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King James Bible's classic English text revealed to include work by French scholar | Books | The Guardian
according to Nicholas Hardy from Birmingham University, few documents survive from the drafting and revision stages of the translation and little is known about how the translators worked together.

Hardy was consulting a printed copy of the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, which is held in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, when he noticed that the thousands of handwritten annotations in its margins were in the hand of John Bois, one of the King James Bible’s translators. The annotations’ author had previously been unknown.

He then followed a “paper trail” to the British Library in London, where he found correspondence between Bois and the renowned French scholar Isaac Casaubon. The unpublished letters revealed that Bois had asked Casaubon for help translating several passages that he and his colleagues were struggling to complete.

Once Hardy identified Casaubon as a translator, he studied the Frenchman’s notebooks, which have been held in the Bodleian since the 1670s, finding records of the conversations Casaubon had with the translator Andrew Downes about other complications in the Bible’s text.
translation  religion  greek  hebrew  latin 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Europe’s new Reformation
In England the Reformation was not a doctrinal dispute over theological truth that developed into a political contest. It happened the other way around. It originated as a challenge by Henry VIII against the authority of the church – to be more specific, his desire to annul his marriage to his wife Katherine, despite the pope’s refusal to grant this, and marry another in order to produce a male heir. This escalated into a broader assertion of English sovereignty, most strikingly expressed in parliament’s Act of Appeals in 1533, which laid down “that this realm of England is an empire”.

In other words, England was a legal system unto itself. There could be no appeal to a higher authority. The doctrine of “praemunire”, which had previously applied only to matters of state, now became the law of the land. A wronged woman in Yorkshire could no longer appeal to Rome. England was increasingly separated from the European legal order. At the same time, Henry VIII relentlessly attacked the institutions of the Church, especially through the dissolution of the monasteries.
uk  history  politics  religion  Brexit 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Mass shootings: why do authorities keep missing the warning signs? | US news | The Guardian
behavioral experts know the basic psychological profile common to almost all mass shooters of the post-Columbine type, whether they claim to be swayed by white supremacy, radical Islamism, another ideology, or no ideology at all: they tend to be loners, with perilously low self-esteem and poor or non-existent family relations, and they are looking for a way to validate themselves and take revenge on a world they blame for their troubles.
guncontrol  us  religion 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Alaska shipyard where the 'manliest men' meditate each morning | US news | The Guardian
morning meditation is a welcome pause before the bang-clang of pounded steel cuts through the buzz and hum of heavy equipment, before safety bells sound and welding sparks fly.

“I focus on my breath, and I tell myself I’m going to have a good day,” she said.

The practice also appears to be good for business. Staff turnover reduced by nearly half from 2016 to 2017, and safety has improved, according to Doug Ward, director of shipyard development.
work  psychology  religion 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
Recently though, after realizing that New Atheism is itself a dangerous species of fundamentalism, he became a staunch and vocal critic.

Werleman defines New Atheism as “evangelical atheism,” or, as he emphasizes elsewhere “evangelical anti-theism.” It is the conviction that religion is the leading source of problems around the world, and thus “is an obstacle to creating human perfection and a Western civilization utopia.” Werleman insists, as Hedges did before him, that the New Atheists are “secular fundamentalists.” They display a cultish commitment to science, a childishly simplistic view of religion, a severely bigoted stance toward Islam, and a slavish faith in what they take to be “the beneficent U.S. secular state.”

The book contains 11 chapters. In the first five, Werleman tells the story, in sometimes impressively self-deprecating manner, of his journey from religious indifference to New Atheism to pluralistic accommodationist...
Werleman convincingly demonstrates that the Islam that so troubles the New Atheists, particularly its most popular luminaries, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, is a cartoonish caricature of the real thing as conceived and practiced by most Muslims; that the motivations of Islamic terrorists are mostly sociopolitical and economic rather than religious; that in its lack of concern for the welfare of Palestinians, in its inability “to see Palestinians beyond their Muslimness,” New Atheism “is a completely illiberal secular ideology”; and that New Atheist discourse provides public relations support for American imperialism and contributes to a climate of fear and resentment leading to increased harassment of and violence against Muslim Americans.
religion  politics  us  scholarly 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Quaker work ethic and the factories – Joe Turner – Medium
It seems more than slightly bizarre to contemplate anyone standing against the idea that children should only work 10 hour days, but there were some. And some of those were from the group we might least expect to stand against factory reform: the Quakers.
religion  history  work 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Lead us not into mistranslation: pope wants Lord's Prayer changed | World news | The Guardian
“I’m not aware of any plans to change the translation in the English-speaking world but you can certainly see the logic of doing so,” said Austen Ivereigh, the pope’s biographer.

“It is not God who tempts us into sin but the enemy of human nature. But tradition and familiarity are also important factors in weighing up any decision to modify a translation.”...

“The word in question is peirasmos [from New Testament Greek] which means both to tempt and to be tested. So on one level the pope has a point. But he’s also stepping into a theological debate about the nature of evil.

“In terms of church culture, people learn this prayer by heart as children. If you tweak the translation, you risk disrupting the pattern of communal prayer. You fiddle with it at your peril.”
translation  religion 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
A Roadmap to Qur’ans in English - Los Angeles Review of Books
The second was Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, an experienced journalist and novelist, a largely self-taught orientalist, a consummate Englishman (Winston Churchill was his classmate), and a convert to Islam who spent much of his life in India. Pickthall brought the Qur’an into an orotund English after the manner of the King James Version. His translation has had 150 editions, Lawrence reports. It was my own first Qur’an. Pickthall’s Qur’an is sure to find new readers in the Norton Critical Editions series, now that the eminent Jane Dammen McAuliffe has updated it line by line for republication this year, with annotations and abundant supportive material. McAuliffe’s goal, reported to Lawrence, is to put Pickthall’s intentionally “elevated” language “into more contemporary English where needed.”
religion  translation 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Does God Believe in Trump? White Evangelicals are Sticking with Their "Prince of Lies"
To historians, the evangelical leaders’ response was no surprise, because they know racism was behind the emergence of evangelicals as a political force in America. “If you are looking for the core animating spark of the Christian-right movement, it’s not abortion but private Christian universities not being able to have laws against interracial dating,” says Robert Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute and the author of The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, 2016). He knows that when the federal government forced integration on public schools in the South, white parents yanked their kids out and enrolled them in new church-run schools dubbed “segregation academies.” The white flight was fast and devastating. In Mississippi, for example, the white population in the Holmes County school system dropped from 700 to 28 in year one of desegregation, and by the next year had dropped to zero.
sex  racism  us  religion 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
Another weird consequence of AI is Galactic expansion. I've never understood precisely why, but it's a staple of transhumanist thought. The fate of (trans)humanity must either be leave our planet and colonize the galaxy, or to die out. This is made more urgent knowing other civilizations have made the same choice and might be ahead of us in the space race.

So there's a lot of weird ancillary stuff packed into this assumption of true artificial intelligence.

Religion 2.0

What it really is is a form of religion. People have called a belief in a technological Singularity the "nerd Apocalypse", and it's true.

It's a clever hack, because instead of believing in God at the outset, you imagine yourself building an entity that is functionally identical with God. This way even committed atheists can rationalize their way into the comforts of faith.

