Nov 25 2015
Nicole Wadley November 25, 2015
President Obama made history on December 17, 2014 when he announced that the United States and Cuba would be reopening diplomatic relations after they were suspended decades ago at the height of the Cold War. Now, it has been almost a year since that historical declaration, one in which we have seen many important steps be taken with respect to diplomacy between the two countries, and it remains a hot topic of conversation here in Cuba, although maybe not in exactly the way Americans would expect. Aside from the almost ubiquitous desire that exists in Cuba for the US embargo to be lifted and the fact that restoring diplomatic relations is an important step in making that happen, there also exists a veil of skepticism and suspicion over the hearts and minds of many of the Cuban people in regards to the motives and desires of the United States in pursuing the opening of relations.
Nov 25 2015
Shola Powell November 25, 2015
Throughout my time in Pune, the national news has followed several cases of Muslims being assaulted, and in some cases killed, after being accused of consuming beef. Eating beef in most states is illegal (as is assaulting another human being), but not much has been done to bring those who took the law in their own hands to justice.
Nov 25 2015
Emily DeMaio November 25, 2015
Historical records indicate that religion has long been a central component of civilization. This may, perhaps, be due to the fact that people have long searched for some greater power to explain the complexities of the world that exceed the potential for human interpretation. Religion affords people comfort and security. Yet, how is it that religion can also be the motivation for violent actions? Sadly, we may never comprehend the answer to this question, but hopefully by learning from the past, we can secure peace in the future. Let us now take a walk through Irish religious and political history.
Nov 24 2015
Eunyoung Kim November 24, 2015
I’m walking through the Glaswegian novel Buddha Da by Anne Donovan—through names like Great Western Road and Byres Road that are as familiar to my soaking feet and wind-scrubbed cheeks as home. I tiptoe into page 262, where a girl tries to find Scotland in an atlas: “And it wasnae [there]. No as a country anyway, just part of the UK…And nae flag either. Or languages of wer ain.” The novel is not a nationalist attempt to define a Scottish identity, but it is about individuals trying to find their own identities within subtler, everyday aspects of Scottish society. But just as in the excerpt, the entire novel is written in a blended Anglo-Scots dialect, reflecting the Glaswegian accent.
Nov 23 2015
November 23, 2015
In the wake of yet another terrorist attack on European soil—followed by threats against Americans in Washington, DC, and the revelation that one of the suicide bombers in Paris entered the European Union by posing as a Syrian refugee—many Americans and Europeans have expressed concern about accepting refugees fleeing ISIS-controlled regions, most of whom are Muslim, for fear of compromising national security. In response, some politicians—both in the United States and Europe—have suggested favoring or even accepting only Christians seeking refuge, while others have called for an outright ban on accepting refugees. Cornerstone asks: Can Western democracies enact reasonable security measures while still retaining robust protections for members of minority religions seeking refuge? If so, how? Is there a danger that governments will enact illiberal policies in response to the fight against ISIS and the ensuing migrant crisis? What kind of a threat might such policies pose to religious freedom in the West?
Nov 19 2015
Cynthia Soliman November 19, 2015
Since the attacks in Paris on Friday, I have been following the news and analysis of the situation quite closely. Certainly, some valid points have surfaced regarding ISIS, the fight against terrorism, and the military and political implications of the attacks. One aspect I have not seen discussed but that deserves more consideration is how religious freedom factors into this situation.
Nov 17 2015
Robert Woodberry November 17, 2015
One argument in favor of religious liberty is that it unleashes religion's pro-social potential and benefits. Conversely, an argument against religious liberty is that religion is a socially dangerous force that needs to be held in check or at least highly regulated. Given these contending positions, it becomes important to engage studies such as the one by University of Chicago professor Jean Decety and colleagues entitled “The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World.”
Nov 5 2015
November 5, 2015
On October 8-9, the Religious Freedom project, together with several sponsors, including the British Council, hosted a public dialogue on religious freedom policy and opportunities for transatlantic cooperation on this issue. Recently, several European countries, the EU, and Canada have addressed religious freedom in their foreign policies. Given that US policy is already shaped by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) passed by Congress, the potential exists for transatlantic cooperation in promoting religious freedom. However, differences among Western democracies are significant. These blog entries further explore this issue, and they also discuss the state of religious freedom in countries that are often the targets of the West's policies.
Nov 3 2015
November 3, 2015
October 31 is also known as Reformation Day. Nearly 500 years ago, Martin Luther issued the 95 Theses, an act that sparked the Reformation. This week, Cornerstone asks what the 95 Theses did for religious freedom. How have they contributed to the formation of the ideal of religious liberty in the West?
Oct 30 2015
Devika Ranjan October 30, 2015
For her final project as a Doyle Undergraduate Fellow, Devika Ranjan explored the intersection of political theater and social justice. Through a series of blogs, she engages issues of faith, women’s rights, and free speech in South Asia.
SCENE FOUR. LIGHTS UP.
SCENE FOUR. LIGHTS UP.