This research looks at young American Jews complicated relationship with the state of Israel. Previous literature has cited that the younger generation of American Jews are distancing themselves from Israel, citing research that demonstrated differences of attachment levels between Jews aged 65 and older, and Jews aged 35 or younger. For this research, 10 interviews were conducted with American Jews aged 23 or younger in order to compile qualitative data on young American Jews’ relationship to Israel. The findings emphasis three critical factors that shaped participants’ relationship with Israel: older family influence pressure, societal pressure, and the sentiment that Israel is receives unjust scrutiny from the American liberals and the American press. The thesis concludes by suggesting that participants can use current events to inform society– the media, politicians, educators, friends– that they have agency over their opinions on American Israeli politics.
An internationally prominent researcher on atomic physics and quantum mechanics, interested in bridging the disciplines of the sciences and the humanities, Arthur Zajonc, has been integrally involved in the mind and life dialogues that have brought together Western specialists in various sciences with the Dalai Lama and other contemplatives. Part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded February 1, 2007.
Religion was a pertinent, prevalent, and powerful force in the American Revolution. By examining the autobiography of Justin Hitchcock, the journal of Esther Edwards Burr from 1754 to 1757, and African-American/slave narratives by John Marrant, Briton Hammon, and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, this thesis hopes to offer insight into how, for most people, the post-Great Awakening Puritan ethic (or in some cases, revivalist Calvinism) was an incredibly dynamic force that promoted both political change and traditional values. Much has been written on the evolving political ideologies of famous, white, male colonists during this period; this thesis explores the perspectives of those who were not as directly politically involved. A discussion on the presence and effect of religion in the colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as a description of post-Awakening evangelicalism and pre-Awakening liberalism, both supplement an analysis of the primary sources. The ultimate conclusion is that, in a way, Calvinism and the Puritan ethic were powerful revolutionary forces precisely because of their ambivalent natures.
This study examines the process that LGBTQ individuals undergo to integrate their religious identity and their sexuality into one cohesive identity. By interviewing LGBTQ individuals who were currently members of churches that advertise inclusivity to congregants of all sexual orientations and gender identities I found many of the participants experience a multi-stage identity integration process. There were three major stages of identity construction: first the participants internalized messages of homophobia, then they sought out LGBTQ inclusive and accepting church environments, and finally they expanded their religious beliefs to encompass a diverse spectrum of theologies, resulting, in most cases, in a cohesion of sexuality and religious identity. This study was intended to broaden the understanding of identity integration, not just concerning the intersections of sexuality and religion, but is also applicable to other intersections of social life concerning integration of a stigmatized identity with an opposing, socially sanctioned identity.
Dr. Harold Koenig, the director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University and one of the leading researchers in the field of Religion and Medicine advocates for a change in the current medical system that incorporates religion and spirituality. Koenig argues that because religion is so influential to patients’ ability to cope with illness, it must be addressed in patient care in order for the patient to have a successful recovery. In order to make his theory appear viable he tries to prove through scientific research that religion has a beneficial effect on people’s health. To this date, Koenig has published more than 35 books and over 280 articles on this topic. The aim of this thesis project was to take a close examination of Koenig’s theory of why religion should be introduced into the medical world and the method in which he takes to prove this theory. What I will argue is that although I agree that medical care needs to be changed in order to meet more than just the physical needs of patients, Koenig’s approach to do this by scientifically proving the health benefits of religion through his published books is unconvincing as well as ineffective in benefiting patients.
Americans have questioned the morality of the death penalty for centuries. Recently, racial bias and a surge of death row exonerations have brought the death penalty back to media headlines. Although geographic, socio-economic, and racial disparities relating to the death penalty have been studied extensively, religious factors have not. This study seeks to understand why religion is consistently excluded from the death penalty debate, despite its proven importance in shaping Americans’ political attitudes, including those on the death penalty. Despite both belonging to the Christian Right, evangelical Protestants and American Catholics have opposing views regarding the death penalty; the former officially supports it, while the latter officially opposes it. Using data from the 2010 Census and the Pew Research Center, I create a probit model to discern whether large evangelical and Catholic populations help explain whether states use the death penalty. I find that large evangelical populations are not statistically significant in explaining states’ use of the death penalty, but large Catholic populations are statistically significant in reducing states’ probabilities of using the death penalty. Furthermore, I corroborate existing literature in finding that states that use the death penalty have lower incomes, more inequality, more Blacks, and more violence than states that do not use the death penalty.