The AI has all the attributes of God: it's omnipotent, omniscient, and either benevolent (if you did your array bounds-checking right), or it is the Devil and you are at its mercy.
religion  politics  philosophy  programming 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Javaad Alipoor: 'The response to radicalism is to shut down debate for young people' | Stage | The Guardian
Alipoor’s Edinburgh festival show, The Believers Are But Brothers, takes its title from a quote in the Qur’an. It explores how not just Muslims, but young men from many different backgrounds have become immersed in extremism online. Soon the messages I’m receiving turn darker and I don’t know who they are coming from. There is threatening talk of whiny feminists and what the sender would like to do to them, language reflecting the Gamergate saga, in which Milo Yiannopoulos came to prominence. Gamergate was one of those moments in which misogynist online fantasies spilled over into the real world, with terrible consequences for some of the women targeted. Meanwhile, young men with uncertain futures watch glossy, Hollywood-style Isis propaganda and reckon that being a jihadist looks a lot like Game of Thrones and might beat a life stacking shelves in Tesco.

A persuasive Isis recruiter is now messaging me about how to get to Syria. Alipoor suggests: “The Islamophobic rightwing view is that the reason young people support Isis is because their heritage means that they can’t deal with the complex postmodern identities of the west, so they seek refuge in the simple identity of the past. But what they actually think is that this is the boring backwards world, a world that only offers them a boring job in an office or a phone shop.”
theatre  work  politics  censorship  religion 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
François Bayrou : "Il y a une peur de l'islam comme religion totalisante"
Si François Bayrou avait accepté de se confier ainsi, c’est parce qu’il estime que « dans une présidentielle, l’homme est aussi important que le programme », comme il l’affirmait à Samuel Pruvot. « Il existe une relation mystérieuse entre le peuple français et cette personne à qui il confie son destin. Ce lien ne repose pas sur des promesses de campagne mais sur le fond de sa personnalité, son rapport au passé, son espérance pour le futur. »
Je suis un croyant et même un pratiquant comme on dit. Je vais à la messe... Nous allons à Lourdes, sans le dire à personne. Nous marchons ensemble avec des amis une fois par an. Celui fait environ huit heures de marche depuis chez nous. Je ne rougis pas de cette démarche... Le christianisme n’est pas une loi mais une foi. Dans l’Evangile, c’est la foi qui sauve et non l’observance de la loi. La foi est pour moi une adhésion confiante et abandonnée à une réalité qui nous dépasse et pas la gloriole tirée de sa propre vertu...
On instrumentalise souvent la laïcité. En réalité, il y a une peur de l’islam comme religion totalisante. C’est vrai que l’islam, depuis son origine, est une religion totalisante. C’est une religion qui ne fait pas la différence entre la loi religieuse et la loi civile. Mais l’immense majorité des musulmans de France fait parfaitement la différence !
france  religion  politics 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
La lune, poétiquement surnommée "Reine de la nuit", exerce une influence sur la terre et sur les plantes.

Tout le cycle végétatif est concerné, du semis à la floraison ou la récolte.

Jardiner avec la lune peut sembler une idée moderne, liée au mouvement écologique, mais les paysans et les jardiniers ont toujours procédé, consciemment ou non, de cette façon.

Le paysan ou l'agriculteur savaient toujours, en observant le ciel, si la période était propice aux travaux des champs.

Regarder et bien observer la lune peut éviter bien des maladresses et des erreurs au jardin.

Apprendre à jardiner avec la lune, c'est donc apprendre à connaître les rythmes de la nature pour les conjuguer avec le jardinage.

En consultant le calendrier lunaire on découvre les jours propices aux semis, aux plantations, aux récoltes suivant les types de végétaux et également les jours propices au repos !

Il ne faut cependant pas s'inquiéter si le calendrier ne peut pas être respecté scrupuleusement ; les conditions climatiques ou tout simplement la vie personnelle l'empêchent parfois.

Il faut savoir compenser, par exemple si le semis des salades n'a pas été effectué en jour feuilles, il faudra par la suite effectuer les travaux d'entretien pendant la bonne période pour rééquilibrer.
maraîchage  religion  culture  plants 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Aucune période n'est réellement définie. Le principe réside dans le fait que la récolte doit s'effectuer quand les graines soit bien mures ou les fruits ouverts.

L'aspect météorologique revêt donc une grande importance, le murissement dépendant des conditions climatiques. Un bel été chaud donne une récolte précoce, un été pourri…..le jardinier patiente.

Il faut bien surveiller car si la récolte doit s'effectuer lorsque les graines sont à maturité, il ne faut pas attendre trop longtemps sous peine de les voir tomber et se ressemer toutes seules !

L'observation doit se faire tous les jours car certains végétaux, surtout en cas de chaleurs, évoluent très rapidement.

Pour favoriser la conservation, il faut limiter l'humidité. La récolte se fera donc de préférence par temps sec et en fin d'après-midi, le matin les graines sont encore imbibées par la rosée.

Les graines gorgées de soleil sécheront nettement mieux et leur pouvoir de conservation sera accru et sans risque de pourriture.


Pour obtenir une meilleure conservation et un meilleur pouvoir germinatif, il est préférable de récolter les graines en période de lune ascendante et en jours "Fruits et Graines".
maraîchage  graines  plants  religion  culture  agroecology 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
To Hell with Good Intentions by Ivan Illich
Your reports about your work in Mexico, which you so kindly sent me, exude self-complacency. Your reports on past summers prove that you are not even capable of understanding that your dogooding in a Mexican village is even less relevant than it would be in a U.S. ghetto. Not only is there a gulf between what you have and what others have which is much greater than the one existing between you and the poor in your own country, but there is also a gulf between what you feel and what the Mexican people feel that is incomparably greater. This gulf is so great that in a Mexican village you, as White Americans (or cultural white Americans) can imagine yourselves exactly the way a white preacher saw himself when he offered his life preaching to the black slaves on a plantation in Alabama. The fact that you live in huts and eat tortillas for a few weeks renders your well-intentioned group only a bit more picturesque...
If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for the coming elections: You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don't even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as "good," a "sacrifice" and "help."

I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an American gives you. I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously and humbly give up the legal right you have to impose your benevolence on Mexico. I am here to challenge you to recognize your inability, your powerlessness and your incapacity to do the "good" which you intended to do.

I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. But do not come to help.
activism  culture  mexico  politics  us  religion  illich 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Muqattaʿat - Wikipedia
The Muqattaʿāt (Arabic: حروف مقطعات ‎‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt "disjoined letters" or "disconnected letters";[1] also "mysterious letters") are combinations of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 surahs (chapters) of the Quran just after the basmala.[2] The letters are also known as fawātih (فواتح) or "openers" as they form the opening verse of their respective suras .

Four surahs are named for their muqatta'at, Ṭāʾ-Hāʾ, Yāʾ-Sīn , Ṣād and Qāf.

The original significance of the letters is unknown. Tafsir (exegesis) has interpreted them as abbreviations for either names or qualities of God or for the names or content of the respective surahs.
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
أَلِف-لَام-مِيم "Alif, Lam, Mim", c'est quoi ? : Dialogue islamo-chrétien
L’importance et la signification de ces lettres mystérieuses ne sont pas connues avec certitude.
Selon certains chercheurs, ces lettres sont des abréviations de certains mots. Par exemple :

Alif lam mim signifie « anallaho a’lamo » = ??? Je suis Allah, l’Omniscient
Alif lam ra signifie « anallaho ara » = ??? Je suis Allah, Celui Qui Voit tout
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Alif Lam Mim | Martel en Tête
S’il est notoire que l’alphabet arabe procède de l’hébreu et de l’araméen, il n’échappe non plus à personne que les lettres arabes « alif, lam, mim » correspondent aux lettres « alef, lamed, mem », de l’alphabet hébreu; une évidence même pour un non linguiste. Or ces 3 lettres sont en hébreu un sigle abréviatif de “El Lemashaot” – le Dieu des délivrances (psaume 68,21) selon le Professeur Kurt Hruby, abréviation citée par Édouard Marie Gallez dans sa thèse “le Messie et son Prophète”, et aussi par Bruno Eymard Bonnet et par Sami Awad dans leurs traductions respectives du Coran. Il se trouve que ces linguistes sont de fins connaisseurs de l’arabe, de l’hébreu et de l’araméen. La puissance de leur raisonnement s’appuie sur des connaissances approfondies des textes anciens y compris de la Bible, du nouveau testament et du Coran. La crédibilité de leurs conclusions et de leurs sources est au-dessus de tout soupçon.
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Buddhist Studies, Deities: Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)
It is said the the personification of perfect Compassion, Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) Bodhisattva (a great being who aspires to help all sentient beings be free of suffering... vowed that "Should He ever become disheartened in saving sentient beings, may His body shatter into a thousand pieces"... symbolic of His overwhelming great Compassion and determination.

