Boston Review Interviews Martha Nussbaum About Her New Book

The New Religious Intolerance: An Interview with Martha Nussbaum
David V. Johnson
Boston Review
July 11, 2012

In her new book, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, Martha Nussbaum extends her distinguished body of work on liberalism, education, literature, and the emotions by turning to the growing anti-Muslim agitations in Europe and the United States. She spoke to Web Editor David V. Johnson by email from the University of Cologne, where she was lecturing on the themes of her book.

David Johnson: The idea for the book came from a column you wrote on burqa bans for “The Stone,” The New York Times’s “Opinionator” section dedicated to philosophy. Some academics and scholars shy away from such platforms for fear of dealing with public hostility and hyperbolic comments. Your column certainly garnered its share of both. Why do you think that, nevertheless, such outreach is worth your time?

Martha Nussbaum: Actually, I think few academics are more reluctant to write for blogs than I am. I have a standing policy never to read or write for blogs. I feel it will devour my time and distract from wr