In your family, who crafts the Halloween costumes, carefully gluing a hundred tiny rhinestones on Elsa’s glistening gown? Who plans the dishes for Thanksgiving dinner? Who checks Santa’s list for naughty and nice? Who does the jolly old soul’s shopping? Who mails the holiday cards? Who?
While in China, I have visited many Buddhist temples, including the White Horse Temple (the first Buddhist temple in China), the Shaolin Temple (foundation of Zen Buddhism), and the Lama Temple in Beijing. During these inspirational events, I see the temple packed with tourists, pilgrims, and monks alike. People crowd temple entrances, lighting incense and donating money at every donation box. Each time I visit a temple it amazes me how much Chinese people embrace Buddhism.
Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? It seems like you can never escape this feeling in Edinburgh, and it is not just because statues of the likes of Adam Smith and David Hume peer down at you from their perches atop marble pedestals as you walk down the Royal Mile. The city of Edinburgh is widely considered to be the most haunted in Europe. With a history spanning back thousands of years, the area that is now known as Edinburgh has a rich history filled with legends of witches, ghosts, and other paranormal phenomena.
University of Notre Dame Professor Mary Ellen Konieczny says the biggest challenge faced by the Catholic Church is that many Catholics feel that the Church does not understand the difficulties of marriage in today's world. She argues that it makes sense to expand our vision of Christian marriage to explicitly include a mission that is both about raising a family and as a calling to witness and service to the broader Church.
In the days leading up to our visit to Mumbai and more specifically, Dharavi, one of the largest slums in all of Asia, I was not entirely sure what to expect. Like many people who strive to become more globally aware yet are limited in their knowledge of and/or access to certain cultures, peoples, and nations, I first heard about Dharavi from the 2008 internationally recognized and acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire. Although Dharavi was largely depicted in a single scene, the movie helped mold my initial impressions and understandings of what Dharavi was and what role it played in Mumbai as well as in India as a whole.
Before arriving to Argentina, I was warned that I was going to face a culture of machismo, one where traditional gender stereotypes are perpetuated and women are deemed inferior. However, I have found that the reality does not match my preconceived notions after several months of living here.
I have never conducted research on religion before. Even though religion is a very important part of my life, I had always seen it as something personal and almost too sacred to explore from an academic point of view. That has changed since coming to Georgetown, where students are allowed and often encouraged to engage with both faith and academics: there is a two-course theology requirement for all students, a myriad of faith-based organizations and traditions on campus, and two on-campus centers that research intersections of faith and scholarship, namely, the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.
My favorite definition of Judaism was formulated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan in the twentieth century. Rabbi Kaplan referred to Judaism as the “evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people.”
A host of recent controversies—including the resignation of Brendan Eich as Mozilla CEO, Abercrombie and Fitch’s firing of a Muslim woman for wearing a hijab, and many others—raise basic questions about the nature and extent of employees’ religious rights while on the job. Responses to this topic will answer the following questions: How would you describe religious rights on the job? Should businesses be able to fire employees for their peaceful religious views and practices or is this a violation of First Amendment rights, or those rights established under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?
November 19 is World Toilet Day: a day established last year by no less than the United Nations General Assembly. It is marked because there are few topics that are as tightly linked to human welfare and human dignity as sanitation. Poor sanitation spreads disease. Women creep out at night out of modesty and risk assault and death. The filth of flying toilets (people deposit waste in plastic bags and let fly) is a reminder of a grim face of poverty.