One day, while helping beings in a higher realm, He looked down into the hells which He had emptied through the teaching of the Dharma, and realised, to His dismay, that countless beings were still flooding into them. In a moment of exasperation, He became so disheartened that true to His vow, His body shattered in great agitation and despair. Despite this, He did not just give up — His consciousness beseeched the Buddhas for help... With the Buddha's miraculous powers, He attained a new form — one with a thousand helping hands of Compassion coupled with the eyes of Wisdom in each palm. With this, He renewed His vow to saving not just limited sentient beings, but all sentient beings.
religion  metaphor 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Are You There Netizens? It's Me, Dana. | The Huffington Post
Douglas Carnall - translator, editor and the 185th winner of The Listerve lottery - said he feels beholden to his readers as an author. He included his personal email address with a piece on the semantics of the phrase, ‘Scout’s pace,” and received about 30 replies.

“Responding took up most of my free time for the next few days; it was an absolute pleasure to do so,” he said.

Carnall compared the experience of writing to an audience of 20,000 strangers to “a secular prayer.”
walking  cycling  writing  email  internet  religion 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Blessed be the Org, the Com, and the Net - Stallmanism
I'm an atheist - how could Stallmanism work for me?

Stallmanism is a compatible extension of atheism. Atheism is a step on the road to Enlightenment, a rejection of legacy religions, imaginary friends, telepathy, and pixies. Stallmanism takes this a step further and says that we, humans, fully define Heaven and Hell, through the adoption of an appropriate social contract.
So what is Heaven, and what is Hell?

That should be obvious to anyone who uses Windows, or any other non-free software. Heaven is that state in which all knowledge is freely available to all, and Hell is the opposite.
Why is the GPL so important?

A True Believer does not question the sacred texts, but if you really insist, it's because the GPL defines an evolving social contract that eliminates friction in the digital society and economy, promotes universal access to knowledge, and thus enables the inevitable emergence of a global human super-consciousness, which Stallmanists recognize as "God".
freesoftware  religion  satire  funny 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
‘Alt-right’ online poison nearly turned me into a racist | Anonymous | Opinion | The Guardian
This, I think, is where YouTube’s “suggested videos” can lead you down a rabbit hole. Moving on from Harris, I unlocked the Pandora’s box of “It’s not racist to criticise Islam!” content. Eventually I was introduced, by YouTube algorithms, to Milo Yiannopoulos and various “anti-SJW” videos (SJW, or social justice warrior, is a pejorative directed at progressives). They were shocking at first, but always presented as innocuous criticism from people claiming to be liberals themselves, or centrists, sometimes “just a regular conservative” – but never, ever identifying as the dreaded “alt-right”.

For three months I watched this stuff grow steadily more fearful of Islam. “Not Muslims,” they would usually say, “individual Muslims are fine.” But Islam was presented as a “threat to western civilisation”.
socialmedia  religion  authoritarianism  psychology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Gestion de la « radicalisation » en prison : à qui profite le crime ? - Contre-attaque(s)
Cette focalisation sur la « radicalisation islamiste » en prison sert tout à la fois deux objectifs. Tout d’abord, il s’agit de conforter l’élan sécuritaire post-2012 avec la création d’un arsenal législatif global digne d’un gouvernement qui se croit ironiquement … « radical », fabriquant état d’urgence et état de siège à l’emporte-pièce, stigmatisant et persécutant une partie de la population pour son appartenance, réelle ou supposée, à la religion musulmane. Et par un simple principe de détournement de l’attention, cela sert un deuxième objectif : éviter de parler des vrais problèmes des prisons françaises et continuer d’ignorer les quelques propositions tangibles de lutte contre la récidive à travers le recours aux dispositifs non-répressifs.
Les multiples condamnations de la France pour des conditions de détention jugées dégradantes et inhumaines, une politique pénale et pénitentiaire de la domination qui nourrit la surpopulation et la récidive, l’échec patent des réformes pénitentiaires successives…tout cela est occulté face à une problématique qui est certes réelle (le travail à réaliser avec les criminels incriminés pour fait de terrorisme ou d’appartenance à des réseaux dits terroristes), mais qui ne concerne qu’une petite minorité de la population pénale et pénitentiaire...
Pour rappel, jusqu’aux années 1970, l’islamisme désignait en France « la religion des musulmans » (même si le mot était déjà concurrencé par la dénomination islam dès le début du XXème siècle). Actuellement, l’emploi quasiment quotidien du mot islamisme, et à fortiori islamisme radical, pour désigner des attaques terroristes revendiquées éhontement au nom de l’Islam, entretient la fabrication de l’ignorance et du rejet qui s’enracine profondément dans la société française face à toute personne de confession musulmane qui refuserait de se plier à l’injonction du « musulman modéré », musulman mais pas trop … (Etrangement, les expressions « chrétien modéré », « juif modéré » ou même « bouddhiste modéré » ne font pas encore partie du vocabulaire officiel.)
prison  france  spectacle  politics  religion 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Following the Quanglican way
EVEN more reassuring were the testimonies of those who spoke of the compatibility of Quaker practice with ordained Anglican ministry.

Canon Paul Oestreicher, a former Director of International Reconcilia­tion at Coventry Cathedral, tells the story of “coming out” about his Quaker­ism to his Anglican col­leagues: “I saw Archbishop Runcie on quite another matter, and I told him at the end of our meeting that I’d become an official member of the Friends. He just smiled broadly, put his hands on my head, and said: ‘You’ve got my blessing, but don’t tell anyone.’
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Get to Know the Testaments - Life:Beautiful
New to the Bible? Begin in the New Testament, reading in the following order.

• The Gospel of John and the Gospel of Mark. These two books look at the mission of Jesus.

• The Book of Acts. The amazing tale of the early Church. Continue on through Romans, a good introduction to the Apostle Paul’s letters.

• The Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Luke, or perhaps both. You will discover that Jesus often quotes the Old Testament.

• The Book of Genesis. Go back to the Old Testament to witness the creation of the world and how God promises to bless all nations.

• Read a couple of NT books, then one or two in the OT. When done with the NT, start over in it. You’ll understand much more the second time around. Once through the entire Bible, celebrate and continue rereading it.
religion  reading 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Does it Matter Which Bible Translation I Read?
f I were the Devil, my FIRST target would be to subtly change (mixing a tiny amount of error with the truth is far more lethal than plain error – everyone can taste plain arsenic!) the thing that underpins Christianity – The Bible! Here is a clue as to a Bible translation you can trust from the Bible itself; The Bible tells us that it’s wise to have many counsellors on any given subject or task – since they will be accountable to each other. An example of this; The King James Bible – translated by over 50 scholars – some with opposing views but ALL accountable to each other in the open having to fight out the true meanings of the text – lest they be seen as manipulative fools by their peers. Or a bad example; Eugene Paterson’s ‘Message‘ Bible – one man translating for what purpose? – a gap in the market perhaps? Who knows, I don’t and you would have to ask him, but remember The Bible tells us; “the love of money is the root of all even” (bad translations say “many” evils!).
translation  religion 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Glossaire Quaker Glossary Texts
Some often-quoted Quaker texts
Quelques textes quakers souvent cités
religion  translation  enfr  français 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Suleiman Mourad: Riddles of the Book. New Left Review 86, March-April 2014.
[punted to this by a search for Perry Anderson/Suleiman Mourad that pulled up as its top hit, this article linked at its foot. Seems to be of solid stuff...]

