Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Week in Links (The Pen and the Cross Edition)

The New York Times had two articles this week on Islam and the university. The opinion piece was especially exciting for me to see because it was written by one of two top authorities in the world on the translators who are the subject of my academic work. (Plus it's always nice to see really historically-grounded analysis of modern issues.) He's a scholar who also has taken on some really fascinating, thoughtful engagements with the modern world. Well worth a read.  The news article is about Muslim students feeling more comfortable enrolling at Catholic universities than secular ones; it's a sentiment I definitely understand even if I feel conflicted about it in my own life.

In Praise of the Clash of Cultures

Muslims are Thriving in Catholic Colleges

This is another interesting article on the practical implications of religion and the study of religion in the modern world. The first thing that jumped out at me, though, was that the author translates the concept of shomer negiah literally into English which I don't think will necessarily help enlighten an Anglo audience. I know how strange it feels to have a man refuse to even shake your hand, and so I can't imagine what it's like to have your military authority undermined in this way, but I'm not sure that her flippance and resistance to understanding the basic principles (even if that's just a rhetorical device) is necessarily the way to go, either:

What Happens When the Two Israels Meet

Early medieval manuscripts meet high technology. It's like the latter day Schechter-Lewis-Gibson expeditions:

In Sinai, a Global Team is Revolutionizing the Preservation of Ancient Manuscripts

I don't normally come down on the side of the intentionalist fallacy (that is, I disagree with the contention that "the author is the greatest authority on their own work"), but when the options are that or the total officiousness of Wikipedia, it's no contest, really:

An Open Letter to Wikipedia

I did not need a news article to tell me that graduate students at Cornell are "isolated." (My department was wonderful, but still) I'm so glad I no longer am one:

Life for Cornell Grad Students a Bit More Lonely

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