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Abraham Reflections: the Interfaith Fellows' Journal

2014 Undergraduate Journal Abrahamic Reflections is an annual production of the Lubar Interfaith Student Fellows. It provides those students with an opportunity to reflect upon their interfaith experiences, often in conjunction with observations on the Institute's events and programs over the course of their service. Read the 2015 Journal as a PDF file here.

The Lubar List: 96 UW–Madison Fall 2015 courses which include a component of religion, spirituality, or mythology

The Lubar List: 2015 Fall semesterThroughout human history, societies and cultures have been influenced by systems of belief and spirit.

Many instructors at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, understanding how people have considered religion to be a significant motivator in decision-making, have developed their course to explore how these belief systems affect our world.

Some courses’ content is entirely devoted to the in-depth study of religion itself; other courses just touch upon religion as one of many factors related to their topic area.

Together, this list of courses for the coming semester gives us a sense of how broadly—across more than 40 departments and programs—the study of religion and spirituality is integrated into this campus’s academics. That is the goal of the Lubar List: to simply appreciate the value of religious literacy in preparing for life in the global community after college.

If this sampling has caught your interest, take a moment to view the PDF which lists course title, description, class time, breadth category, and more. Please talk to your advisor about whether any of these courses are the right fit for your academic path.

In the Huffington Post

Dr. Ulrich Rosenhagen, Associate Director of the Lubar Institute, published a piece on the Huffington Post blog titled, “The People’s Legs Are Not Praying—Why Selma Is Not the Interfaith Movie I Was Hoping For.”

[excerpt] “The march from Selma to Montgomery stands as a symbol for the fusion of faith and activism, the merger of deep spirituality with the fight for social and racial justice…. When protest and prayer fully come together, the divine is miraculously present among people. In those rare moments, people realize that they are part of something that transcends the now, and that they are part of some greater plan of history.

Selma does many remarkable things beautifully and powerfully, but the one message it fails to communicate is the one most central to the civil rights movement and most needed in our day; namely, this fusion of the spiritual with the political.… Perhaps this silence has something to do with the harmful connection between religion and politics that dominates the headlines these days—bigoted Christian fundamentalists in America, fanatical Islamic Jihadists in Europe and the Middle East, hawkish Jewish religious nationalists in Israel and irate Hindutva radicals in South Asia. But all of these recent outbursts of religious extremism cannot change the close connection of faith and protest in America's civil rights movement. In fact, these extremes make knowing this history all the more urgent.”

Read the full article here.

(image from Selma, distributed by Paramount Pictures)

“GO BIG READ”: The UW–Madison Common Reading Program

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai, is the “Go Big Read” selected book for the 2014–15 academic year. Written by the Pakistani teenager who was attacked and shot by the Taliban, it is a story about education and the rights of women. Free copies of this book are being distributed to first-year students at the UW, as well as to students enrolled in courses which have included I Am Malala in their curriculum. The Go Big Read web site lists many associated events happening in the UW–Madison campus and around the city. Find out how to get a copy of the book.

2014 Undergraduate Journal★ Prof. Charles L. Cohen, E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions and director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, directed the question-and-answer session after the Go Big Read keynote address by Shiza Shahid (7:00 pm, Monday, October 27, Union South). Archived video of that event is here.

★ The Lubar Institute presented a symposium on November 11: “Embattled Ideologies: I Am Malala and the Question of Women’s Education in South Asia.”

★ The Lubar Interfaith Student Fellows and Forum read I Am Malala in the context of their interreligious discussions on education.

★ “I Am Malala: Exploring the History and Culture behind the Story”: Tayyab Zaidi, program assistant for the Lubar Institute, was an invited speaker at this September 2014 workshop for teachers and librarians, hosted by the UW Center for South Asia. Read more about the workshop on the Go Big Read web site.

About the Lubar Institute

ON WISCONSIN on the Lubar Institute
The Lubar Institute was featured in On Wisconsin (Winter 2013), the alumni magazine for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Read the complete article online at the On Wisconsin web site or download the five-page PDF here.

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Watch the video introduction to the Lubar Institute.

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