When the Great Mosque in Sana‘a was being renovated in the early 1970s, a secret attic was discovered above a false ceiling, containing a mass of old manuscripts. The Middle Eastern tradition (which applies to Christians and Jews as well) is that if a manuscript has the name of God or the name of the Prophet on it, you can’t simply destroy it. The best thing you can do is put it away, or bury it, as with the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hamadeh texts. You do so not to hide them for hiding’s sake, but to keep them from getting corrupted and thus insulting God. That was the case in San‘a. A German scholar was allowed to study the finds, but she has published very little on them for fear of the political consequences of doing so; it seems the Yemeni government threatened Germany with repercussions if anything embarrassing appeared. But from a few of what are believed to be very early parchments in the cache, using Kufic script, we know that they date to the late seventh or early eighth century, and we can already see one significant difference with the canonical version of the Qur’an. The traditional story tells us there were no serious variations between the different versions assembled by Caliph ‘Uthman around the year 650, though we know that down to the eighth century more popular versions of the Qur’an, without major discrepancies from the canonical text, were retained in certain regions—Iraq or Syria—out of local pride. The Yemeni manuscript, however, contains a very serious divergence. In the canonical Qur’an, there is a verse with the imperative form ‘say’ [qul]—God instructing Muhammad—whereas in the San‘a text, the same verse reads ‘he said’ [qala]. That suggests some early Muslims may have perceived the Qur’an as the word of the Prophet, and it was only some time later that his reported speech became a divine command. There is also some serious variation with respect to the size of some chapters.
religion  text  history  hermeneutics 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Shunned for saying they're Muslims: life for Ahmadis after Asad Shah's murder | World news | The Guardian
The founder of the Ahmadi movement – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – was born in Punjab in 1835. Considering himself the reviver of the original teachings of Islam, he was regarded by his followers as the messiah and the follower prophet of Muhammad. And while Ahmadis insist that he was not a “law-giving” prophet like Muhammad, few among the Muslim mainstream accept this argument. Ahmadis believe they practise true Islam, as practised by Muhammad.

With its origins in British-controlled northern India in the late 19th century, this theological schism was soon overlaid by the toxic politics of partition. The Ahmadi, historically better educated and wealthier than their peers, were instrumental in the return of Mohammad Jinnah (leader of the All-India Muslim League until Pakistan’s creation in 1947, and then the country’s first governor-general) to India in the late 30s, and their influence in the emerging state was treated with increasing suspicion by other religious leaders.

As Hasan explains, this mistrust was then codified into something even more toxic. In 1974, under severe pressure from clerics, Pakistan’s first elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, introduced a constitutional amendment that declared Ahmadi to be non-Muslims. This remains one of the only instances in the world where a religious community is explicitly discriminated against by law.
religion  politics  law  pakistan  crime  police  scotland 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Guardian view on the pope and marriage: making good again | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
The conservatives could – and did – point to 2,000 years of Catholic tradition. The severity of lifelong monogamy was always tempered by the process of annulment, available to rich and well-connected Catholics, but hardly to the poor. Nonetheless, this is an institution which takes its own traditions very seriously indeed. As the pope points out, he could not be expected to change the rules openly. Neither has he attempted this. Instead he has made it entirely clear that the rules are there to be upheld, to be admired, and learned from – and then crumpled like waste paper when that’s what justice demands. Since this is really what already happens in many parts of the world, he can be confident of obedience from the liberals, while the conservatives can still trumpet that nothing has changed. But it has. “We must see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women,” writes this pope, and: “It is legitimate and right to reject older forms of the traditional family marked by authoritarianism and even violence … the verbal, physical and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union.”
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
The “Creator” paper, Post-pub Peer Review, and Racism Among Scientists. | Complex Roots
It was a poor translation of a Chinese idiom, which the author states would have been better translated as "nature". The paper explicitly and accurately referenced evolution and the real timescale on which evolution occurs.

But that didn't matter. First the outspoken atheist PZ Myers, without apparently doing any investigation, blogged about it credulously asserting it was creationism in a scientific journal. Then twitter exploded about it and PLOSONE retracted the paper.
religion  sciencepublishing  translation  chinois  english  xl8 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Pope and the Planet by Bill McKibben | The New York Review of Books
The pope’s contribution to the climate debate builds on the words of his predecessors—in the first few pages he quotes from John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI—but clearly for those prelates ecological questions were secondary...

It is, therefore, remarkable to actually read the whole document and realize that it is far more important even than that. In fact, it is entirely different from what the media reports might lead one to believe. Instead of a narrow and focused contribution to the climate debate, it turns out to be nothing less than a sweeping, radical, and highly persuasive critique of how we inhabit this planet—an ecological critique, yes, but also a moral, social, economic, and spiritual commentary. In scope and tone it reminded me instantly of E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful (1973), and of the essays of the great American writer Wendell Berry. As with those writers, it’s no use trying to categorize the text as liberal or conservative; there’s some of each, but it goes far deeper than our political labels allow. It’s both caustic and tender, and it should unsettle every nonpoor reader who opens its pages.

The ecological problems we face are not, in their origin, technological, says Francis. Instead, “a certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us.” He is no Luddite (“who can deny the beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper?”) but he insists that we have succumbed to a “technocratic paradigm,” which leads us to believe that “every increase in power means ‘an increase of “progress” itself’…as if reality, goodness and truth automatically flow from technological and economic power as such.”
environment  religion  climatechange  technology  science  literature 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Notes on the Mozart Mass in c
Texts, Translations, and Notes
The left column contains the Latin text, plus a word / for / word / translation / where / necessary. The right column contains a more idiomatic English translation. The choral movements are as follows:
Qui tollis
Cum Sancto Spiritu


Kyrie: Chorus SATB; Solo Soprano; 2 Oboes, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, Timpani, Strings, Continuo

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
music  translation  latin  english  religion 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Voltaire on Quakers | Quakers in Scotland
Voltaire's "Lettres Philosophiques," published in 1734. These contain 4 very interesting letters about the Quakers.

At the time the letters were written, Voltaire had already had two spells of imprisonment in the Bastille for his advocacy of toleration and enlightenment. He was released from prison on condition that he left France and he chose exile in England. He was taught English by a Quaker and became sympathetic to the Quaker outlook
religion  voltaire  france  history  philosophy  language  english 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Archbishop Justin Welby’s sermon at the Child Bereavement UK carol service — Medium
We came back eventually to that great puzzle, which there is one child in the whole of human history who died, whose father could have done something and didn’t. Who could with a mere exercise of will have changed the world so it didn’t happen. His beloved child, whom he sent, whom the angels announced, whom he sent to live this risky life, and who died unjustly some 30 years later, out of time, unfairly.
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Apologies | Matt Carr's Infernal Machine
As I have tried to make clear since I wrote my piece about Hilary Benn last Thursday, I never meant to suggest any moral equivalence whatsoever between Daesh and the International Brigades. I continue to believe that the overall context of the article makes it clear that I intended no such thing, and that nobody who is familiar with my writing could ever believe that I would make such a suggestion.
war  syria  philosophy  religion  history  dccomment 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Official Website of The Amman Message - The Amman Message
In Amman, the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues (which became known as the 'Three Points of the Amman Message'):

They specifically recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi'a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash'arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim.
Based upon this definition they forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims.
Based upon the Mathahib they set forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas, thereby exposing ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam.
religion  youaintnomuslimbruv 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Be Careful who you call a Kafir
Be careful who you call Kafir because only Allah knows who is truly a rejector and who is merely a misguided person. It is not up to us to "sentence" a person to the Hellfire.

