The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But, Karen Armstrong writes, the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple
After a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms. Many secular thinkers now regard “religion” as inherently belligerent and intolerant, and an irrational, backward and violent “other” to the peaceable and humane liberal state – an attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples as hopelessly “primitive”, mired in their benighted religious beliefs. There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. When secularisation has been applied by force, it has provoked a fundamentalist reaction – and history shows that fundamentalist movements which come under attack invariably grow even more extreme. The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.
"Professional development opportunities for Advanced Placement Human Geography (APHG) teachers are currently limited to short workshops lacking long-term emphasis on pedagogy. Thus, a new Graduate Certificate Program in APHG has been created to provide teachers with a completely online opportunity to complete courses designed specifically to address the pedagogical aspects of teaching APHG."
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
South America is a land of natural exotic beauty that will leave you speechless, a land of mystery and great historic importance. If you make a trip to the southern hemisphere, be sure to include these precious gems.
"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."
We've been studying North Korea and the conflict between North and South in our World Geography classes. This is an interesting perspective and story - one that definitely helps to understand the plight of many North Koreans as they struggle to leave and subsequently create new lives elsewhere.
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