Forgiveness in Politics

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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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 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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Shannon Silberhorn: Jerusalem, Recent Politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Shannon Silberhorn: Jerusalem, Recent Politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  Recently, Trump announced that the United States would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.1  As protests erupted in the response in the Middle East, there is an amplification of the tension that already exists between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.  In this examination of the consequences of Trump’s decision,(…)

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Hayley Segall- Ayodhya: The Physical Manifestation of Interfaith Relations in India

Hayley Segall- Ayodhya: The Physical Manifestation of Interfaith Relations in India

 Introduction In the academic and political worlds, the Islamic faith and its Muslim followers are often deemed incompatible with the broader global environment. More often than not, outsiders pit Islam against concepts of reason and civility, using it as a scapegoat for socio-political problems and deeply-seated historical trauma. Yet, it seems almost impossible that conflict(…)

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Shannon Silberhorn: Religio-Political Factors and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Shannon Silberhorn: Religio-Political Factors and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

It is always interesting that a state that occupies most of our international political thought is only in actuality the size of Vermont; a small geographical space for the emotional space it actually occupies in the minds of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  It is difficult to determine the actual factors that lead to such conflict;(…)

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Léo Anderson: Unity and Cooperation through Mediation

Léo Anderson: Unity and Cooperation through Mediation

In the pre-Islamic Near East, various groups of people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds—from Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians to polytheists—lived in close enough proximity of each other to come into contact with each other’s faiths and maintain a coexistence that could be shaky and often rife with conflict. One of the most astounding abilities that(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Violent False Narratives

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Violent False Narratives

Over the course of this seminar, I have been forced to think very critically about a lot of complex scenarios involving forgiveness. Sometimes, forgiving someone for stealing a prized possession isn’t comparable to forgiving someone for harming you or someone you love. Who gets to decide when something is forgivable or not? Can an entire(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: Avoiding Conflict

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: Avoiding Conflict

We have this incredibly counterintuitive phenomenon in our society where we wage war in hopes of ending conflict and establishing peace. But, isn’t that completely missing the point? Isn’t that creating even more conflict? Christian philosopher Thomas Merton laughs at this concept, as he says, “There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for(…)

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Davidson Barsky: The Ethics of War Overlooked by American Media

Davidson Barsky: The Ethics of War Overlooked by American Media

Davidson Barsky, Oberlin class of 2017, did an excellent job in his religion department capstone with me as his advisor. He demonstrated, how through intelligent attention and hard work, a student can transform his thesis into a paper that can be used by his successor generations as a research tool. I am proud of him(…)

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Owen Ellerkamp: Social Science Aspects of Forgiveness

Owen Ellerkamp: Social Science Aspects of Forgiveness

Thirty years ago Professor Mahallati, then Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, presented photos of victims of a chemical attack to the United Nations. Today, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the U.N, stood in front of the security council with photos of deceased Syrian who were victims of chemical weaponry. The paradigm rings true– history(…)

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An Alternative Perspective: Why Islam Failed to Prevent Genocide

An Alternative Perspective: Why Islam Failed to Prevent Genocide

In my previous essay, “The Role of Islam in the Armenian Genocide and in Potential Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation”, I presented a case for hoe Islam acted on the side of the Armenians before and during the Armenian genocide. However, upon further research into the role of Pan-Islam, Ottomanism, and delayed nationalism, I present here an alternative(…)

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The Role of Islam in the Armenian Genocide and in Potential Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation

The Role of Islam in the Armenian Genocide and in Potential Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation

The history of Ottoman Turkey is bound so tightly to Islam that one cannot consider the 1915 genocide of two million Armenians without the factoring in the political effect of state-sponsored religion. Vahakn Dadrian claims that the Ottoman Turks established a superiority-subordination system based on the supremacy of Muslims under the law, which ultimately contributed(…)

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Owen Ellerkamp: Growing Divide Between Peacemaking and Violence

Owen Ellerkamp: Growing Divide Between Peacemaking and Violence

In Thomas Merton’s book Passion for Peace: Reflections on War and Nonviolence he writes passionately on the cause for peace on earth successfully shying away from any idealistic vision of harmony, but instead recognizing the fraught nature of politics. In his first chapter “The Root of War is Fear” he speaks about the human construction(…)

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Owen Ellerkamp: Yugoslav War: Ethnoreligious Conflict

Owen Ellerkamp: Yugoslav War: Ethnoreligious Conflict

Culture has a lot to do with identity. How do we define ourselves? From phenotypical identifiers to the shared practice of particular customs, there is a wide array of ways one can form an identity. To what scale do we conceptualize ourselves– within a nation, a family, a religious community, an ethnic group? The varying(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Those Who Don’t Care

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Those Who Don’t Care

In my past response papers, I have alluded to different stains of injustice on our world history, like the Holocaust or Apartheid. Genocides and injustices that beg the question, “How in the world can this be forgiven?” Deep down, I don’t think they can be, or at least it’s understandable if one cannot bring themself(…)

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