We must always maintain courtesy, diplomacy and a never-dying zeal to convey the message to others no matter how discouraging or useless it may seem - don't give up on a non-muslim because most people are good people who simply need a break from the anti-Islamic propaganda around them.

The Fastest Way to Leave Islam

It is always safest to assume that a non-muslim has been misguided, misinformed and fed lies and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims - don't jump to calling him a Kafir. Remove the name-calling from your articles and websites - wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry - name-calling, especially wrongly branding someone as 'evil', 'kafr' and 'manifestation of satan' - GHEEBOT - could entail dire consequences for us on Judgement Day.

Perhaps there is no faster way to leave Islam than by calling other Muslims "kafir" or "mushrik" without discrimination.
religion  youaintnomuslimbruv 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Hermeneutics of takfir
An individual's mental frame of reference, their religious sensibilities, and the manner in which they process and filter information is strongly impacted by what they absorb as their religious "hermeneutic" - their manner and mechanism for understanding their religion and the interpretations that arise from this understanding.

In general, hermeneutics refers to theories and methodologies of interpretation, especially of scriptures and sacred texts although the term can also be applied in a broad manner to all theories and methods of interpreting and viewing the world. In this wider sense, every society and every group has a hermeneutic - or sometimes multiple overlapping hermeneutics (religious and secular) - through which they interpret the world and interact with it. The hermeneutic could be a cohesive one or a scattered and confused one that draws the specifics of it's understanding from widely divergent and conflicting sources (in correspondence with the conflicting diversities that characterize the modern world).
hermeneutics  religion  bubble 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Quran and War: Prof Joel Hayward: Quran and War (Koran and War). - Qur'an and War: Islam and War: Just War
Even a cursory reading of the Qur’an will draw the reader’s eyes to hundreds of scriptures extolling tolerance, conciliation, inclusiveness and peace, but also to a few scriptures that seem to be more aggressive than, for example, Christians are used to reading in the words of Christ and his followers as expressed in the New Testament. Critics of the Qur’an who advance what I consider to be an unsustainable argument that Islam is the world’s most warlike major faith — among whom the American scholar Robert Spencer is both the most prolific and influential6 — routinely highlight Qur’anic passages to support their argument that Islam has a tendency towards aggressive war, not inclusive peace.7

These writers tend to focus their attention on a few passages within the Qur’an which seem to suggest that Allāh encourages Muslims to subjugate non-Muslims, and even to take their lives if they refuse to yield. The critics especially like to quote Surah (Chapter) 9, Ayah (Verse) 5, which has become known as the “verse of the sword” (Ayat al-Sayf). This verse explicitly enjoins Muslims to kill “pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”8 You could not imagine gentle Buddha or the peaceful, cheek-turning Jesus ever saying such things, the critics assert, brushing off some of Jesus’ seemingly incongruous statements, such as Matthew 10:34 — “Do not think I come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” — as allegorical and metaphorical.9

When they read the Qur’an, the opponents of its message tend not to place adequate importance on the obvious difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was the spiritual leader of a small and intimate group of followers at a time of relative peace throughout the land. He suffered death, according to the Christian scriptures, but his execution by the Rome-governed state came after a short burst of state anger that actually followed several years of him being able to preach without severe opposition and no known violence. By contrast, Muhammad (in some ways like Moses) found himself not only the spiritual but also the political and legislative leader of a massive community that wanted to be moderate, just and inclusive but suffered organised warfare from other political entities which were committed to its destruction. His responsibilities (including the governance, sustenance and protection of tens of thousands of children, men and women) were very different.
religion  war 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Analysis* of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si - Climate Feedback
Pope Francis’s encyclical rather accurately depicts the current reality of climate change. While it does contain a few minor scientific inaccuracies, and could be interpreted as understating the degree of certainty scientists have in understanding climate change impacts, the encyclical fairly represents the present concerns raised by the scientific community.
religion  science  commenting 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Marginal Musings
While I personally believe that war is rarely if ever a solution to violence, I accept that the resort to war is sometimes legitimate under international law. As citizens we therefore have a duty to participate in debates about the legitimacy of our politicians taking our country to war, whatever our personal beliefs. In such situations, I believe that the just war criteria should be applied, as a rule of thumb against which to measure the decision to go to war and the conduct of war. While it is questionable whether war ever conforms to these criteria, they are the only enduring tradition we have for judging and containing acts of war. I have taken the following summary from the BBC website and posted my arguments in italics, though there is also a very interesting discussion on a Catholic website about American involvement in bombing Syria, on the basis of Thomas Aquinas’s just war theory:
war  politics  religion  philosophy  syria 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Response to Controversy: Sam Harris
secular scholars refuse to take it at face value; they always look for the “deeper” reasons—economic, political, or personal—behind it. However, when given economic, political, or personal motives (e.g. “I did it because they stole my family’s land, and I felt totally hopeless.”), these researchers always seem to take a person at his word. They never dig for the religious motive behind apparently terrestrial concerns.
religion  theory  scholarly  us  politics  torture 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
@MisterSob: Media Misdirection & The Origins Of Extremism
In addition, a 2008 article in The Guardian, citing a classified MI5 internal research report into radicalisation, states:

They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices. Nor, the analysis says, are they "mad and bad".

Figures released by the Muslim Council of Britain, drawing on the 2011 census, indicate that almost half of the Muslim population in the UK lives in the most deprived areas and that just 1 in 5 are in full-time employment; the disenfranchisement of British Muslims was highlighted in an August 2014 report by ITV. Muslim leader Ajmal Masroor, who works against extremism, said his biggest problem in tackling the issue was the failure of Government policy in the past. Surely, then, asking Muslim children to fill out “counter-extremism” tests only adds to the sense of isolation we should be working to counter.

