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An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form

An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

Total Estrangement

Alienation is a natural state of human beings. We are set in an environment that leaves us with a sense of inadequacy and ineptitude and no matter what extent to which we alter our facades and wear a mask of falsity; we will never be able to cross the glass ceiling that is our expectations. From the very moment we are conceived, we are being classified and divided among throngs of opinions, preferences, and expectations. We are expected to live up to this normality of society, the ever prevalent quest to “fit in”. To be amidst the general populace and succeed in a manner relative to the ideas of said society and government that preside over our specific demographic. We are expected to succeed in the realm of capitalism and to move further up this hierarchy and supersede the ranks of the proletariat in turn for the bourgeoisie. We are expected to develop social relationships with everyone we meet and to be liked by them. We are expected to achieve great things and to do what has never been done before. In the aftermath of all this expectation, what is left for us to expect for ourselves other than that which has been told to us? In that we are governed by these (more…)

This I Believe: Let’s Get Realigious

By Tom McKeown, V Form

This I Believe: Let’s Get Realigious

Religion comforts many people and has for most of human history. However, an omnipresent and omniscient being is inconceivable to some, while it frightens others. Religion offers answers to questions that cannot yet be answered through human conception like, “What happens after death?” However, I don’t believe a person needs religions to live a satisfied life.

As a child, I was taught that I would be satisfied with my life if I pursued something that I am passionate about. This always left me asking myself the question which passion is the right one? I was raised Roman Catholic and went to church every Sunday. I attended Sunday school after mass and often went to church functions during the week. I was surrounded by people sharing the same belief, and after my childhood I realized how many different religions were practiced and had existed. This epiphany made me feel small and significantly unsure of the lessons I had been taught. (more…)

Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

By Mo Liu and Jamie Lance, V Form

Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

Dear Editor Jackson,

It occurs to me that there is much attention raised among the general public regarding our government’s policy towards Indians, and therefore in writing to you, I, as a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, want to clarify my position. Indians cannot be entirely excluded from our picture as a nation. However, the Indian society is not a cultivated society likes ours. One of my colleagues, who is experienced with Indian affairs and always provides us with elaborate information about the Indians, says their tribes are corrupted by “idleness, improvidence, and indebtedness”. The lack of private property or land and the underdevelopment of laws mark the Indian society as barbarous and inferior to ours. Because of this difference, since 1871 Indian tribes are no longer considered sovereign nations. Governments before us circumvented the Indian dilemma by relocating and establishing reservations west to the Mississippi River, yet now with a closed frontier and western migration, conflicts between settlers and the Indians are inevitable. The issue is pressing. (more…)

《Indigènes》–– Le Miroir de La Réalité

By Selina Wu, IV Form

《Indigènes》–– Le Miroir de La Réalité

Editor’s Note: The assignment for this essay–Write a 2-4 page analytical essay that discusses themes from the chosen content (Selina chose this film). Present themes and analysis using support from the chosen content and end by opening up a new question, which Selina does by asking: “As global citizens, how can we understand ongoing conflicts of race and religion.”

indigenes-2006-aff-01-gLe film 《Indigènes》raconte une histoire des soldats algériens pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Malgré le fait que les soldats viennent d’Algérie, ils vont à la guerre pour la
France à cause de la colonisation française. Le film montre la séparation des femmes et des hommes, les conflits entre les religions différentes, et l’inégalité des races.

Un des thèmes les plus importants est les rôles différents des hommes et des femmes pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Dans le film, les hommes et les femmes n’ont pas beaucoup d’interactions. Quand les hommes sont partis pour les combats, les femmes sont “devenues « chefs de famille » par la force des choses, pour pallier l’absence de l’homme” (Kristjánsdóttir 16). Dans le film, les soldats sont demandés de protéger un village français. Il y a seulement des femmes et des enfants dans le village parce que les hommes sont tous dans la guerre. Les rôles des femmes ont beaucoup changé après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. La distinction entre les occupations des hommes et des femmes est clairement présentée dans le film. (more…)

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg: Responses to the Challenges of Unbelief

By Charlotte Wood, VI Form

 

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg: Responses to the Challenges of Unbelief

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg are Christian Existentialists. They see God and religious life in a radical way. Therefore, they would address the four major challenges to belief (in Philosophy, Psychology, Theodicy, Politics) in thought-provoking ways.

The Challenge from Philosophy is that there is no real “proof” of God’s existence. It is important to note that the “God” most often referenced in this challenge is the God of supernatural theism, that is, the God “out there,” separate from us and our universe. Tillich and Borg would likely agree that there is no proof of this God, however, that is not their God. Tillich describes religion as “asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt. Such an idea of religion makes religion universally human, but it certainly differs from what is usually called religion. It does not describe religion as the belief in the existence of gods or one God” (Tillich 1). Faith doesn’t necessarily need to involve “God” at all, and definitely does not need to involve the God of supernatural theism or the monarchical God. (more…)

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

By Marion Donovan, Assistant Librarian

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

As a librarian at St. Mark’s this fall, I have begun to “weed” through our history collection and have taken a deep dive into time travel. In the past, I was a history teacher myself, so the primary sources that bring the past to life call out to me. A particular section in the library especially rich in those sources covers World War I. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWI on the Allied side, one as a doctor and the other as an engineer, so I grew up with stories and artifacts of “The Great War,” as it was first known. When I applied to graduate school for history at the University of Chicago, I discovered that La Verne Noyes, an American inventor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, book holders, and windmills, had left the bulk of his fortune to scholarships for Allied veterans of WWI and their direct descendants. These scholarships have now expanded to include 48 colleges. April 6, 2017 will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI. The European side of the war began in 1914, so many newspaper and magazine articles have already examined new and old perspectives on those events. More will be coming with April 6 in view. We at St. Mark’s are lucky to have an extensive collection of first-hand material (diaries, letters, memoirs, news reports, propaganda, art, photographs) from marshals and generals to privates and civilians on wide-ranging aspects of this war. (more…)