93 Martha Nussbaum: For Shining a Light on the West's Dark Corners of Intolerance

Article excerpt

Law and ethics professor | Chicago

In a year when an anti-Islam video sparked deadly protests across the Arab world and a spate of violent incidents targeted minority groups in the United States, Martha Nussbaum's new book offered a thoughtful, timely corrective to the divisive dangers of religious intolerance, particularly Islamophobia. Charting its rise and evolution in Europe and the United States since the 9/11 attacks--from European laws prohibiting burqas in public to the uproar over a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York--Nussbaum's The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Pofitics of Fear in an Anxious Age forcefully defends those whose religious freedoms have recently been circumscribed or attacked.


An author and editor of dozens of books ranging over the big ideas of everything from the Greek classics to feminism, Nussbaum brings a philosopher's mind to an explosive political topic, pinpointing the roots of religious fear as a fundamentally "narcissistic" emotion that dovetails with a "visceral reaction against strangeness. …