Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

Topics in Religion

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014
Time: 1:00pm - 3:45pm
Location: Roth Nelson Room
Description: This session will include student presentations on a range of historical and contemporary issues concerning religion. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Karina Da Silva

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Victor Thasiah
Rape as a Tactic of War

The purpose of this research is to examine and prove a pattern of rape being a strategy rather than a symptom in combat zones. Using Bosnia as a case study, this research also proves that rape was used to serve two primary purposes: to gain social control of the Bosnian population, and to perform an ethnic cleansing. Though social conventions would have us think otherwise, the women were not ‘prizes’ so much as they were tools. This research looks into works by Bülent Diken and Ed Vulliamy, as well as testimonies by survivors. This project examines the cultural and structural significance of sexual assault as a means of control and demoralization during times of war. Special attention will be given to the Bosnian War in order to show how sexual degradation of the female body was used as a sociological weapon to destroy communal, familial, and political identity.




Student(s):
Thea Jerejian

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Victor Thasiah
Anders Behring Breivik and the July 22, 2011 Attacks

This research paper addresses the terrorist attacks that occurred in Norway on the 22nd of July 2011 and the challenges the attacks created for the government and police force. The anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik was behind the attacks claiming a total of 77 lives. Anders Behring Breivik’s actions remind us of the importance of recognizing the presence of Islamophobic tendencies in the Norwegian society and in the rest of the world. The attacks bring up the idea of the “Lone Wolf Terrorist” and show the danger that a well-organized lone wolf can cause. This research examines the phenomena of xenophobia and how extreme ideological attitudes may cause individuals to perform extreme actions such as terrorist attacks. The information in this research is based on existing research and scholarly articles, including the 22 of July Commission.




Student(s):
Rene Silverman

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Samuel Thomas
Understanding Aramaic: Jewish Literature and Culture during the Second Temple Period

Many people tend to think of Hebrew as the language of Jewish literature and culture. While it is true that many important texts are written in that ancient language, focusing on Hebrew alone leaves out an entire group of Jewish texts written in Aramaic over the span of several centuries. The purpose of my project is to examine the uses and cultural implications of Aramaic in Jewish literature and culture during the Second Temple period. I will address several texts including portions of Ezra and Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Elephantine Papyri, along with a discussion of their literary features, historical contexts, and prevailing themes.




Student(s):
William Zimmerle

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Victor Thasiah
Fishing for Rights: The Fight Against Coal

Neighbor love, an essential theme in the Bible and Christian theological ethics, is an important aspect of life that can help shape our response to difficult social and ecological problems. In Cherry Point, Washington, there has been a proposal to build a coal export terminal in a large area that includes land owned by a Native American tribe. The battle between environmental groups and the railroad company is currently traveling through court hearings. This is a combined fight against the destructive effects that coal has on the environment and the social injustice that stems from requiring the Lummi tribe to relocate. In this paper, I will describe the proposed plan, explain the ill effects of coal trains, discuss the history of the Lummi tribe, and argue why the terminal should not be developed.




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