The Oberlin Review

Status Quo Reigns Supreme at Vatican

March 15, 2013

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on Wednesday, the event was hailed as a sign that the Catholic church was finally, mercifully beginning to evolve to reflect the interests of its 21st-century membership. Bergoglio — or Francis I, as he will be known from here on out — is a native of Buenos Aires, making him the first pope not born in Europe in over a millenium. And such a shift is apt, considering that the majority of the world’s Catholics now reside in the global South; in the Church as elsewhere, Europe is losing its supremacy. But before we fall over ourselves congratulating the cardinals on their progressivism, it bears repeating that Bergoglio is hardly a revolutionary choice. Though...

Column on Church Rife With False Dichotomies

David Leach

February 22, 2013

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

While Sean Para’s Op-ed piece “Pope’s Resignation May Lead to Reform for Aging Institution” [Oberlin Review, Feb. 15, 2013] raises important critiques of the conservatism and corruption within the governing body of the Catholic Church, Para makes several unwarranted and insensitive generalizations about Catholicism and organized religion. To be clear: I do not consider myself a part of any one organized religion, I am not Catholic and I make no defense of the Vatican’s continued condemnation of birth control and refusal to ordain female priests — not to mention the deplorable matter of clerical sex abuse. The need for reform is clear, but Para takes his argument too far, stating, “The Church and the papacy...

The Role of Religion in a Secular Bubble: Part 2

Julia Herbst

April 22, 2011

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

While the specifics of each student’s situation vary, being religious at Oberlin can be a challenging and even isolating experience for many. Presidential scholar of Islam Jafar Mahallati has seen this isolation manifest in Muslim students soon after their arrival on campus. “In my conversations with Muslim students, one of the religious minorities on campus, I have realized that upon their arrival, some of them feel very isolated and homesick,” he said. “With the Muslim Student Association and courses offered on Islam, however, they become self-confident… They learn, again in a new way, that the religious ‘others’ are not a threat, but in fact a blessing.” Another challenge for some reli...

The Role of Religion in a Secular Bubble: A Two-Part Feature

Julia Herbst

April 15, 2011

Filed under Campus News, Features, NEWS

As a school with a diverse religious and spiritual population and a long religious history, questions about how the administration does and should manage religious life are cause for much discussion. This debate is especially active in recent years due to the creation of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the development of many new faith-based organizations. Today, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and its affiliated organizations have the challenge of both adjusting to the changing religious beliefs of students and also promoting multifaith dialogues that include all viewpoints. This current multi-religion model is significantly different than other models for spiritual life that have existed over...

The Pull of Passivity: Reconsidering the Rationality of Religion

Monica Klein, Opinions Editor

December 11, 2009

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Religion is irrational. The religious adhere, after all, to unprovable theories that often stem from a fictional, outdated book. And yet those who scorn the religious are often oblivious to the literature that they themselves adhere to, often with an even more dogmatic reverence. The largest difference between Darwin’s Origin of Species and the Bible may be the attitudes of their readers. Both books offer explanations for human behavior. In admittedly oversimplified terms, one argues that human behavior stems from an inherent need to survive, while one implies that scientific explanation does not dictate human behavior. Yet adherents to the Bible see this explanation as acceptably incomplete. They acknowledge,...

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