Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds / Edition 2

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Overview

Censorship of religious and philosophical speculation is as old as history and as current as today's headlines. Many of the world's major religious texts, including the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, and others, have been suppressed, condemned, or proscribed at some time. Works of secular literature touching upon religious belief or reflecting dissenting views have also been suppressed. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds profiles the censorship of many such essential works of civilization.

Works covered include:
-- Acta Pauli
-- The Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon
-- The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine
-- The Analects, Confucius
-- Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
-- The Book of Common Prayer, Thomas Cranmer
-- Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz
-- Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant
-- De Defenso Populi Anglicani, John Milton
-- Discourse on Method, Rene Descartes
-- Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
-- The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
-- The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis
-- On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin
-- Paradise Lost, John Milton
-- Popol Vuh
-- The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
-- Siddartha, Hermann Hesse
-- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
-- A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kathleen Beck
This title is one of four in a series on books challenged for political, social, erotic, and religious content. If the other three equal this one, the series is an exemplary work of reference indeed (see VOYA December 1998 for reviews of other titles in this series). The one hundred titles considered range from classics of philosophy and world literature (Spinoza, Cervantes) to religious texts (the Koran, the Christian Bible), from East (Confucius) to West (Dickens), from ancient (Aristotle) to modern (Salman Rushdie). Each entry includes general information, a summary of the work, a censorship history, and suggestions for further reading. A lucid preface outlines the history of and reasons for censorship on religious grounds. The entries, arranged alphabetically by title, are followed by quotations from the authors considered, biographical profiles, an extensive bibliography, and a comprehensive index. Also included is a list of works from the other volumes in the series. Readers intending to look up a specific title will soon find themselves browsing the well-written selections, bemused by the intolerance shown, and impressed with the quality of the minds that have wrestled with religious questions. The history of censorship of the Bible in its various versions is an education in itself. Because of its specialized nature this title will probably not find its way into many school collections, but larger public libraries should consider purchasing the whole set. Patrons deserve access to this information and exposure to such careful scholarship and high-quality book making. Index. Biblio.
Library Journal
Both of these books from Facts On File's "Banned Books" series (which also includes Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds and Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds) are revised versions of the 1998 editions. Karolides (Encyclopedia of Censorship) includes information on over 100 banned titles. An entry of two to ten pages is devoted to each title, including its publication information (e.g., date of first publication, publisher), summary of the work, censorship history, and a list of resources for further reading. The works examined are varied, both as to the type of work and the national origin of the author. Many entries are revisions of those from the 1998 edition (e.g., George Orwell's Animal Farm), but some are included for books published beyond 1998 (e.g., Jonathan C. Randal's After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?). Journalist Bald's book follows the same format, although the entries are a bit shorter. Additions to the entries from the 1998 edition include the Harry Potter books and James W. Laine's Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India. While many of the books examined here were published decades or even centuries ago, the focus of religious censorship has changed in recent years, with a shift toward concerns voiced by the Religious Right (in the United States, for example). Both the preface and the entries discuss this shift. This series is intended for students in ninth grade and above, and the writing level seems appropriate for both high school and college students. The summaries are sufficiently meaty to give the reader an understanding of the issues surrounding the attempted suppression of the works. The censorship history sections are of particular interest and are sufficiently detailed to allow for follow-up research. Bottom Line Although libraries owning the previous edition might consider forgoing purchase of this set, we have seen a sufficient number of relevant societal changes in the last eight years to make the purchase necessary. Recommended for all public, school, and academic libraries.-Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ., Peoria, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The aim of this four-volume set is to spotlight some 400 works that have been censored, banned, or condemned because of their political, social, religious, or sexual content. The entries, which include a summary, censorship history, and brief bibliography, range widely from Aristotle through Galileo and on up to Adolf Hitler and Judy Blume. Such well-known prohibited works as de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, the Communist Manifesto, and Huckleberry Finn are included here, but so are many other works that are now less controversial, e.g., Milton's Areopagitica and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Some of the censorship histories are several pages long, but others are very short; Born on the Fourth of July gets only 50 words. Though most of the works are worth notice, too many describe fairly vapid objections: Fail-Safe was challenged by a school librarian who thought the book would undermine "America's confidence in their defense system." But as one might expect, many of the entries, such as the one for The Satanic Verses, are harrowing. Prepared by well-qualified scholars who have written and lectured extensively on censorship, the set is a very readable gathering of much useful information. It provides more depth and is more current than either Anne L. Haight's Banned Books 1978. 4th ed. or ALA's Banned Books Resource Guide 1995. Index not seen.Peter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mt. Pleasant, MI
Booknews
Discusses some 100 books that have been targets of religious censorship over the centuries, encompassing texts of the world's major religions, novels, and classic works of philosophy, science, and history, as well as contemporary works. Alphabetical entries describe the content of each work and review its censorship history. Includes biographical profiles of authors. Part of a four-volume collection spotlighting some 400 works that have been censored for their political, social, religious, or erotic content, in the US and around the world, from Biblical times to the present. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816062690
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Banned Bks.
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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