Friday, June 15, 2012

Martha Nussbaum on New Religious Intolerance

The New Religious Intolerance
Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

by Martha Nussbaum

(Harvard University Press, 2012)

304 pages



What impulse prompted some newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists, until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland, a country of four minarets, vote to ban those structures? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan ignite a fevered political debate across the United States? In The New Religious Intolerance, Martha C. Nussbaum surveys such developments and identifies the fear behind these reactions. Drawing inspiration from philosophy, history, and literature, she suggests a route past this limiting response and toward a more equitable, imaginative, and free society.


1. Religion: A Time of Anxiety and Suspicion
2. Fear: A Narcissistic Emotion
3. First Principles: Equal Respect for Conscience
4. The Mote in My Brother’s Eye: Impartiality and the Examined Life
5. Inner Eyes: Respect and the Sympathetic Imagination
6. The Case of Park51
7. Overcoming the Politics of Fear

Martha Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

See Nussbaum's article "The burqa and the new religious intolerance" in ABC Religion & Ethics, May 22, 2012.

Listen to an interview with Martha Nussbaum on her new book: "Interview: The New Religious Intolerance" (The Diane Rehm Show, April 24, 2012).

And read an interview in "In the Moment" Magazine (May 18, 2012).

On June 19 - 21, Martha Nussbaum talks about "new religious intolerance" at the University of Cologne, and gives a seminar on "Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice". More information here.

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