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Item Title:

Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents- Ian Burum


Books, Comics, Magazines



Item Condition: New
Current Time:24 Oct 16 05:30:52
Time & Date displayed is forUnited States - EDT
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Price per item: £7.80 ($9.57)

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Item Specifics - Books ISBN : 9780691134895
Author : Ian Buruma
7.80 15627054 Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents http://medium.snazal.com/?9780691134895 http://large.snazal.com/?9780691134895 Ian Buruma 9780691134895 9780691134895 Media Books 9.35 Tamin
Lot # 15627054
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Bookshop2000 (106|0)
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Item Location: Leicester
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Position In File: 8007
Source Text: Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continentshttp://images.cqout.com/Books/9780691134895.jpghttp://large.snazal.com/?9780691134895Ian Buruma97806911348959780691134895Media > Books9.35Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents[Buruma] writes intimately about the relationship between politics and faith in Britain, the Netherlands, France, China, Japan and the United States. And beneath every clich--about American religious fervor, French intolerance or Japanese godlessness--he uncovers ironies that wreak havoc with popular stereotypes. . . . Taming the Gods is an admirably learned book. Buruma's writing is spare and careful, and one never feels that he is stretching his material to fit some all-encompassing theory. . . . Ultimately, Buruma's message is that people should respect other faiths while insisting that the faithful not violate democracy's rules of the game. And in the skeptical, informed, affectionate tone he adopts toward the countries he chronicles, his book exemplifies that spirit. -- Peter Beinart, New York Times Book ReviewIan Buruma's study of the relationship between religion and democracy in America, Asia and Europe does not allude to Todorov's magisterial work . . . but it deserves a place next to Todorov on the bookshelf. . . . Buruma seeks to chart a path through the swamps and thickets of competing religious values and cultural identities. . . . This is a useful contribution to what is becoming one of Europe's most urgent debates. -- Malise Ruthven, Times Literary SupplementBy examining the history of church/state relations in the U.S. and Europe, the role of religion in the politics of China and Japan, and the growing role of Islam in contemporary Europe, Buruma makes 'an attempt to sort out, in different cultures, how democracies have been affected . . . by these tensions [between religious and secular authorities].' One of his most provocative investigations involves secular, liberal Europeans, some of whom now find common ground with conservatives in their opposition to Islam. -- Publishers WeeklyA new book by the insightful and eclectic writer Ian Buruma delves into the complicated part that religions play both in the turbulence and in reactions to it. . . . It's a fun book that skips from Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry to Tocqueville, from Spinoza to Matteo Ricci, an early Jesuit missionary to China, and from Thomas Jefferson to Salman Rushdie. -- Katherine Marshall, Washington PostBecause of Buruma's clarity and temperance, [Taming the Gods is] a most informative primer on systems of church-state rapprochement in the modern era. -- Ray Olson, BooklistA contrary history, which depicts the long struggle between faith and liberty issuing finally into a shared civic religion more elevated and esteemed than those based on terrestrial convictions alone. -- David Wallace-Wells, BookForumBuruma's cosmopolitan and historical perspective and his sense of complexity distinguish Taming the Gods from much other writing on religion and politics. . . . Concrete detail, historical perspective, and practical wisdom. His major target turns out not to be the irrationality of religion but the irrationality of the political and social debate, especially in Europe, surrounding religion. The word that sums up his concern in his concluding essay is 'hysteria'--not a god or goddess but more than anything else what his book is attempting to tame. -- Peter Steinfels, American Prospect[Taming the Gods] argues that the intrusion of religion into politics threatens democracy in the U.S., in Europe, and--more surprisingly--in China and Japan. -- Josh Lambert, Tablet MagazineBuruma examines the role that religion plays in the modern state, a subject that has been so belabored . . . that it requires all of Buruma's essayistic skill to condense these debates into a compact work. That he succeeds says much about his talent for unwinding complex topics, as well as for approaching overly familiar discussions in unfamiliar new ways. . . . Buruma's comparative approach demonstrates, in the kind of sober voice that is all too often drummed out by political hysteria, that it is in the interest of both politics and religion to keep to their respective realms. -- Ben Moser, Harper's MagazineBuruma's short book is useful as a reminder of how religion has played an influential role in various nations at various times, and how support of Enlightenment values can suddenly evaporate when people are confronted by new circumstances (such as the 'rise' of Islam in some European countries). -- M. A. Orthofer, The Complete ReviewIn a debate driven by raucous emotion . . . Buruma's is the quiet voice of reason. . . . If there is a lesson that emerges from Buruma's inquiry, it is that there are many ways of integrating religion into society. -- John Gray, Literary ReviewBuruma's elegant short book considers 'Religion and Democracy on Three Continents' (US, Europe, Asia) and ranges from America's first evangelical 'great awakening' in the 18th century to Mao's boasts of burying thousands of scholars and the 'rush hour of the gods' in postwar Japan. Voltaire, De Tocqueville, Hume and Spinoza are set talking among themselves, watched over by the book's minence grise, Confucius. -- Steven Poole, GuardianIn a measured and balanced way, [Ian Buruma] lays out the history and philosophy behind the big debates about religion: separation of church and state, compatibility of religion and democracy, the advent of militant fundamentalism and violence inspired by religion. Without glossing over the complexity of these crucial questions, he makes it all accessible to a lay reader. . . . The strengths of this book are its clear analysis of the messy melange that makes up an open democratic society, its diagnosis of underlying insecurities fuelling heated debate and its even-handed arguments on how to best harness competing forces productively. -- Peter Kirkwood, AustralianTaming the Gods is an elegant, essay-length book that begins with a spirited look at Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry and concludes with an insight from Confucius. In between, the author swivels his lens from the United States, to Japan and China, and finally back to Europe. . . . [B]asically tough and lucid in an arena that could do with a good deal more thought--and a lot less cant. -- Karen Long, Cleveland Plain DealerBuruma is that rare bird equally at home not only in Europe and America, but also in East and West. He devotes a chapter to Europe and America, one to China and Japan, and a third to Europe again, but this time focused on its confrontation with Islam. Throughout all, Buruma sounds a recurrent note. It is the toxicity of blending religion and politics, whether when religion usurps the mantle of politics or politics usurps that of religion. . . . [C]oncise and fascinating. -- Clifford Orwin, Globe and MailWe would do well to ask ourselves the kind of fundamental questions posed by [Buruma's] erudite and thought-provoking book. -- Jonathan Sumption, SpectatorThe Anglo-Dutch journalist Ian Buruma excels at the synthesis of ideas across cultures and continents. . . . Impeccably rational, Buruma offers a persuasive, subtle case for an old-fashioned liberal tolerance, one in which the religious and political spheres are mingled but in which neither exerts a disproportionate force against the other. -- The NationalBuruma has an enjoyable style and deserves credit for venturing into choppy waters where efforts are made to accommodate apparently contradictory beliefs, rather than sailing on the beguilingly calm seas of fundamentalist principle. -- Sholto Byrnes, New StatesmanThis is terrain littered with stereotypes and cross-Atlantic sneers: European scoffs at militant American Christianity, US retorts

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