‘Proto-Feminist’ Eastern Traditions, or Are They? – Julie Reich

Posted by: on May 10, 2010 | No Comments

The term ‘proto-feminist’ loosely refers to women in a philosophical tradition who preceded, expected or anticipated modern feminist concepts before the term ‘feminist’ was coined; prior to the twentieth century. Scholars often present Buddhism and Taoism as ‘proto-feminist’ traditions, as compared with Hinduism and Confucianism, which are sometimes viewed as being hopelessly committed to gendered hierarchies. With specific reference to the following articles, the merits of this perception will be discussed, taking into account ideological, institutional, and social considerations.

Religion and Identity at the Bouchard-Taylor Commission: A Psychoanalytic Assessment – Nick Dion

Posted by: on Mar 6, 2010 | One Comment

After years of litigation, Gurbaj Singh Multani, a Sikh student in a Montreal-area high school, wins his appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada and is allowed to wear his kirpan to school, provided it remains safely strapped to his body, beneath his clothing. Hérouxville, a small town in rural Quebec, passes a town charter that forbids, among other things, the stoning of women. A sugar shack closes its dance room temporarily so that Muslim patrons can pray. A YMCA in Montreal’s Rosemont neighbourhood frosts its windows after worshippers from the Orthodox Jewish synagogue across the street complain that the scantily clad women on the gym’s treadmills offend their religious sensibilities.

The Burqa: Another Media Scare-Tactic? * – Mourad

Posted by: on Feb 21, 2010 | 7 Comments

Thanks, Chris, for the link to Bill Maher’s “Burqa Fashion Show.” An interesting video, I must say, although it reveals more about Maher’s inelegance and his cheap comedy than about the burqa. Like some of his other shows on religion, this one has yet again proven to be void of taste and lacks perceptiveness of the subject matter. I watched Religulous when it first appeared. The only ridiculous thing I found in it was Maher. At least, George Carlin knew what he was talking about when he would attack religion, regardless of the flaws of his arguments. More importantly, he knew how to portray it in a humorous, but tasteful manner.

‘Othering’, Theodicy and Social Influence: An Ontological Deliberation – Julie Reich

Posted by: on Jan 28, 2010 | 3 Comments

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.

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten – Mourad

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten – Mourad

Posted by: on Dec 6, 2009 | One Comment

During my stay in Amsterdam a few years ago, I saw many strange things. The red light districts, the coffee shops (not the ones in Canada), the Sex Museum, the Hash Museum and the Torture Museum were exceptionally outré. But the most bizarre experience I had was on the fifth of December when I attended the Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) parade for the first time. It was a cold and gloomy morning in downtown Amsterdam. A friend asked me to join them to watch the Santa Claus parade and so I did. We headed to the Koninklijk Paleis (the Royal Palace) and waited on Dam Street for about 20 minutes. Santa finally appeared in his usual silky red cloak and sharp white beard. He was riding a glorious white horse and accompanied by Dutch adults who had blackened their faces and wore afro wigs and thick red lipstick. As the caravan was approaching, the kids were yelling with great enthusiasm: Kijk, zwarte Piet! (Look, Black Peter!). I quickly scanned the crowd looking for any black people and there were few with their children. I glanced at my African-American friend and saw confusion in her eyes.