Thursday, February 12, 2009

Burning Christian Books

Fjordman referred us to this NRO article, via Lawrence Auster’s blog:

‘Too Christian’ for Academia?

Wiley-Blackwell, a major academic press, was set to release its four-volume Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization this month. According to the encyclopedia’s editor, George Thomas Kurian, the set had been copy-edited, fact-checked, proofread, publisher-approved, printed, bound, and formally launched (to high praise) at the recent American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature conference. But protests from a small group of scholars associated with the project have led the press to postpone publication, recall all copies already distributed, and destroy the existing print run. The scholars’ complaint? The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, they have reportedly argued, is “too Christian.” “They also object to historical references to the persecution and massacres of Christians by Muslims,” Kurian says, “but at the same time want references favorable to Islam.”
- - - - - - - - -
Political correctness in academic publishing is nothing new, but it would be unusual, to say the least, for ideological pressure to lead a publisher to reverse itself so late in the process, especially given the significant financial losses involved in pulping a print run of a gigantic four-volume encyclopedia. As Kurian puts it, “This is probably the first instance of mass book-burning in the 21st century.”

Last week, Kurian e-mailed a memo to his nearly 400 contributors informing them of Wiley-Blackwell’s decision, and of his intention of pursuing on their behalf a class-action breach-of-contract lawsuit. Kurian’s memo was soon distributed on the e-mail list of the Society of Christian Philosophers, and is getting attention in the blogosphere. (Full disclosure: I am one of the contributors to the encyclopedia; to my knowledge, no complaints were raised about anything I wrote.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Baron.

Afonso Henriques said...


You know what? I'd be delighted if you could link Obama to it, because it smells like this new administration to me.

Robohobo said...

The new savior is here, btw. His name is "The Won". Now begin the biblical wars.

Next up: Free speech via 'The Fairness Doctrine'.

Profitsbeard said...

Breaking News!

"The Encyclopedia of Dogs" was also just recalled ...for having too many photos of canines in it, and not enough of crocodiles.

laine said...

Who on earth are the "small group of scholars"? If nominally Christian, they must be the Archbishop Williams type of abject Dhimmi.