The Oberlin Review

Oberlin’s Early History Rooted in Religious Convictions

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 20, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. In the winter of 1858, John Price, a formerly enslaved person, was captured by slave catchers traveling through Oberlin and taken to Wellington, ostensibly under the authority of the Fugitive Slave Law. A group of Oberlin residents followed Price and his captors, ultimately bringing him back to Oberlin after a prolonged standoff. Now known as the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue, the event is widely regarded as one of the key incidents precipitating the Civil War, and continues to hold an important place in Oberlin’s collective hist...

In The Locker Room with Katie Ryan-O’Flaherty, Senior Field Hockey Player and Religion Major

In The Locker Room with Katie Ryan-O’Flaherty, Senior Field Hockey Player and Religion Major

May 3, 2019

College senior, field hockey player, and Religion major Katie Ryan-O’Flaherty was recently named Oberlin’s first recipient of the $25,000 Jacob’s Prize for the Study of Religion. Her submitted essay describes her experiences growing up as a church-goer with two gay parents and explore the ways in which both secular and religious cultures can be analyzed through a similar lense. She is also currently wrapping up her senior capstone, titled “Saints of the Amazigh: The Historical and Cult...

“God the Mother” Followers Aim to Proselytize Students

Andrea Wang

February 23, 2018

In recent weeks, dozens of Oberlin students have been stopped on campus by religious proselytizers claiming to be theology students in order to engage them in conversation about “God the Mother.” These missionaries are affiliated with a group called the World Mission Society Church of God, a fringe sect of Christianity that has been falsely rumored to have ties with human trafficking — often referred to as a cult by former members. Safety and Security is aware of the visitors and has encouraged all students to notify officers if they encounter the missionaries, as they are unauthorized to be on campus. “Anybody who wants to talk to students needs to be sponsored,” Campus Security Officer Tyrone Wicks said. “If ...

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

September 1, 2017

Courtnie, a neo-soul R&B artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY, showcased her alluring, sensational vocals Sunday evening. Performing onstage at the Cat in the Cream, Courtnie sang about love — not just love for a partner or a friend, but also the “love experienced in passion and simply loving life.” While she treated the audience to a few numbers from her upcoming album I Feel Like Color, scheduled to be released later this month, the audience was particularly delighted with some of her mor...

Off the Cuff: Eboo Patel, President of Interfaith Youth Core

Off the Cuff: Eboo Patel, President of Interfaith Youth Core

October 28, 2016

Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that works to promote interfaith dialogue on college campuses. In 2007, Patel published an autobiography titled Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Patel was a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships and in 2011 helped develop his administration’s Interfaith a...

Dismissing Belief in Afterlife Makes Life More Meaningful

CJ Blair, Columnist

December 4, 2015

I’m afraid of death, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. This fear, coupled with a little nudge from living in Kentucky, was enough to convince me to believe in God when I was a child. But as I continued going to church, I started to look critically at Christianity and question why I believed in God. I appreciated a system that encouraged good behavior, but I was bothered by the notion of heaven. Even if I wasn’t consciously aware of it, the idea that going to heaven was the main reason for living clouded my appreciation of the world. It wasn’t until I embraced Humanism, with its suggestion of the spiritual power of life itself, that I found a way to appreciate life more than ever before. Turning aw...

Opposing Religious Views Should Not Polarize Society

James Miller, Contributing Writer

November 13, 2015

The Western world and Oberlin College have fallen into a state of ideological blindness that grows harder to discuss as time passes. I’m not talking about typical political battles. I am talking about a subject that both Fox News and Bill Maher love to exaggerate, dividing the country in a “culture war.” What could conservative mainstream media and the self-proclaimed voice of the left possibly have in common? They both actively seek to divide atheists and people of faith. In other words, they consumerize each camp by simplifying each side’s complexities. I have seen the media’s work at Oberlin, watching students dismiss others’ beliefs in class and on campus; it has finally disturbed me enough to say some...

Mainstream LGBTQ Movement Must Accept All Sexual Identities

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 18, 2015

Growing up in private Catholic schools from elementary until high school was full of both challenges and rewards. I was lucky enough to receive an excellent education that prepared me for college. I was unlucky enough, however, to receive inaccurate sex ed in both my health and religion classes. As the archdiocese controls the curriculum taught by religious schools, even if the teachers had wanted to teach proper sex ed instead of abstinence-only classes, they couldn’t. So I grew up not only afraid of sexual contact with anyone but also confused and unsure of my sexual identity. I was supposed to like boys, find a nice one, marry him, then have sex, make cute babies and raise them Catholic. The circle of life. ...

Office of Religious, Spiritual Life Holds New Week of Events

Office of Religious, Spiritual Life Holds New Week of Events

April 3, 2015

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will host Oberlin’s first ever Religious Life Week from April 3–12. Organizers hope the event will provide a space for students and community members of all faiths to come together, participate in various activities and discuss spiritual life. Additionally, the ORSL plans to reveal the findings of a six-month review process begun last October — a review which focused on evaluating ORSL’s services and identifying current trends that could inform...

Off the Cuff: Susan Ackerman, professor of religion, Jewish studies and women’s and gender studies at Dartmouth College

Off the Cuff: Susan Ackerman, professor of religion, Jewish studies and women’s and gender studies at Dartmouth College

March 13, 2015

Susan Ackerman is the Preston H. Kelsey Professor of Religion as well as a professor in Jewish studies and women’s and gender studies at Dartmouth College. Ackerman is also president of the American Schools of Oriental Research. She spent the past week at Oberlin giving three lectures that made up this year’s Haskell Lecture Series, a prestigious lectureship for the Religion department that was established in 1899. Ackerman has written books about a variety of topics, including When Heroes L...

Papal Support for LGBTQ Issues, Evolution Misleading

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 20, 2015

As a former Catholic, I can tell you that the pope is a big deal. He’s the head honcho, second only to Jesus, in modern Catholics’ “What Would _____ Do.” So what the pope chooses to endorse or to condemn is a sign of what direction the mainstream church is heading. I grew up in a liberal African-American parish in St. Paul, MN. So while more conservative white Catholic churches were solemnly singing along to an organ and sending white savior mission trips off to less- privileged nations, we clapped our way through gospel songs, danced in the aisles and had much more enjoyable Sundays than any other Christians I knew growing up. In an environment that so heavily immersed me in African- American and African...

In Wake of Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech for Some

Chloe Vassot, Contributing Writer

February 6, 2015

For obvious and grim reasons, January was a difficult month for France. Thinking about the massacre at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan. 7, and the complex and heated reactions that followed, has made my mind run in confused circles. The recent attacks revealed many contentious problems France has faced as a country. But perhaps no issue is as delicate as what many perceive as the hypocrisy in France’s laws regarding freedom of speech and expression. France is not America. There is no First Amendment that guarantees a near-absolute right to verbal liberty. French laws draw complicated lines around what types of speech are permissible, and hate speech directed against individuals or groups based ...

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