Friendship & Peacebuilding

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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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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Alan S. Carroll: An Exemplary Career, A Paragon of Peace and Friendship Making

Alan S. Carroll: An Exemplary Career, A Paragon of Peace and Friendship Making

My Mini Bio V3 Alan (Al) S. Carroll May 15, 2018   This “Mini” bio is being written at the request of Oberlin College Professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati so that his students in Shiraz, Iran will realize the unusual mixture of students in his Oberlin College classes on Friendship and Islam. It is “Mini” in that(…)

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On the many Exegesis of the Qur’an

On the many Exegesis of the Qur’an

On the many Exegesis of the Qur’an Despite being the direct word of God, the Qur’an has continued to be interpreted by human scholars across a wide range of factors. Some believe the text should be understood by the prophet Muhammad’s own action, while yet others herald the tradition set over the last 1300 years.(…)

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The Oberlin Friendship Festival: April 8, 2018

The Oberlin Friendship Festival: April 8, 2018

Our Friendship Festival was a great occasion this year. It is now almost a decade-old tradition. America is still number one arms exporter to the world. If we do not have the power to stop exporting fire to the world, Oberlin should be proud that it is a friendship exporting city.  Thanks to Oberlin Friendship(…)

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Mahallati: The Best Course I ever Taught

Mahallati: The Best Course I ever Taught

A Sincere thank you note to all my 16 students at Friendship: Perspectives in Religion, Politics, Economics and Arts. What a lovely journey with you guys. I discovered in each of you an ambassador of friendship wherever you go. I remember you for ever.  

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Al Carroll:Max Weber, Friends: Two women sitting on a bench, 1912

Al Carroll:Max Weber, Friends: Two women sitting on a bench, 1912

Gift of Joseph and Enid Bassett 1964.27 Stern Gallery? Friendship is often mistakenly considered to be a continuous source of joy.  However, in this pastel painting by Max Weber, we see another aspect of friendship.  Friends can be a comfort to each to each other in times of loss, pain or sorrow.  In this case(…)

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Mahallati: Friendships of Similarity and Difference

Mahallati: Friendships of Similarity and Difference

The image of this minimalist art work by Sol LeWitt brings to mind negotiations between two philosophical perspectives on friendship: the one believing that friendship forms on the basis of characteristic similarities and the more modern one held by philosophers like Schwarzenbach that advocates friendship based on difference. The art work also reflects on civic(…)

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To Al Carroll, the Oberlin Paragon of Peacemaking

To Al Carroll, the Oberlin Paragon of Peacemaking

On May 3rd. 2018, Al Carroll an emeritus professor who has become a paragon of peacemaking in Oberlin received an art gift with is name in Persian calligraphy reading: “To our Great Friend Al Carroll.” Many students and all members of the Oberlin Friendship Circle and PACS wrote appreciation notes in the back of the(…)

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RP 6

RP 6

In the process of institutionalizing friendship, I think it would be very hard to start with government or state-based institutions. While those institutions should be included in the ultimate implementation of friendship on a national/international level, I think we must begin at an educational level. Starting in schools, we should educate children on the foundation(…)

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Friendship in Art

Friendship in Art

In the film Finding Nemo, a young Clown Fish (Nemo) gets separated from his father (Marlin) off the Great Barrier Reef by a scuba-diving dentist looking to expand his office aquarium. Marlin, a widowed father, is determined to find and rescue his son — even at the risk of his own life. As we see(…)

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Ashley George: Community Through Qur’anic Values

Ashley George: Community Through Qur’anic Values

Islam is such a world-changing religion not only because it has over a billion followers, but because it brought immense new concepts of equality and justice to jahiliyya of pre-Islamic Arabia. The concepts of justice, forgiveness and friendship became increasingly vital to Arabian traditions and way of life, which is why Islam became a religion(…)

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Community as Essential to Islam

Community as Essential to Islam

By Evan Corey In Islam, a Muslim’s relationship with God is inherently tied to their relationship with other Muslims.  The Qur’an clearly states throughout the importance of acting peaceably and with friendship and forgiveness towards other Muslims, especially in the context of a larger Muslim community.  Morally, to do kind acts and extend forgiveness to(…)

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The Qur’an on Community, Friendship, and Forgiveness

The Qur’an on Community, Friendship, and Forgiveness

The Qur’an on Community, Friendship, and Forgiveness The Qur’an, despite being a religious text, holds the basis for many laws within Islamic states. In fact, the very nature of law and justice seems deeply intrenched in the moral code put forth by the Qur’an. The 5 pillars of Islam actively engage in this communal setting.(…)

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Alejandra Diaz: The Qur’an as a framework for institutionalizing justice and forgiveness

Alejandra Diaz: The Qur’an as a framework for institutionalizing justice and forgiveness

Institutions such as the waqf and religious obligations such as the hajj are examples of how the Qur’an helps institutionalize charity and friendship.  But most importantly, the Qur’an, especially when read through the context of 8th century Arabia, provides a frame work for the creation of social institutions or present solutions to social ills. Many(…)

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