Mestizaje refers to the mixture of Spanish colonizers and the indigenous peoples of Mexico and to the hybrid culture that has developed in the borderlands during the five centuries since the conquest. This paper explores the insights and limitations of a leading Chicana feminist, Gloria Anzaldúa, who seeks to create a new political consciousness for the mestizo (mixed) people. Anzaldúa’s cultural and historical context led her to reject the various forms of oppression that she found in the Chicano community, including all forms of institutionalized religion (especially Catholicism). In this essay I will examine how Anzaldúa’s rejection of Catholicism made her unable to see the resistance of the Chicana/o people to seemingly oppressive religious and societal structures. Drawing on Saba Mahmood, an Islamic feminist theorist, I argue that Chicana/o resistance may be expressed in ways that are different from the overt forms of resistance and defiance that are found in other societies. Two of Anzaldúa’s contemporaries, Marta Cotera and Virgilio Elizondo, were able to work within the confines of Catholicism and to find a spiritual and political home in the hybrid Catholic church of Texas. Based on my experience witnessing life in the borderlands, I propose a reconceptualization of mestizaje that addresses both its politics and its poetics.
The role of culture in economic activities and outcomes is a subject debated mainly in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and political science. Recently, more economists are applying economic theory to engender new models that incorporate various aspects of culture, including widespread beliefs, values, and attitudes. Adding cultural variables to economic models has the potential to develop a better understanding of consumer choices on a microeconomics level. In addition, beliefs, attitudes, and values have the potential to explain differences in economic policies, growth, and activities on an international level. This thesis contributes to existing economic literature by 1) constructing a utility function for work ethic that includes religious and demographic variables, and 2) utilizing an Ordinary Least Squares regression with data from the World Values Survey. Controlling for socioeconomic status, income, health, education level, urbanization level, gender, and religious participation across 13 countries, religious denomination is not significant in determining work ethic. However, with the addition of interaction terms between religious denominations and demographic variables, certain religions have a significantly higher or lower work ethic than Protestants. In addition, almost all demographic variables are significant predictors of work ethic.
Israel's ultra-orthodox population presents a puzzle for economists. This population has large families and forgoes secular education despite high rates of poverty. Lannacone (1992) pioneered the use of a club goods model to explain the behavior of such religious groups. This paper utilizes Lannacone's (1992) model of club goods in the context of Israel's ultra-orthodox, and also presents the historical and religious background of the issue.
This study explores where residents of Colorado Springs find sense of community (SOC). The focus of the study is specifically two questions: 1) what relationship religion has to SOC in a city setting and 2) whether SOC measures should be limited to communities that an individual is physically close to. Quantitative analysis was run on survey data collected in Colorado Springs. There were five major findings. 1) Religion is positively related to neighborhood SOC and negatively related to organizational SOC. 2) Homeownership is positively related to neighborhood and organizational SOC. 3) There is no one method of communication that is related to SOC. 4) There is no one distance from the community that is related to SOC. 5) There is no relationship between new urbanist design and neighborhood SOC.
This article is a content analysis of best-selling teen sex education and relationship books. The purpose of this study was to examine alternative resources for sex and relationship education. I specifically look at how gender, virginity and abstinence are constructed in these books and how they are similar or different to the information and lessons in sex education classes. Furthermore, I examine how religion is an important component for discussion of relationships and sex. I argue that similar to public sex education courses these books enforce gender stereotypes and teach teens and young adults that abstinence is the only healthy form of sexuality.
Recent studies suggest institutional racism in the health system and racial discrimination in other parts of society add stressors to people of color that negatively affect physical health as well as mental health (Gary 2005; Mays 2001; Okazaki 2009; McKenzie 2007). The MacArthur Midlife Research Network project collected phone interview and questionnaire data on physical and mental health indicators in the longitudinal study: Midlife in the United States (MIDUS). In addition to measures of health, participants in each wave (MIDUS 1 (1995-1996), MIDUS 2 (2004-2006), and MIDUS 3 (2013-2014)) provided responses regarding their self-rated religiosity, experience with discrimination, community integration, friend/family support, racial isolation, and demographic information. The purpose of this study was to a) question the extent oppression affects self-rated mental health, use of mental health services, and psychological well-being, b) examine the role such factors play in mitigating the effect of oppression on mental health and c) assess variation across time. Data were analyzed through multivariate logistic and OLS regression on Stata Software (15.0).
This thesis will consider the work and actions of Egyptian and American Muslim women in order to inform a conversation regarding the scope of Western Feminist discourse. These two case studies will serve as examples of distinct Muslim feminist actors who engage with their unique cultures and values in order to reshape gender norms. Using the theoretical framework supplied by Foucault, I will demonstrate how conceptions of power and agency employed in the Western feminist discourse are not adequate for representing all manifestations of Islamic feminism. It will become evident that understanding the forms of Islamic feminism represented in this study is a crucial step for reframing the terms and values which comprise feminist thought.
The focus of the thesis is to look at religion and culture’s effect on entrepreneurship. I hypothesized that culture and religions that promote strong social networks will lead to an increase in entrepreneurship. To answer this question, I collect data from the World Value Survey Wave 6 in the years of 2010 to 2014. I measure the effects by quantifying religion and culture from the survey dataset. I then use the probit regression to find if religion and culture positively affect entrepreneurship. The results show that religion and culture negatively affect entrepreneurship.