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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Illuminating Shakespeare

Portraits of religion in Shakespeare’s time

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was marked by years of political and religious turmoil and change. From papal authority to royal supremacy, Reformation to Counter Reformation, and an endless series of persecutions followed by executions, England and its citizens endured division, freedom, and everything in between.

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9780199602018

Does moral obligation derive from God’s command?

‘Divine command theory’ is the theory that what makes something morally right is that God commands it, and what makes something morally wrong is that God forbids it. There are many objections to this theory. The four main ones are that it makes morality arbitrary, that it cannot work in a pluralistic society, that it makes morality infantile, and that it is viciously circular.

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AAR/SBL 2015 annual meeting wrap-up

From 21-24 November, our religion and Bibles team was in Atlanta attending the joint American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. We had a great time interacting with customers and meeting authors. Here’s a slide show of some of the authors who stopped by the booth with their new books.

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9780190263553 - Atlas of the World 22nd edition (22e)

Welcome to Sital Niwas, Madame President

Nepal has had an extraordinarily eventful 2015. It has been rocked by catastrophic earthquakes and burdened by a blockade from India, but it has also (finally) passed a new constitution and elected its first female head of state, Bidya Devi Bhandari, who took office in October.

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OBO Oxford Bibliographies NEW 2012

Ready for the winter holidays? [quiz]

With the most widely-celebrated winter holidays quickly approaching, test your knowledge of the cultural history and traditions that started these festivities. For example, what does Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have to do with Father Christmas? What are the key principles honored by lighting Kwanzaa candles?

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OUPMusic

Chag Urim Sameach! A Hanukkah music playlist

Music has a long tradition of being associated with winter holidays, something we’re mindful of in the music departments of Oxford University Press. As Hanukkah is already in full swing, we asked members of our editorial, marketing, and publicity departments, for their favorite Hanukkah songs.

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Shakespeare and Religion

We want to know what Shakespeare believed. It seems to us important to know. He is our most important writer, and we want to know him from the inside. People regularly tell us that they do know what he believed, though mainly by showing what his father believed, or his contemporaries believed or, more accurately, what they said they believed—by demonstrating, that is, what was possible to believe.

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9780199689019

Apocalypse and The Hunger Games

The final installment of The Hunger Games films (Mockingjay: Part Two) has been released. Amidst the acres of coverage about Jennifer Lawrence, the on-screen violence (is it appropriate for twelve year-olds?) and an apparently patchy and unconvincing ending, it is worth pausing to consider the apocalyptic nature of the franchise.

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9780190240455

The “Greater West” and sympathetic suffering

At its root, Islam is as much a Western religion as are Judaism and Christianity, having emerged from the same geographic and cultural milieu as its predecessors. For centuries we lived at a more or less comfortable distance from one another. Post-colonialism and economic globalization, and the strategic concerns that attended them, have drawn us into an ever-tighter web of inter-relations.

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9780199895632 - God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human

Is there an evolutionary advantage to religion?

Few can deny the sheer significance of religious belief to human society, a topic of study that has provided much insight into how we lived previously, how we live today, and how we will live in the future. However, for what purpose, exactly, did religion originate?

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9780199738984

The origins of the Religious Right: a Q & A with Neil Young

Neil J. Young traces the interactions among evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons from the 1950s to the present day to recast the story of the emergence of the Religious Right. We sat down with him to find out a bit more about his process researching the book, what role Mormons have in the rise of the Religious Right, and what the Religious Right’s relationship with Ronald Reagan was.

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9780199844616

An educated fury: faith and doubt

Novelists are used to their characters getting away from them. Tolstoy once complained that Katyusha Maslova was “dictating” her actions to him as he wrestled with the plot of his last novel, Resurrection. There was a story that after reading Mikhail Sholokhov’s And Quiet Flows the Don, Stalin praised the work but advised the author to “convince” the main character, Melekhov, to stop loafing about and start serving in the Red Army.

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9780199860043 sullins

How conservative are married priests?

Following the Episcopal Church’s 1976 decision to ordain women, Catholic leaders in America and Rome were approached by Episcopal clergy who opposed the decision and sought conversion as a result.

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9780190225179

The legacy of the New Atheism

The ten-year anniversary of the publication of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion is approaching, and it has already been over ten years since Sam Harris published The End of Faith. These two figures, along with the late Christopher Hitchens, are the most important in the anti-religious movement known as the New Atheism.

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9780190248031

Key events and writings in contemporary Mormon feminism

Mormon feminism may seem to some a recent phenomenon, but events and writings in the history of Mormon feminism date back to the early 1970s. Here we have compiled these key moments in when Mormon women have engaged with question about gender in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a timeline of the pre-history and history of the Mormon feminist movement.

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