Saturday, August 27, 2016

Matthew Franck reviews Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith

On June, 24, 2016, over at Public Discourse, Matthew Franck published a review of my latest book, Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Dr Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, as well as Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Redford University.

I am happy to report that he agrees with the book's central thesis, namely, that judges and legal scholars often misunderstood, misrepresent, and in some cases, caricature, the epistemic status of religious beliefs. He does, however, have reservations about my critique of Intelligent Design in chapter 6, though it doesn't surprise me. That is one part of the book where I thought I would get the most push back from some fellow travelers.

He concludes his review with these words: "But this is a small reservation about an excellent book, written with admirable clarity, and amply demonstrating the compatibility—indeed the happy and mutually fulfilling companionship—of faith and reason, even and especially in matters of public life."

You can read the entire review here.

Taking Rites Seriously Wins Prestigious American Academy of Religion Book Award

I am not only pleased, but honored and humbled, to announce that my book, Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics and the Reasonableness of Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2015) has been chosen to receive the American Academy of Religion's 2016 Book Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of Constructive-Reflective Studies. According to AAR's August 22, 2016 press release: "The awards honor books of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity and importance; books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted. For more information, please see https://www.aarweb.org/programs-services/book-awards. Awards will be presented at the AAR’s 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, November 20, 2016, at 7:30 PM."