Friendship Studies

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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Introduction to the Qur’an, Spring 2018: A Formulation for Best-Best Relations

Introduction to the Qur’an, Spring 2018: A Formulation for Best-Best Relations

Iam teaching this course (RELG 272) for ten years now. Every year, thanks to fresh intellectual space that the course enjoys because of new students, together, we discover new layers of meaning in our Qur’anic studies. One specific theme that came up this year was what I call the Qur’anic formulation of applied friendship. It(…)

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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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My Blood Brothers and Sisters by Al Carroll

My Blood Brothers and Sisters by Al Carroll

10-May-2018       I celebrate myself, and sing myself,       And what I assume you shall assume,       For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. -Walt Whitman, “ Song of  Myself,” 1855                    I am proud to be an American My fore mothers and fore fathers of long ago were white, Anglo-Saxons(…)

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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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In Search for Friendship in Arts

In Search for Friendship in Arts

On May 3, 2018, students of Friendship: Perspectives in Religion, politics, Economics and Arts experienced an inspiring tour in Allen Museum. Led by Olivia Fountain, the tour gave us an illuminating experience in search of friendship in art works.

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Friendship and Sol Lewitt

Friendship and Sol Lewitt

Sol Lewitt’s 49 Three-Part Variations on Three Different Kinds of Cubes is a great example of the expression of friendship in art, particularly abstract art. At first glance, the piece looks strange – it is a collection of three-dimensional, white structures arranged in rows on the floor. But actually, it encompasses a lot of the basic(…)

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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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Michael Kennedy: Reflecting on Friendship and the Gift of Art

Michael Kennedy: Reflecting on Friendship and the Gift of Art

The Loing Canal at Moret c. 1892 was a painting by Alfred Sisley (d.1899), a French impressionist. The piece first drew my eye because it reminded me of the paths by the lakefront in my hometown of Chicago. It was on those walks that I made and strengthened many friendships; for instance, I met my current(…)

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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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