It can be seen then that tackling the root causes of terrorism must start at home.
religion  politics  war  psychology 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Olivier Roy : « Le djihadisme est une révolte générationnelle et nihiliste »
Les « deuxième génération » n’adhèrent jamais à l’islam de leurs parents, ils ne représentent jamais une tradition qui se révolterait contre l’occidentalisation. Ils sont occidentalisés, ils parlent mieux le français que leurs parents. Tous ont partagé la culture « jeune » de leur génération, ils ont bu de l’alcool, fumé du shit, dragué les filles en boîte de nuit. Une grande partie d’entre eux a fait un passage en prison. Et puis un beau matin, ils se sont (re)convertis, en choisissant l’islam salafiste, c’est-à-dire un islam qui rejette le concept de culture, un islam de la norme qui leur permet de se reconstruire tout seuls. Car ils ne veulent ni de la culture de leurs parents ni d’une culture « occidentale », devenues symboles de leur haine de soi...
Les jeunes convertis par définition adhèrent, quant à eux, à la « pure » religion, le compromis culturel ne les intéresse pas (rien à voir avec les générations antérieures qui se convertissaient au soufisme) ; ils retrouvent ici la deuxième génération dans l’adhésion à un « islam de rupture », rupture générationnelle, rupture culturelle, et enfin rupture politique. Bref, rien ne sert de leur offrir un « islam modéré », c’est la radicalité qui les attire par définition. Le salafisme n’est pas seulement une question de prédication financée par l’Arabie saoudite, c’est bien le produit qui convient à des jeunes en rupture de ban.
france  politics  religion 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
What ISIS Really Wants - The Atlantic
To call them un-Islamic appears, to me, to invite them into an argument that they would win. If they had been froth-spewing maniacs, I might be able to predict that their movement would burn out as the psychopaths detonated themselves or became drone-splats, one by one. But these men spoke with an academic precision that put me in mind of a good graduate seminar. I even enjoyed their company, and that frightened me as much as anything else.
religion  politics  iraq  syria 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Nantes. Incendie dans un squat : les réactions des syndicats et du diocèse | Presse Océan
Xavier Brunier, délégué épiscopal à la solidarité, a lui aussi tenu à réagir. "Le Diocèse de Nantes dénonce avec force cette violence. Cet acte aurait pu tuer des hommes ou de femmes qui ont fuit des pays en guerre et une grande misère. L’esprit évangélique nous rappelle le respect dû à tout être humain, quelles que soient ses origines ou sa religion et tout particulièrement pour les personnes les plus vulnérables. Le diocèse tient à saluer et à soutenir toutes les propositions d’accueil et de fraternité manifestées auprès des migrants depuis plusieurs mois."
nantes  politics  religion  immigration 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Emran El-Badawi, "The Qur'an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions" (Routledge, 2013)
The Qur'an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions (Routledge, 2013) written by Emran El-Badawi, professor and director of the Arab Studies program at the University of Houston, is a recent addition to the field of research on the Qur'an and Aramaic and Syriac biblical texts. Professor El-Badawi asserts that the Qur'an is a product of an environment steeped in the Aramaic gospel traditions. Not a "borrowing" from the Aramaic gospel tradition, but rather the Qur'an contains a "dogmatic re-articulation" of elements from that tradition for an Arab audience.
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Project MUSE - Who Translates?: Translator Subjectivities Beyond Reason (review)
Robinson includes the example to ask, "What exactly is the ontological status of this talk of Shakespeare's permission?" (119) Here and elsewhere his intellectual forays help unravel the delicate strands of inspiration that bind us to a given text—translated or otherwise.

He demonstrates implicitly through a provocative selection of materials that the systems of faith undergirding our scholarly endeavors have more in common with religious traditions than we may care to admit. Robinson points out that Marx spends much of his writing distinguishing between the "spirit of the revolution" that is the Geist he urges people to move towards and the "ghosts of the past" that are the Gespenst he'd like people to leave behind, but in the end continues to be, as Robinson wryly puts it (after Jacques Derrida): "h(a)unted" (131). "We are all haunted," he avers, "by the spiritualist imagination" (31). Part of the problem he is at pains to describe is the very expectation of duality that reason forces on us. "The logic of the ghost," Derrida describes in The Specter of Marx, "points toward a thinking of the event that necessarily exceeds a binary or dialectical logic, the logic that distinguishes or opposes effectivity or actuality (either present, empirical, living—or not) and ideality (regulating or absolute non-presence)" (qtd. in Robinson: 121) That Robinson would liken these collective, post-rationalist "fantasies" to Jacques Lacan's notion of the Other or Louis Althusser's interpellated ideology may come as some surprise.
translation  theory  marxism  religion  hermeneutics  philosophy 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
This word breviary (Latin Breviarium), signifies in its primary acceptation an abridgment, or a compendium. It is often employed in this sense by Christian authors, e.g. Breviarium fidei, Breviarium in psalmos, Breviarium canonum, Breviarium regularum. In liturgical language Breviary has a special meaning, indicating a book furnishing the regulations for the celebration of Mass or the canonical Office, and may be met with under the titles Breviarium Ecclesiastici Ordinis, or Breviarium Ecclesiæ Rominsæ (Romanæ).
breviaires  religion 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
Whataboutism Charlie Hebdo King Abdullah | Al Jazeera America
“[Anders] Breivik killed 77 in Norway & no-one asked me as a white male of Nordic Christian background if I felt the need to condemn it,” in addition to 16,000 retweets and favorites, I received hundreds of responses in which I was accused of being an apologist, whataboutist and purveyor of false equivalency and moral relativism.
racism  CharlieHebdo  religion 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Chris Hedges: Killing Ragheads for Jesus - Chris Hedges - Truthdig
There is no shortage of simpletons whose minds are warped by this belief system. We elected one of them, George W. Bush, as president. They populate the armed forces and the Christian right. They watch Fox News and believe it. They have little understanding or curiosity about the world outside their insular communities. They are proud of their ignorance and anti-intellectualism. They prefer drinking beer and watching football to reading a book...
“American Sniper,” like the big-budget feature films pumped out in Germany during the Nazi era to exalt deformed values of militarism, racial self-glorification and state violence, is a piece of propaganda, a tawdry commercial for the crimes of empire...
“The movie never asks... why the people of Iraq are fighting back against us in the very first place,” said Mikey Weinstein, whom I reached by phone in New Mexico. Weinstein, who worked in the Reagan White House and is a former Air Force officer, is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which challenges the growing Christian fundamentalism within the U.S. military. “It made me physically ill with its twisted, totally one-sided distortions of wartime combat ethics and justice woven into the fabric of Chris Kyle’s personal and primal justification mantra of ‘God-Country-Family.’ It is nothing less than an odious homage, indeed a literal horrific hagiography to wholesale slaughter.”

Weinstein noted that the embrace of extreme right-wing Christian chauvinism, or Dominionism, which calls for the creation of a theocratic “Christian” America, is especially acute among elite units such as the SEALs and the Army Special Forces.
propaganda  war  us  religion  authoritarianism 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Uses and Abuses of Taboos -
hough anti-Muslim bigotry is real enough and Muslims are often disadvantaged in the West (and more so in Europe than in the United States), the present position of Islam and Islamic civilization vis-a-vis the Europe and the U.S. — to say nothing of the position of radical Islam vis-a-vis its critics, in the West and the Islamic world alike — is too complicated to fit into a simple oppressor/victim narrative, or for the language of “punching down” to make real sense. The Hebdo cartoons, in particular, were often using images of Muhammed to mock the beliefs of people, like the brigands of ISIS, who are very much in power, who are the ones doing the real “punching” (that is, killing) in this story, and whose ideology actually quite explicitly supports slavery and genocide. So it is slightly strange for the cartoonists’ critics to invoke the examples of how we deal with Holocaust apologists to justify taboos that today’s genocidaires want to see enforced.

Now in fairness, Hebdo’s left-wing critics don’t see themselves as doing anything like that: They aren’t trying to protect the sensitivities of ISIS or any other theocratic thugs; rather, they’re trying to defend the Muslims of France and Western Europe from blows that may be aimed at Islamists and terrorists but that tend to land on their pieties, their sense of belonging and agency, and sometimes their legal rights instead. And the left’s justification for imposing stronger cultural taboos in this area isn’t that the Muslim experience is exactly like the Jewish experience in 1930s Germany or the black experience in Dixie; rather, it’s that there’s a continuum of victimhood and exclusion, and that while events and institutions like the Holocaust and slavery occupy a distinctive place on that continuum, other forms of oppression imposed by the West, from our colonial past to its still-exclusionary present, deserve a cultural response today as well.
CharlieHebdo  racism  religion  politics 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Muhammad Images Used to Provoke Muslims: What Gandhi Understood | The New Republic
It's dishonest to ignore the divisive and often odious history of Western depictions of Muhammad, when the danger today is the threat Gandhi identified: With passions stoked, extremists on both sides win. After 9/11 and the resulting American-led wars in Muslim countries, political and militant groups and terrorist organizations have had predictable success dredging up insulting Western images of Muhammad to rally Muslims. Al Qaeda’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula has now claimed responsibility for the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Meanwhile, racist and violent xenophobic groups in the West, rallying under slogans of free speech, eagerly encourage artists to insult the Islamic prophet. Both sides feed the others' worst expectations, reaping a collective windfall of violence.
religion  CharlieHebdo  art 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
bat020 tumblr - “I’m going to kill a cow.”
"I’m going to kill a cow," he declared, scrutinising my face.
religion  racism 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
French Prime Minister: "I Refuse to Use This Term 'Islamophobia'" - The Atlantic
The origins of the term 'Islamophobia' are somewhat murky. According to Bruckner, the term was first used in its current manner to excoriate the writer Kate Millett, who had called upon Iranian women living under a theocratic yoke to take off their chadors. The term seems to have come into widespread use after the U.K.-based Runnymede Trust issued a report in 1997 entitled “Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All,” and by 2001, the United Nations had recognized Islamophobia as a form of prejudice at its Durban conference on racism (this is the same conference from which the official U.S. delegation walked out, to protest the widespread trafficking in anti-Israel and anti-Jewish tropes). The Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as “unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims.”
politics  psychology  religion 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Far too many Western Muslims speak of freedom as a sin - Comment - Voices - The Independent
After my book Refusing the Veil came out last year, some female Muslim acquaintances organised a soiree for me to read from it and discuss its contents. These were reasonable, educated women. Here are some of the comments made:

“Why did you have to write this; who gave you permission?”

