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The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights Paperback – March 29, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Austin Dacey is Representative to the United Nations, International Humanist and Ethical Union, andInstructor of Humanities at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, USA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (March 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441183922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441183927
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,986,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a slim book, but it reinforces the adage not to judge books by their covers, as Dacey delivers a thoughtful, incisive analysis of the concept of blasphemy from the perspective of moral theory. While touching on aspects of the law and history of blasphemy (and doing so well), this book is primarily concerned with the fundamental question: what is blasphemy, and should it be prohibited? Dacey establishes several important points early:

"First, the contemporary talk of blasphemy in the international public square is neither a recent invention nor a return of a medieval theological spectre. Rather, it is a distinctly modern phenomenon in which blasphemy has been reframed within the secular idiom of respect for persons. Second, this principle of equal respect . . . is all too easily appropriated in the service of illiberal and patriarchal notions of identity, propriety, and 'honor.' Third, those most vulnerable to the abuse of laws against blasphemy and therefore most vocal in defiance of them are dissidents within the very communities whose 'feelings' the laws are purportedly protecting. Finally, such dissidents are not just engaging in 'free speech' but manifesting religiously heterodox or secular commitments of conscience that are no less worthy than those they affront." (p. vi)

Dacey goes on to argue that the concept of respect should not be used as a reason to prohibit blasphemy: "Holding others accountable for their commitments is a way of respecting their natures as reason-authoring creatures, their equal standing as persons who are no less capable of making up their minds than ourselves. . . . [A]n affront to what is held sacred by others can be, paradoxically, a way of affirming their equal membership in moral community.
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I thought it was interesting but really dry
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Very good, fascinacting and Important material, well worth reading, I was pleasantly surprised to find out things that we new to me on this topic ( in regard to legal, UN, psychology , logic , philosophy etc) . Should be mandatory reading for anyone studying for any relgion qualification, and for the public at large (although us plebs might do better with a simpler book?). The blasphemy, sacred, tolerance, etc very very well explored.
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I have'nt finished it yet,but it is a very commendable effort and should be read by everyone concerned with the human rights.
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boring a** book. get out if you have to
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