DANBERG BIGGS | Speak to God in Public

My mother has a way of using gifts to assign required reading. She marks the inside sleeve with the month and year in which the task was handed down, and a little note reminding me who gave it. There’s a small mountain of these books out there, if you can find them. It’s really not an unreasonable tactic, and certainly not one that I resent. Coercion is, after all, the most direct thruway to the part of my brain with buttons and levers for doing things.

LEE | Islam from a Non-Muslim Perspective

It has been many months since the end of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam. Here in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, expats who compose almost 90 percent of the population are left in despair as they face 120 degrees Fahrenheit heat, restaurants closed until 7 p.m. and roads filled with hasty drivers. During this month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in accordance with one of the five pillars of Islam, misunderstandings between Muslims and non-Muslims widen. Some Muslims get annoyed at some non-Muslims who disrespect their fasting by eating in front of them. Other non-Muslims are displeased by the fact that they are not to eat in public during Ramadan.

HAGOPIAN | Rest in Power: Significance of a Modern Epitaph

The phrase “Rest in Peace” (Latin: Requiescat in pace) has been a fixture on Christian gravestones since the 18th century. Its meaning is apparent; let the soul of the person buried here find peace in death. Three words, easily said and seemingly innocuous, yet they have profound implications. There can be no rest without work; the notion of resting in death implies that life is some sort of toil. Then there is the peace aspect of the thing.

Fish On Religion

You are apathetic and bored. Minutes ago, you opened your newspaper or browsed through your favorite news site. You found all the top stories were the current “hot topic” ones, from swine flu to Ms. Prejean’s recent escapades. You want to read something more novel, more substantive. You may even be up for a commentary piece.

If so, I may have the piece for you: “God Talk“, a recent New York Times blog post by Stanley Fish. If you are an English major, you may have heard of him. If not, he is both a Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and a Professor of Law at Florida International University.

Religious Groups Bond Over Dinner

Yesterday evening at the Anabel Taylor Hall, the Interfaith Council at Cornell hosted the fourth annual “I Believe in … Dinner,” an event started by Lee Leviter ’08 to promote interfaith diversity. About 100 guests attended the event, representing over 20 different faiths and religions. Guests sat in assigned seats so that people of different backgrounds were next to each other.
Emily Smith ’10, the chair of ICC, formally started the event by remarking on its importance and purpose.

Interfaith Dinner Fosters Dialogue

Cornell students enjoyed a night of delicious food and stimulating discussion at a Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Dinner last night.
With Rosh Hashanah and the end of Ramadan coinciding together this year, Jewish and Muslim students on campus gathered in the One World Room at Annabel Taylor Hall in the hopes of bridging a dialogue between the two communities. Cornell Hillel, Muslim Education Cultural Association (MECA), Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Islamic Alliance for Justice were the four hosts of the dinner.

Ithacans Meditate, Whirl at Zen Center

Just when you thought that the hundreds of pages of reading, weekly chemistry lab reports, lengthy econ problem sets and dreaded history oral presentations were too much for your brain (which is slowly returning from summer vacation) to handle, stop feeling sorry for yourself, because compared to some Ithaca residents, your intellectual to-do list is as mundane as the mid-day talk shows on National Public Radio.