Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State

It’s time for another guest post! Today we’ve got a piece by freelance writer and Harvard Divinity School student Hannah Gais on the recent schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over the latter’s decision to give Ukrainian church leaders permission to form an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Hannah argues… Continue reading Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State

Europe/Americas update: March 2 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA The Russian government on Friday angrily rejected claims from the Trump administration that its fancy new nuclear weapons that promise to destroy humanity even better than the old ones actually violate international treaties. For the Russians, ironically, it’s America’s decision to abrogate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 that’s partly motivating their decision… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: March 2 2018

World update: January 19 2018

THE TERRORISM COLA WARS Al-Qaeda, or at least individual al-Qaeda branches, are reportedly trying to take advantage of ISIS’s misfortunes by undertaking recruitment efforts to poach fighters away from the newer upstart. This phenomenon has been reported in North Africa, the Sahel, Syria, and Yemen. So far it doesn’t appear to have borne much fruit,… Continue reading World update: January 19 2018

World update: December 9-10 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban fighters killed three Afghan soldiers on Saturday in an attack on a checkpoint in Ghazni province. INDIA The first stage of voting took place on Saturday in regional elections in India’s Gujarat state. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has campaigned heavily to ensure that his Bharatiya Janata Party retains the majority in the… Continue reading World update: December 9-10 2017

Europe/Americas update: August 9 2017

EUROPE RESPECTING DONALD Buzzfeed’s Alberto Nardelli interviewed a bunch of European diplomats–all off the record, for obvious reasons–about Donald Trump. Turns out they don’t think too highly of the guy. I think their impressions are instructive of the deeper issues with the Trump administration though. While Trump himself as laughingstock wouldn’t have to be the… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: August 9 2017

Muhammad’s birthday mob

Today (actually beginning at sundown yesterday) is, on the Islamic calendar, the date traditionally identified as Muhammad’s birthday, or Mawlid al-Nabi. While your immediate assumption might be to equate Mawlid with Christmas, they’re really not analogous (just as Muhammad’s role in Islam is not analogous to Jesus’s role in Christianity), and Mawlid is not a… Continue reading Muhammad’s birthday mob

Arbaʿeen: bigger than ever

Arbaʿeen, for those who aren’t familiar, is the second Shiʿa holy day that is centered on the Battle of Karbala, and thus the death of the early Shiʿa leader Husayn b. Ali, in 680. The first, Ashura, is commemorated on the day (per the Islamic calendar) of the battle, while Arbaʿeen (Arabic for “forty”) occurs… Continue reading Arbaʿeen: bigger than ever