“Even to think these thoughts is wrong, and you go and publish them? If you were in a Muslim country you would be in jail.”

“If your mother was alive she would have slapped you for writing this.”

When I replied that my mother refused the veil when she was 22, the woman came back: “Then I feel sorry for you. She was the sinner and she made you one too.”

“OK I have not read the book because it will dirty my pure thoughts, but if you are a Muslim, you follow Islamic rules without question. Are you even a Muslim?”

Only two out of 14 women defended my right to write the book. But then said they could never challenge Islamic practices so openly.
politics  authoritarianism  freedom  religion  feminism 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
New Ancestors: A Conversation with McKenzie Wark | e-flux
the winners of the race have generally been gruesome power-forms, like the Church or the Party dictatorship. In what you write, I sense the latent proposal that at this moment there is no credible border patrol that regulates contact with the Outside. And this makes our moment one of possibility, of being done with these portals altogether.

McKenzie Wark: It may be because, while a third generation atheist, I come from a Protestant culture. We don’t take kindly to authorities who claim to have been granted exclusive rights by the other to be its representatives, be they God-botherers or Lacanians.
theory  communication  religion 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Reza Aslan: Sam Harris and “New Atheists” aren’t new, aren’t even atheists -
the New Atheism not representative of atheism. It isn’t even mere atheism (and it certainly is not “new”). What Harris, Dawkins and their ilk are preaching is a polemic that has been around since the 18th century – one properly termed, anti-theism.

The earliest known English record of the term “anti-theist” dates back to 1788, but the first citation of the word can be found in the 1833 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, where it is defined as “one opposed to belief in the existence of a god” (italics mine). In other words, while an atheist believes there is no god and so follows no religion, an anti-theist opposes the very idea of religious belief, often viewing religion as an insidious force that must be rooted from society – forcibly if necessary.
religion  politics 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
Jews and Non-Jews Need to Repent for the Sins of the U.S. and Israel - The Daily Beast
the Jewish concept of sin, which differs from that concept as it has emerged in Christian-forged Western cultures. The Hebrew word cheyt, usually translated as “sin,” actually derives from the term for an arrow going off course and missing the mark. So sin is not some intrinsic element of our being, because as we say in my synagogue, “Who are we? We’re light and truth, and infinite wisdom, eternal goodness.” But as this ashamnu prayer goes on, “Yet we’ve abused, we’ve betrayed, we’ve been cruel, we’ve destroyed, we have falsified, we’ve lied, we’ve oppressed, we’ve been racists, we have perverted our holy essence.” So repentance is not about declaring ourselves evil or worthless, but rather about getting a spiritual tune-up so that we can get back on course of where our essence was heading, toward goodness, love, kindness, and open-hearted generosity toward others and stewardship and caring for the earth.
religion  psychology  translation 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
Exclusive: Clooney responds to 'Daily Mail' report
The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up. And when they put my family and my friends in harm's way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.

They must be so very proud.
news  journalism  racism  religion 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
Can political alliances yet be formed between the Muslim Brotherhood and secularists? My sense is, only if both sides radically reorder their priorities, focusing on those commons concerns—the rule of law, equality under the law, the rights of workers and the poor—that enabled mutually beneficial and mutually respectful alliances to be forged between religious and secular constituencies in the past.
politics  religion 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
What if schizophrenics really are possessed by demons, after all? | Practical Ethics
Irmak concludes that ‘it is time for medical professions to consider the possibility of demonic possession in the etiology of schizophrenia’ and that ‘it would be useful for medical professions to work together with faith healers to define better treatment pathways for schizophrenia’ (p. 776).

This is a dumbfounding argument, and it is shocking to find it published in a post-mediaeval peer-reviewed journal. Lest anyone suspect me of being unfairly prejudiced against the possibility of demons, let me point out that even those who subscribe to a demonic metaphysics should not be persuaded by Irmak’s argument. His observation that ‘there exist similarities between the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia and demonic possession’ is no more surprising than the observation that there exist similarities between financial compensation for childhood tooth loss and visits by the tooth fairy: in each case, the latter is a hypothesis motivated by a desire to explain the former.
censorship  dccomment  scholarly  ethics  religion  psychology 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
'May God change the hearts of the violent,' Pope prays :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
The Pope departed from his prepared remarks with an emphatic denunciation of the arms trade.

“This is the root of evil! “Hatred, the desire for money,” he exclaimed, linking it to “the manufacturing of arms and the sale of arms.”

“This ought to make us think – who is behind (it) that gives to everyone, to everyone who is involved in conflict, the arms for continuing the conflict?” he reflected.

Pope Francis continued, “let us think, and also in our hearts, let us say a word for these poor people, criminals, that they may be converted.”
religion  pope  arms_trade 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
Nue sur l'autel de l'église, elle finit devant les juges - Libération
Jusqu’où peut aller la liberté d’expression artistique ? C’est, en substance, la question posée lundi au tribunal correctionnel de Nantes. Une chorégraphe bretonne y était assignée pour «injures publiques» par l’association des évêques français, après s’être entièrement déshabillée puis avoir dansé sur l’autel de la chapelle Saint-Pierre de Mahalon (Finistère), en juillet 2009, avec un autre danseur. A l’époque, Corinne Duval, 35 ans, s’y produisait pour le vernissage du festival d’art contemporain Arts à la pointe, qui avait alors investi une dizaine d’édifices religieux du cap Sizun.
«Nous sommes en plein blasphème, estime le substitut du procureur. Cette danse nue est choquante, outrageante au sens du blasphème… C’est un outrage à l’Eglise, à la divinité, au sacré. Quel est le message que cette danseuse nue a voulu délivrer ? Elle a voulu choquer, au minimum, son auditoire.» Pour autant, le magistrat réclame la relaxe de Corinne Duval, considérant qu’il n’y a pas suffisamment d’éléments pour caractériser des «injures publiques» à l’égard des catholiques français. Et le délit de «blasphème» a été supprimé en France en 1881...
nantes  religion  arts  funny 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Crackpot Caucus - -
The Catholic Church long ago made its peace with evolution, but the same cannot be said of House Republicans. Jack Kingston of Georgia, a 20-year veteran of the House, is an evolution denier, apparently because he can’t see the indent where his ancestors’ monkey tail used to be. “Where’s the missing link?” he said in 2011. “I just want to know what it is.” He serves on a committee that oversees education
agnotology  us  religion  science  education 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
Teachers teaching misconceptions: a study of factors contributing to high school biology students’ acquisition of biological evolution-related misconceptions - Springer
Misconceptions are held by novices and experts alike (Palmquist and Finley 1997). It is therefore logical to assume that teachers, too, hold a range of misconceptions (Kikas 2004). A number of studies revealed that many teachers, including those with experience, operate while holding misconceptions about various biological concepts (for example, Affanato 1986; Bishop and Anderson 1990; Brumby 1984; Chinsamy and Plagányi 2007; Clough and Wood-Robinson 1985; Demastes et al. 1995; Greene 1990; Nehm and Schonfeld 2007; Osif 1997; Settlage 1994; Yates and Marek 2013; Yip 1998). In fact, research indicates that teachers adhere to many of the same biological evolution misconceptions as their students (Bishop and Anderson 1990; Brumby 1984; Demastes et al. 1995; Nehm and Schonfeld 2007; Settlage 1994). As Nehm and Schonfeld (2007) concluded, ‘one cannot assume that biology teachers with extensive backgrounds in biology have an accurate working knowledge of evolution, natural selection, or the nature of science’ (p. 716).
agnotology  science  religion  education  us 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
Get rid of the burden of sin | The Long Island Catholic
Who wants to carry the burden of sin around like a heavy knapsack weighing us down? Get rid of them! Come to confession this Monday and discover the freedom and the peace, the joy and the contentment of being reconciled to God through the healing balm of sacramental confession and absolution.
religion  psychology 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
Francis and His Predecessors
Despite this grumbling, the vast majority of American Catholics (88 percent, as of December) approve of Francis. The reason is not because they believe he will settle questions that have troubled the church for generations. Rather, his example—his decision to wash the feet not of fellow priests but of juvenile inmates on Holy Thursday; his invitation to homeless men to join him on his birthday—reminds many Catholics of what the church means to them on a daily basis and what they hope it means to the world.

