Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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TK Barger


UT professors publish books on religious thought and philosophy



Three philosophy and religion professors at the University of Toledo have each added to their curriculum vitaes with recent books in print.

Ovamir Anjum, who holds the Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies, is the author of Politics, Law, and Community in Islamic Thought: The Taymiyyan Moment. It's in the series Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization, published by Cambridge University Press. This edition is a 316-page book printed on demand, for $29.99. It was originally published in hardback in 2012. The focus of Mr. Anjum's book is the political thought of Ibn Taymiyya, a medieval-period theologian, who influenced use of the Islamic supreme ruler structure, or caliphate, to serve the community. Mr. Anjum's approach is considered revisionist, giving a different approach to the accepted history, according to publishers' materials.

Peter Feldmeier, the Margaret and Thomas Murray and James J. Bacik Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies, wrote The God Conflict: Faith in the Face of New Atheism, published by Liguori, a nonprofit corporation of The Redemptorists, or the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, a Catholic holy order. His book, 192 pages in paperback, costs $17.99. He uses philosophy and religion, and a bit of standard fact-checking to refute or discredit the "shrill and strange argumentation" of some of the authors known as the New Atheists, like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Mr. Feldmeier is skeptical about skepticism, writing in the introduction, "New Atheism, it turns out, is an intellectual disaster and those who orbit this worldview are being taken." The God Conflict is in the Catholic category of new evangelization, or trying to bring people back to the Catholic Church.

Jeanine Diller, director of the Center for Religious Understanding and assistant professor of philosophy and religion, is editor with Asa Kasher, a professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel, of Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, published by Springer. In the introduction, the editors say this is the first book in 60 years, since Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese's Philosophers Speak of God, “to explore—from a philosophical perspective, and in one volume—the philosophical models of God and alternative ultimate realities." In an email, Ms. Diller said, "Someone can agree more about what God or ultimate reality is like with someone from a different tradition than they do with someone from their own tradition (the sections of the book show this—you'll find Hindus and Christians and secular philosophers all describing God in the same fundamental way). So they can see people from other perspectives as kindred spirits in the quest to understand the ultimate." This book wins prizes for heft and price and, as a collection of essays, it has many more arguments than the books by her faculty colleagues. Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities has more than 1,000 pages, and the list price is $279. However, Ms. Diller said, many university libraries can order it as print on demand under the publisher's My Copy program for $24.95.  

Contact TK Barger @ tkbarger@theblade.com, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.

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