Student Interviews and Activities

CSWR Resident Melissa Lago

Embodied Practices and Poetry

March 27, 2017

On March 8th, Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) resident and MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), Melissa Lago, gave a presentation entitled, “Embodied Practices and Poetry.” She began by sharing what led her to her interest in embodied practices and poetry and how her courses at HDS have supported her research. Then she invited residents to participate in a guided yoga practice accompanied by music, which was followed by reading, reflecting on, and discussing the poem Traveling Companions, by Rumi.

Melissa is interested in how the...

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Peace in Myself, Peace in the World

March 8, 2017

On March 1st, CSWR resident Nina Bryce led a workshop entitled “Peace in Myself, Peace in the World.” Nina began by framing this workshop within her work in the field of youth development and within her studies at HDS. Having been a full time youth worker before starting the MDiv at HDS last fall, Nina is interested in the meeting place of spiritual practice and social change and has found youth work  with teenagers to be an area ripe with possibility for this work. Since being at HDS, she has been reflecting on lessons from working with young people considering how to live those...

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Life, Death, and Spiritual Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

Life, Death, and Spiritual Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

February 17, 2017

 

On February 8th, CSWR resident Danny Kraft gave a presentation titled “Life, Death, and Spiritual Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.” Danny framed his talk with an introduction to scholarly and popular perceptions about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.  For many decades, the prevailing assumption was that Jews did not resist their persecution, and that any instances of resistance, such as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, must be seen as exceptional.

Danny showed the development of scholarship on Jewish resistance to Nazi Germany, and argued for a more expansive...

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Visiting Scholar Dr. Robert MacSwain

The Hagiological Argument for the Existence of God

February 3, 2017

On February 1, CSWR resident Rob MacSwain presented on his sabbatical research project dealing with the idea of saints as evidence for God. He began by introducing the traditional tendency of Western Christian philosophy and theology to offer arguments for the existence of God and summarized the classic arguments. Rob then showed that, although the claim is rarely encountered in standard discussions, several prominent figures have argued that exemplary human lives motivated by religious belief (“saints”) provide evidence for the existence of God, and indeed perhaps even the best evidence....

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Picture of Laura Anne Thompson, PhD Candidate in Religion and Anthropology.

Blasphemy Cases in Post-Arab-Spring Tunisia (2011-2013)

October 26, 2016

On October 26th, CSWR resident Laura Thompson presented on archival research relating to her larger dissertation project, which looks at a series of blasphemy cases in post-Arab-Spring Tunisia (2011-2013). Laura framed her talk by asking residents to consider the purchase of "semiotic ideologies" (Webb Keane's term) and "moral injury" (Saba Mahmood's term), two terms used to understand some Muslims' anger in the wake of the Danish cartoon and Charlie Hebdo controversies.

Drawing on handwritten documents, newspaper articles, and interviews, Laura took center residents on a journey...

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