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Living & Well-Being Archive

To Hide or De-Face the Homophobic

By Lydia Holt

I recently decided to hide a Facebook friend instead of de-Facing her altogether. I barely remember her from high school and don’t dislike her, but I couldn’t stand to read anymore of her hyper-religious posts. 

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Roundtable: Engaging Students as Adults

Nichole: Lucinda would love your thoughts on this one (of course, everyone else can chime in). This post is by a black female professor who tackles the question of the role of liberal arts in higher education by focusing on how/where/when does learning taking place. She cedes some of the control of the classroom to her students and makes them responsible for reflecting on what they have learned over the course of a semester. 

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Roundtable: Silence-- the Golden Opportunity to Demonize?

Nichole: Lydia hopefully you will start us off. The New York Times published an article discussing the tension between maintaining traditional religious beliefs and spiritual practices, here the Day of Silence, in the face of very modern challenges--rebuilding after terrorist actions, reconciling the "silence" of technology ("we can still SMS") with actual silence, tourism, among others. How do we make space for spiritual practice today? 

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Living & Well-Being

 

 

Entries in religion (1)

Tuesday
Mar082011

Roundtable: Silence-the Golden Opportunity to Demonize?

 

Kemal Jufri for The New York Times

NicholeLydia hopefully you will start us off. The New York Times published an article discussing the tension between maintaining traditional religious beliefs and spiritual practices, here the Day of Silence, in the face of very modern challenges--rebuilding after terrorist actions, reconciling the "silence" of technology ("we can still SMS") with actual silence, tourism, among others. How do we make space for spiritual practice today? How do we embrace religious beliefs that may be hostile to the ways we want to raise our children? Can we make religion or spirituality a partner with technology?

Perhaps additional fodder for the discussion is Rep. King's plan to hold hearings on Muslims this week . Where is a respect for religion in highly political societies? How do we value moral beliefs in political contexts?

Lydia: Interesting article. I'm not usually one for blindly following any tradition simply for tradition's sake but am also sympathetic to the nostalgia factor here. Who wouldn't benefit from unplugging for 24 hrs. in today's hyper-tech-connected world? But is it then okay to impose this day of silence on everyone regardless of their personal beliefs? When in Bali, do as the Balinese do? Maybe it is because I've never been a big fan of organized religion but I think the days of it may be coming to an end in the next century. Humans are migrating more than ever before, crossing oceans and continents with ease and bringing their religious and spiritual beliefs with them. That, combined with exponentially transformative technology make it increasingly difficult for "local" groups to maintain their traditions in the manner to which they've become accustomed. Religion is often such a big part of what binds communities together that anything seen as a threat to it can seem like a threat to the very fabric of the community. I wish there were a way for people to maintain that sense of community without the religious dogma and rhetoric. One way for that to happen would be if religion became more of a personal affair, not related to whether or not your neighbor prays in the same way you do or to the same deity, or at all. I feel like I'm rambling now...

I don't even know what to say about Rep. King. He's a fear monger and as the word Muslim gets the fear response he's looking for, he's going with Muslims. If he were politic-ing at the turn of the 20th century he'd be talking about the threat of women's suffrage. I'm sure he would have called for hearings on "The Negro Problem" as well.

Lucinda: Lyd, you weren't rambling before. You were just left with a conundrum. Religion does bind people, and when tradition--religious or otherwise--is threatened, you said that people feel like the very fabric of their communities is threatened. I'm with you on that. But you also noted that it would be great if we could create a sense of community without the religious dogma. Religion and the rituals that go along with it are powerful binding forces, but they can also pit groups against one another. You were getting into some questions that I'm sure a few dissertations have been written about. I doubt we'll sort this one out on Facebook today. Tomorrow maybe. ;)