In a recent article from the Religion News Service, Bruce Nolan discusses a new group home for single women who are contemplating whether they want to devote their lives to the church.
Posts Tagged ‘women’
In this post I explore the case of Bangladesh: the state of secularism there and the tensions and polemics that accompany the pursuit of an ideal secular state and society. I do this by reflecting on reactions surrounding women’s turn to greater religious engagement fostered through their participation in Quranic discussion circles in Dhaka. In outlining some of the tensions underlying the reactions, I wish to draw attention to the stakes of remaining confined to a binary view of religion and secularism, especially as new religious forces and faces come into the public space with the intent of developing and transforming it.
Over at the New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar writes about the recently published Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, by Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi.
The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Religion and Peacemaking Center, Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue have issued a Call for Papers for a September 2011 symposium entitled “Women, Religion, Conflict and Peace: Exploring the Invisible.”
This summer in Kenya I was able to observe one such community health asset mapping project in the informal settlement of Mukuru, in Nairobi. The work of Emory’s Interfaith Health Program (IHP) in Mukuru has led to a greater understanding of the informal networks that exist in a community that is often marked by its invisibility—both on physical maps (until this project, Mukuru was not visible on maps of Nairobi) and to international and state-level actors (where much of the actual religious and health-related work happening in Mukuru was not recognized or acknowledged). Mapping, in the sense of identifying the myriad ways people understand and seek out healing and literally mapping these places (using GPS handhelds) provides a counter to the ways that real people can become marginal in international and national scholarly and practical debates around health, development, and human rights.
Early 2011 will mark the first US television broadcast of the critically acclaimed documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Released in 2008, Pray the Devil back to Hell awakened a global audience to the work of the women of Liberia in bringing about peace in their country after a fourteen-year civil war. The film chronicles Christian and Muslim women’s combined efforts to peacefully protest the war, demonstrating that women are active participants in peacebuilding work and that religious traditions and beliefs can be a vital resource for peace and reconciliation.
The United States Institute of Peace, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue have recently initiated a concerted exploration of “the intersection of women, religion, conflict, and peace.” Led by Katherine Marshall (Berkley Center and WFDD) and Susan Hayward (USIP), the project seeks to foster greater attention to women’s roles in conflict situations and peacebuilding efforts.