A Forum for Student Dialogue on Themes of Islamic and Peace Studies
(Related Courses: Religion 270, 272, 275, 276, 373)


گفتگوی علمی و بین المللی دانشجویان مطالعات اسلامی و خاور میانه
This website serves students of Oberlin College in Islamic Studies. It provides a dialogue forum with focus on Art, Architecture, Friendship and Peace Studies, Literature, Civilization, the Qur'an, and Spirituality. Students taking related courses are invited to write short response papers and also receive commentaries on their perspectives from colleagues at Oberlin College and other academic institutions in U.S. and abroad. The website provides a possibility for open international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary dialogue on aspects and characteristics of Islamic religion, culture, and Civilization.
Friendship at Dusk

Friendship at Dusk

As I am packing to leave Oberlin for overseas, I was caught by the attached scene at Avon Lake yesterday. It appeared to me with a message on friendship: At dusk, there should be no worries of the dark night because friendship continues! Thank you friends for being ever-illuminating lights in this life. J. M.

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Olivia Tsang:Hikikomori: Silent Suffering

Olivia Tsang:Hikikomori: Silent Suffering

RELG 274 5/20/18 Social isolation is a growing epidemic with 40% of American adults saying they are lonely, double from 1980.[1]Linked with increased mortality, the lack of strong social ties, or lack of relationship with anyone for that matter, social isolation is a phenomenon seen around the world. Hikikomori is a culture bound syndrome of(…)

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International Friendship

International Friendship

Before talking about friendship on an international level, peace—both positive and negative—first needs to be addressed. As we’ve talked about in class several times, peace is general defined by lack of war not be existence of friendly relations. Oelsner calls this positive and negative peace. Negative peace is defined by the absence of war (the(…)

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Friendship in Music

Friendship in Music

Since music classes in elementary school, music has enhanced my life and my friendships. It began in choir where there was no instrument required, only a passion for singing Christmas songs to please our parents. In middle school I moved on to playing the trombone and that’s where I began to fall in love with(…)

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Better Together

Better Together

The Loing Canal at Moret Alfred Sisley In looking around the galleries at the Allen, I was drawn to this Sisley piece because it made me smile. After a few minutes, I realized that it was, in part, because I could easily imagine myself at that very canal. Though I haven’t been to Loing Canal,(…)

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Will Jacobsen: Building Communities through Friendship

Will Jacobsen: Building Communities through Friendship

Building Communities through Friendship How is friendship beneficial in building a sense of community? What can friendship do to aid in assimilation for immigrants? A seizure of power by nativist, Right-wing politicians has brought immigration back into the forefront of American politics. Similar waves of nationalism and xenophobia have hit across the world as conservatives(…)

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Ashley George: Gender-Inclusive Language in Interpretations of the Qur’an

Ashley George: Gender-Inclusive Language in Interpretations of the Qur’an

When we read the Qur’an, it can become apparent that the message feels sometimes more centered towards men, simply because male pronouns are used so often when we’d think the text would refer to people regardless of gender. Many scholars have pointed this fact out, raising debate and dialogue regarding whether one ought to read(…)

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Benefits of a Daoist Approach to Friendship in Death and Grieving

Benefits of a Daoist Approach to Friendship in Death and Grieving

Mary Brody Professor Mahallati Final Paper May 19th, 2018 One of the hardest facts of friendship to fully realize is the inevitable permanent loss of a friend through death. Losses are named as such because we feel as though an essential part of us is being stripped away indefinitely and will only be looked back(…)

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Many, Together: Pluralism in the Qur’anic Verse

Many, Together: Pluralism in the Qur’anic Verse

In the 2016 US Presidential election, there was a considerable amount of negative rhetoric about Muslims from the Republican ticket. It was the continuation of building discrimination and fear that began in earnest after the events of September 11, 2001, and has impacted the lives of millions of American Muslims in the almost two decades(…)

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Alejandra Diaz: Muslim Feminism

Alejandra Diaz: Muslim Feminism

For decades, Muslim women have questioned the treatment of women in Muslim societies. A fight for larger equality between both sexes has prompted many renown scholars to not only fight for equality in the secular domain but also religious one. On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud famously led a mixed congregation in a Friday prayer(…)

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On Friendship as the Essential Teachings of the Qur’an

On Friendship as the Essential Teachings of the Qur’an

On Friendship as the Essential Teachings of the Qur’an The Qur’an is a book of great wealth and knowledge, guiding over a billion of its followers every year towards salvation. Despite this, wars, feuds, torture, and oppression have been claimed to be justified by the text itself.[i] I propose, however, that the very elemental aspects(…)

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Michael Kennedy: The Need for Inter-generational Friendships

Michael Kennedy: The Need for Inter-generational Friendships

When one thinks of their friends and their most lasting friendships, they often think of someone their own age. However, there lies great personal and political possibility in intergenerational friendships. Often, intergenerational relationships or programs are conceived as care-giving models that are meant to help older people socialize and function. Such thinking is problematic in(…)

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Setting Foundations for Friendship

Setting Foundations for Friendship

  Before institutionalization of friendship happens at an international scale, friendship first needs to develop on a national level. The world is more interconnected than ever but as a result, it seems like America is becoming more divided. Sweeping generalizations about entire countries are made. For example, claims that China is stealing American jobs overseas(…)

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Common Grounds of Friendship

The common conceptual grounds of friendship in the traditional perspectives of Iranian, Christian and Secular traditions is the emphasis on community as well as the concept of friendship as a method of cultivating virtue. Friendship cannot be talked about without community, perhaps that goes without saying, but community is not necessarily friendship but friendships are(…)

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God and Friendship: A Message from Topkapi

God and Friendship: A Message from Topkapi

This image was just sent by Hossein, a visitor to Topkapi museum in Istanbul. The master work of calligraphy says: “God is the Lord of Success, and He is Such a Blessing Friend!”    

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Sufism, the Qur’an, and Islam

Sufism, the Qur’an, and Islam

Clio Schwartz RELG 272 Introduction to the Qur’an Professor M. Jafar Mahallati 05/14/2018   Sufism is an Islamic form of worship that is well-known for its mysticism and Persian poetry and thus often decontextualized from Islam. Nonetheless, Sufism is very Muslim. The Qur’an is the Sufi holy text, and Mohammed the Last Prophet. Sufism was(…)

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