Arts & Culture

An American Imam Talks Islam and Money

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf came to America as a child, and learned that prosperity presented its own religious riddles. WealthSimple Feisal Abdul Rauf is a longtime Imam, public intellectual and the author of numerous books about Islam’s place in the West, including What’s Right With Islam is What’s Right with America. There’s a passage in the Bible that says it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a ... Read More »

Why virtual reality cannot match the real thing

Suppose you were offered the opportunity to hook yourself up to a machine that would give you all the experiences you desire. Janna Thompson The Conversation Using this technology you could have the sensations of climbing Mt Everest, enjoying great sex with a good looking partner or visiting the Taj Mahal. The philosopher Robert Nozick used the idea of an “experience machine” to refute the view that good experiences are all we want from life. He thought that most of ... Read More »

The Dangers of English as Lingua Franca of Journals

Scholarship is being damaged all over the world, write Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis. Inside Higher Ed Is your first language English? If so, imagine that you are now required to write about your research using only Spanish or Japanese. Many scholars around the world are facing a parallel situation, with pressures to publish their work in English increasing markedly in the past two decades. Indeed, many people now assume that English is the global language of scholarly publishing. ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei: Chinese dissident artist critiques Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ahead of Sydney Biennale

He is one of the world’s most famous artists and China’s best known dissident, and 60-year-old Ai Weiwei has a message for Australia when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Philippa McDonald ABC “I struggle with Australia’s record towards refugees,” he said. “Australia is a nation of migrants and its culture accepts and tolerates difference. “But Australia’s refugee record is quite poor internationally. This is a very bad position for a state because people judge states on their ... Read More »

The greatest moral challenge of our time? It’s how we think about morality itself

It would be easy to conclude that there’s a deficit of morality in the world today That if only people were more motivated to behave ethically, if only they made morality more prominent in their thinking, then the world would be a better place. Tim Dean The Conversation But when it comes to pinning down a single greatest moral challenge of our time, I’d argue that there’s not a lack of morality in the world; there’s too much. In fact, ... Read More »

Tunisian women march for inheritance

Hundreds of women took to the streets in the Tunisian capital on March 10 to demand equal inheritance rights as men, a subject often seen as taboo in the Arab world. TUNIS-Reuters Hurriyet The North African Muslim country grants women more rights than other countries in the region, and since last year has allowed Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. But the protestors marching to the parliament building in Tunis on March 10 said they wanted to be compared with ... Read More »

Renowned author and archaeologist Jacqueline Karageorghis dies aged 85

Internationally renowned French archaeologist Jacqueline Girard Karageorghis has died, it was announced on Saturday. She was 85. CyprusMail Karageorghis moved to Cyprus in the 1950s after completing her studies at the University of Lyon. She married to the former director of the department of antiquities, Vassos Karageorghis in 1953 and together they had two children, Cleo and Andreas. During her long and multifaceted professional career, she taught French, between 1963 and 1986, and was deputy education attaché at the French ... Read More »

How US gun culture compares with the world in five charts

The United States. Home to liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the most mass shootings in the world. Kara Fox CNN America’s unique relationship to gun ownership — enshrined as a right in its constitution — is also in the middle of an emotional and divisive debate about the meaning of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Twenty-seven words that give its citizens the right to own guns and also, in the views of many critics, helped usher ... Read More »

Friday essay: who was Mary Magdalene? Debunking the myth of the penitent prostitute

Who was Mary Magdalene? What do we know about her? And how do we know it? Dorothy Ann Lee The Conversation These questions resurface with the release of a new movie, Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara in the titular role. The question of how we know about her is a relatively simple one. She appears in a number of early Christian texts associated with the ministry of Jesus. These texts comprise Gospels written in the first and second century of ... Read More »

2018 Adelaide Biennial: Difference as the natural order of things

It is a time-honoured tradition that large museum surveys of contemporary art should have titles so vague and all-encompassing as to be effectively meaningless. John McDonald The Canberra Times Yet it may be that with Divided Worlds, Erica Green, the curator of the 2018 Adelaide Biennial, has found a title that actually feels relevant. Two decades into the 21st century the world is a long way from the Age of Aquarius, becoming ever more riven and tribalised. In the west there was ... Read More »

Princess Diana beats Virgin Mary as nation’s best mum

She may be dearly loved and revered, but Princess Diana is not yet the focus of prayer for millions around the world. Harry Farley Christian Today And yet the Duchess of Wales comfortably beat the Virgin Mary as the ideal mother, according to a Church of England poll ahead of Mothering Sunday. With one in 20 (five per cent) naming Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother as the ideal figure, Diana was easily the most popular single choice. In fact ... Read More »

Minister criticises ‘snowflake’ artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship

Jake Berry reacts after BAE Systems withdraws as partner of Great Exhibition of the North Frances Perraudin The Guardian The government minister responsible for the “northern powerhouse” has described campaigners who forced the arms firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in north-east England as “subsidy-addicted artists” and “snowflakes”. The Great Exhibition of the North, which will run from 22 June to 9 September in Gateshead and Newcastle, is being funded by £5m from the government’s northern ... Read More »

Why it’s so important for kids to see diverse TV and movie characters

The hype surrounding “Black Panther” has been as hyperbolic as any feat its characters might perform, with the film being praised for its layered story and what’s been described as its “Afrofuturist” cast. Authors The Conversation And “Black Panther” will be joined by “A Wrinkle in Time,” another film with blockbuster potential and an interracial cast. But no matter how much money or how many awards films like “Black Panther” and “A Wrinkle in Time” amass, our research strongly suggests ... Read More »

Monolingualism diminishes America’s stature on the world stage

Most school districts across the United States tout 21st century skills along with developing students’ global competence. Martha G. Abbott The Hill Yet, in the majority of those efforts, administrators and policymakers fail to emphasize an increasingly important skill for all Americans: speaking more than one language. At a time when there is an increasing demand among employers for multilingual skills and a national report commissioned by Congress, “America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education in the… Monolingualism diminishes… Read More »

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero

One need not be a parent of a young child, as I am, to be conscious of the full-blown resurgence of the superhero in contemporary popular culture. Ali Alizadeh The Conversation But there is more to a hero than courage and strength. On today’s episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of The Conversation’s Friday essay series, I’m reading my essay on Joan of Arc, our one true superhero. She’s been depicted as a national heroine and a nationalist symbol ... Read More »

How actresses who are just starting out get pressured into ‘creepy’ nude scenes

Ciera Payton had just turned 18 when she was cast in a lead role opposite Steven Seagal in the 2007 film “Flight of Fury.” Jessica P. Ogilvie The Washington Post It was her first professional acting job, and filming would take place in Romania. But before sending her to set, neither the film’s producers nor her agent showed her the full script, Payton says. So it wasn’t until halfway through her flight that the sophomore at the University of North ... Read More »