Oct 19 2016
October 19, 2016
Historically, religious figures and institutions have played a significant role in civil rights movements and the fight for racial equality, both domestically and around the world. In this series, Berkley Forum asks experts to comment on the current involvement of churches and religious leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement. What contributions have they made to the movement? To what extent, if any, is there an interfaith dimension to the movement? What more could religious leaders across faiths and denominations be doing to encourage dialogue and progress on the issues at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement?
Oct 12 2016
October 12, 2016
The Zika virus, which reached pandemic levels in 2015 and 2016, has produced gripping headlines around the world, notably because of its link to the serious medical condition microcephaly. Travel advisories have been issued to many Latin American countries, including Brazil, site of the 2016 Olympic Games, and have even been issued for Miami, Florida. Women in several countries have been advised to postpone pregnancy for two years, and even Pope Francis has suggested that the use of contraception may be a "lesser evil" in the face of the outbreak.
Oct 12 2016
Kelly Tierney October 12, 2016
“Kelly, what’re you talking about Christmas for? It’ll be alright, just get some more sleep,” Adelle murmured to me at around 3:30 a.m. in the morning. It was the day of my second cousin Mairead’s wedding to her fiancé Robin, and I had apparently talked in my sleep throughout the night. For me, that meant one thing—I was extremely nervous! I was about to attend a massive wedding in a small town named Corby, about an hour north of London, which had been my new home of about two weeks. In just a few hours, I would be surrounded by hundreds of relatives. Of the hundreds, however, I had only met three prior to the event.
Oct 12 2016
Nick Zeffiro October 12, 2016
It is a typical Monday afternoon in the city of Madrid, as I ride the metro home from my university. The subway car is quite busy with the Spaniards returning home for their siesta. I look up from my daily commute reading to take in my surroundings: a few smartly dressed businessmen chat about current events to my left; the abuela seated across from me gently nods off; the street performer at the end of the car strums his guitar for tips; and of course, in the center of the car, on display for all to see, is a young couple in a passionate, sloppy embrace.
Oct 11 2016
Emily Ressler October 11, 2016
On my first day in Madrid, I looked around, eager to be overwhelmed by Spanish, but instead found myself running into a sign, part of a campaign against homophobia, that read “Stop Odio” (Stop Hate) in various places throughout the city. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the only sign in English; they are scattered throughout metro stops and along the streets. But “Stop Odio” really stuck with me, and I repeatedly talk about that sign with Spaniards, explaining how surprised I am to see so much English in Madrid. Someone’s response surprised me even more, as she said to me, “Oh, but stop is an international word.” She was right. The meaning of “stop” is recognized internationally. But it’s an English word.
Oct 10 2016
Jim Pennell October 10, 2016
Walking among the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral may lead one to make the often taken for granted conclusion that the forces of the Enlightenment and modernity have made the Christian faith a bizarre artifact of the past. Perhaps we should just regard it as an odd medieval superstition that we modern individuals can look at with bemused curiosity. After all, aren’t people like Richard Dawkins right to say that science has finally done away with religious delusions? Aren’t the teachings of the Catholic Church too stuck in the past to be relevant for the contemporary world? Even if God does exist, can’t everyone just agree that all religions are different but equally valid ways of getting to him?
Oct 10 2016
Ingrid Glitz October 10, 2016
My Russian Politics professor often starts his classes by telling stories about life in Soviet times. He once recalled, “My parents found out that smoked cheese was just being sold at that small store. They told me to run there. There were more than 300 people in front of me in line. I spent the entire day waiting for my smoked cheese, and guess what? When it was finally my turn, there was no smoked cheese left.”
Oct 7 2016
Samuel Boyne October 7, 2016
One month of life in Japan has confirmed two generalizations about the country I will be studying in for the next year: in many ways Japan adheres to old-fashioned customs; however, it also has innovative measures that promote a fast-paced way of thinking. Coming from an American perspective, where the words “freedom” and “liberty” find their way into any kind of conversation, society in Japan consists of an endless amount of nuanced rules, both defined and assumed. Of course, every country has its own set of laws and social norms, and perhaps it is easier to recognize those rules that stand out in a different cultural context than one’s own country.
Oct 7 2016
Sophia Ronga October 7, 2016
Traveling through the different Italian regions will bring culinary aficionados a variety of food options and methods of eating. Risotto and red wine are popular picks in the north, while in the south many prefer to twirl their spaghetti on a fork with the help of a spoon. However, while the regions might have their own eccentricities when it comes to the happenings of the kitchen table, one thing remains the same across the peninsula: the Italian slow meal.
Oct 6 2016
October 6, 2016
2016 marks the deadliest year for refugees traveling across the Central Mediterranean: some 281,740 people have crossed the sea to Europe in the first eight months of 2016 and an estimated 4,176 of those have perished during the crossing. European states continue to struggle to accommodate the flow of refugees with some governments facing an internal nationalistic backlash and pressure to close their borders. The total number of refugees and internally displaced people, over 60 million, is higher than at any time since World War II.