Introducing the Religion Beat Radio Hour, a new podcast produced by PhD students Judith Ellen Brunton and Christopher Cornthwaite. In their inaugural episode, special guest Patrick Stange joins the producers in a lively talk on three topics: a recent environmentalist call to periodically forgo the AAR, the destruction of a mummy mask in pursuit of the earliest copy of the gospel of Mark, and a review of the new Iranian vampire film “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.”
On the Importance of Civic Space in Islam: The Aga Khan and the Prince of Persia – Suhayla (Leah) Wotherspoon
Last week, on May 28th, the spiritual leader of the world’s Shi’a Ismaili Muslims, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, visited Toronto with members of his family for the foundation ceremony of a new Ismaili Centre (a high profile prayer hall) and the first Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture. The plan for the construction of this site in Don Mills, which includes what promises to be an exceptionally beautiful park, has been in the works for a number of years now, and is estimated to be completed in 2013. The Ismaili Imam’s visit to Canada was a doubly special occasion for the nation’s Ismaili Muslims, as the Imam was given by the Government of Canada honourary Canadian Citizenship, in recognition of a lifetime of work as the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismailis that has been in keeping with what were described by Stephen Harper as the very Canadian ideals of “pluralism, peace, and development“.
The Agency of Art and a Dualistic Reality: Film as Hierophany Through Subject/Object Confusion – Julie Reich
In a segment of the article Film as Hierophany, Michael Bird discusses French philosopher Mikel Dufrenne’s theological examination of culture and the relationship between art and reality. Particularly, Dufrenne introduces the notion that an intrinsic ‘transcendence’ is embedded within the core of reality, namely a Real underlying the real (Bird, M., 8). Accordingly, the Real implores ‘disclosure’, art is the expressive mediator and an encounter with this facet of the Real is an aesthetic experience that directs the spectator “beyond the level of reflection to the level of feeling” (Bird, M., 8). In effect, a transformation from a “phenomenological analysis of aesthetic experience…to an ontological or transcendent analysis” occurs (Bird, M., 8). In particular, feeling is described as uniquely independent from ‘presence’ and thereby indicates a shift in the subject’s attitude (Bird, M., 8); a transformation extracts a new outlook.
In the film Paradise Now, two Palestinian best friends, Said and Khaled are recruited as martyrs by an extremist group to perpetrate a terrorist faction in Tel-Aviv. In one scene, Said and Khaled gathered with some of the lead members of their organization to prepare for the mission and to film their bid-farewell speech for a martyr video. Initially, Khaled performed his entire speech as Jamal (their recruiter), another faction member and Said watched in the background. Once completed, the cameraman announced that the camera had not been recording; Khaled would have to repeat his speech. Shortly after filming resumed, the cameraman interrupted Khaled again to reveal technical difficulties had not been resolved, causing Khaled to express significant frustration.
Augustine’s contributions to the theory of original sin embody a deterministic view, insinuated as a result of the causal relationship between the root of evil and its human origin. Specifically, Augustine uses the Garden of Eden to demonstrate the appearance of evil resulted from the onset of human creation. In my opinion attributing responsibility to an out-group, or Othering creates an internal conflict commonly acknowledged within the discipline of Social Psychology as cognitive dissonance.