Dec 1 2016
December 1, 2016
On November 8, the country elected Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. Challenges like ISIS/violent extremism, the refugee crisis, and religious freedom face the new president and his administration. In looking forward to these challenges, one can recall Secretary of State John Kerry's repeated assertion "religion matters" in negotiating international affairs and connecting people across nations. At a 2016 event on religion and diplomacy at the Newseum, he stated, "We must engage more closely with faith communities around the world, because we need to partner with them to solve global challenges."
Nov 28 2016
November 28, 2016
On November 17, a panel at Georgetown University will discuss the results of a historic encounter between U.S. Catholic bishops and five Iranian religious leaders regarding, among other topics, nuclear weapons. Though the stockpile is decreasing, there are still an estimated 15,500 nuclear warheads among nine nations worldwide. With recent comments from the Holy See, many believe the Vatican is shifting its stance to press the moral case for a world free of nuclear weapons. Growing fears of a nuclear conflict mean that nuclear proliferation is of paramount importance in foreign policy debates and in religious communities.
Nov 28 2016
Emily Ressler November 28, 2016
As I wander through another set of touristy, medieval Spanish streets, this time I desperately search for something different than the usual winding roads, postcard shops, churches, and statues of Jesus…“These tiles mark the Jewish quarter of Toledo. One is a menorah, another is Hebrew for ‘life,’ and this one is the name of the ancient language of the Jews who used to lived here—a cross between Spanish and Hebrew—in the shape of the Iberian peninsula.”
Nov 23 2016
November 23, 2016
As part of its participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, Georgetown University led workshop sessions from September 20 to 23 at Georgetown and Gallaudet University centered around community service with an interfaith engagement component. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from experts, share experiences, and hear from administration officials. Georgetown University was named the Interfaith Community Service winner for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in recognition of its commitment to and achievement in community service.
Nov 23 2016
Russell Guertin November 23, 2016
More than restaurants that put ice in your water, breakfasts consisting of more than bread and jam, and Halloween decorations, what I began to miss most about the United States was playing basketball. At Georgetown, on any given day of the week, Yates is full of pickup basketball games in full swing. In Lyon, aside from a few unused outdoor courts, basketball is seemingly nowhere. To make matters worse, even the earliest NBA games start at 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. Central European Time. I felt totally cut off from one of my favorite pastimes, stuck reading box scores from games the night before.
Nov 22 2016
Remy Cipriano November 22, 2016
On October 17, 2016, I had the opportunity to attend the World Bank’s End Poverty Day Discussion. The event featured expert analysts who introduced the World Bank Group’s new flagship report, Poverty and Shared Prosperity: Tackling Inequality.
Nov 22 2016
Olivia Berman November 22, 2016
When you walk into the center of Florence, your eyes immediately gravitate toward the beautiful Duomo, called the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. At the front of the cathedral, there is a beautiful and detailed façade, while toward the back you can see the top of the world’s largest brick dome. The construction of the dome began in the late thirteenth century, was completed by the mid-fifteenth century, and was engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. This architectural feat remains the primary church in Florence. It stands as both one of Italy’s largest churches and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everyday, the Duomo attracts thousands of people who explore the cathedral, climb to the top of the dome, walk through the museum, and enter the baptistery. The area around the cathedral is always filled with people, tourists and Italians alike, either stopping to take pictures, or walking through the piazza on their way through the center of the city.
Nov 21 2016
Bianca Uribe November 21, 2016
It was a typical Monday night. My roommate and I were attempting to gather all of our friends to head up to Pedra do Sal for the weekly Roda de Samba. As we walked through Copacabana, we stopped our conversation short as I began to forget my words. On the street corner I noticed a plate beautifully arranged with farofa, goiabada, candles, and cigars, among other things. When I saw it I knew exactly what it was. My chest was heavy and my heart was full, just as they always are when I see anything that reminds me of home. I was instantly brought back to childhood memories of my mom forcing me to accompany her, as she left offerings for her (our) saints on the four streets surrounding our home. My breath fell short with excitement and, as we passed the corner, I couldn’t help but bow my head in respect and recognition.
Nov 18 2016
William Rymer November 18, 2016
The first 18 years of my life were spent in a small town in East Tennessee. In my hometown, nominal Christianity is very much in play—church is as much a social event as it is a religious one. Then, I found myself at Georgetown, a Jesuit school. Both of these places share the commonality of facilitating religious conversations, largely because many people enjoy discussing their beliefs. However, New Zealand is quite different; there is not the same level of dialogue surrounding religious and philosophical musings as what I have grown accustomed to.
Nov 17 2016
Ndeye Ndiaye November 17, 2016
Whenever I go home to Senegal and meet new people, I often hear things such as, “Oh, you’re so lucky to live there” or “I’m still trying to find figure out a way to go there.” These statements tend to shock me because while I love the United States, I feel that it is far from perfect. The United States currently faces many issues, including negative rhetoric advertised in the news and fueled by Donald Trump, the injustices minority communities experience, and stricter immigration laws (it is a lot harder to immigrate to the country now then back in the early 1990s when my parents first traveled to the country). Despite these issues, much of the developing world views the United States as the land of opportunity and growth.