“The married-priests issue is a footnote; the female-priests issue is a footnote; so is divorce, contraception, Latin Masses, changes in the liturgy, even perhaps the death penalty,” Yale historian Paul Kennedy, who is a practicing Catholic, wrote last year. “What matters is your reaching out to help. That’s the sole question you will be asked when you reach the Pearly Gates.”
religion  politics 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
A pope who reminds us of the church we know | Commonweal Magazine
I don't think most of the "people in the pews" who are so excited about Francis really need to be told that big, dramatic changes are hardly imminent when it comes to married priests, women's ordination, birth control, and so forth. We're not new on earth. But I do think most of us had gotten used to the idea that the pope was somehow not of this earth, and so it's a shock, a delightful one, to see a man we seem to recognize in the papal chair. I like the way Worthen puts it: he "reminds" us of the church we know; he seems to live in it with us. Just a couple months into his papacy, he spoke in a homily about the need to be "facilitators of the faith of the people," instead of "controllers of the faith." And to illustrate his point, he gave some examples of people who might come to a parish looking to be married, or to have a baby baptized, only to be discouraged by their encounter with an officious or unwelcoming parish secretary.
religion  politics 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
kitaabun-Classical and Contemporary Muslim and Islamic Books
[This is] one of the Best available Translations Currently Available.
This is a simpler, clearer and easier to read translation than many of the popular ones which proceeded it. Saheeh International reviewed each verse in Arabic with reference to several works of Arabic tafseer and grammar, choosing contemporary wording and carefully placing them in order similar to that of the original Arabic whenever possible. [via saqer]
arabic  religion  language  poetry 
march 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Mufti and the Translations — Saqer's few notes
The three points are laced with problems. How can a “clear understanding” of the Qur’anic verses exist if the exegetes differed on what the verses meant? These differences come into existence by how exegetes used different criteria to extract meaning. Did exegetes focus on linguistic issues alone? Historical issues, particular through the use of hadith? How about the modern theological focus on (pseudo)science? How about the goals, such as the production of law? If you need to see how vast and varied tafsirs can get, take a look at Anthology of Qur’anic Commenaries, there’s plenty of examples where tafsirs (even within the same theological school) can differ greatly.

Translators and their translations are almost exactly the same as exegetes. They are influenced by a variety of factors when translating a text.
translation  arabic  religion  hermeneutics 
march 2014 by juliusbeezer
Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State | Informed Comment
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is adding a fifth demand to his negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas: That the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.”
Palestine  Israel  politics  religion 
january 2014 by juliusbeezer
Craig S. Keener: Learning the Reality of Racism
I learned this especially from my wife, Dr. Médine Moussounga. She experienced her share of racism among whites; for example, when she showed up for a job interview in France and the interviewer saw that she was black, he said simply, "Oh, we don't hire blacks here." But she faced more dangerous ethnic prejudice in her own country in Central Africa, where she spent 18 months as a war refugee due to ethnic conflict there.

A majority of nations in the world have ethnic minorities among them, and usually there are misunderstandings, tensions and often worse. As one African-American preacher put it, "Racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem." When human selfishness is taken to a larger social level, we privilege our own group -- race, nation, tribe, religion, class, gender, etc. -- over others.
racism  religion  france  medicine 
december 2013 by juliusbeezer
Pope Denounces Curiosity Because it Causes Confusion
It's easy to find examples of religious authorities rejecting skepticism and critical thinking, but attacks on the even more fundamental trait of curiosity is an order of magnitude worse. Yet that's exactly what Pope Francis seems to have done in a homily recently.
religion  theory  politics 
december 2013 by juliusbeezer
In His Latest Film, Slavoj Žižek Claims “The Only Way to Be an Atheist is Through Christianity” | Open Culture
“The only way to be an atheist is through Christianity.” This is the argument Žižek makes in his latest film, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. In the clip above, over footage from Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, Žižek claims:

Christianity is much more atheist than the usual atheism, which can claim there is no God and so on, but nonetheless it retains a certain trust into the Big Other. This Big Other can be called natural necessity, evolution, or whatever. We humans are nonetheless reduced to a position within the harmonious whole of evolution, whatever, but the difficult thing to accept is again that there is no Big Other, no point of reference which guarantees meaning.
zizek  philosophy  theory  religion 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
Paris Review – Laughing in the Face of Death: A Vonnegut Roundtable, Je Banach
the idea of Bokononism—the fictional religion Vonnegut invented for Cat’s Cradle and returned to occasionally—both lampoons the idea of religion and also, gently, justifies it. Bokononism is a religion that suggests that religion has no essential truth, except for the fact that believing in harmless untruths may make you a better person. This is a wonderful idea, humorous in the best sense, playful—silly, even, at times—but also deadly serious. With so much cant encircling contemporary culture, with so many malicious lies whizzing by at the speed of media, the notion that faith should be a kind of self-improving fancy is a godsend. I should say that it is hard for me to talk about Vonnegut without beginning to sound a bit preachy.
religion  writing  literature 
april 2013 by juliusbeezer
Essay Book Reviews - Irish Book Reviews - Dublin Review of Books
As news of Hitchens’s cancer diagnosis first became widely known, evangelical Christians speculated on the internet about whether his illness would lead to a religious conversion. In Mortality, Hitchens scoffs at the notion. But in his time of “living dyingly”, he did find a kind of faith. This was not a return to the Anglicanism of his upbringing, or the Judaism of his mother’s family. Hitchens, the arch-mocker, the über-rationalist, the debunker of myth, found solace and consolation in the contemporary rites of genetics and oncology. Reviewing Arguably (Hitchens’s final prose collection), the philosopher John Gray observed: “That Hitchens has the mind of a believer has not been sufficiently appreciated.”
religion  medicine  science 
april 2013 by juliusbeezer
a new chorus of squawks after viewers took to Facebook and Twitter when its on-air translator [sic] struggled with the remarks of Argentinean Cardinal Bergoglio, following his election as the new pope.
translation  religion  facebook  twitter 
march 2013 by juliusbeezer
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