for Muslim prisoners.

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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
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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
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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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