Morals, Malala, and Mapping by Kile B. Jones

Kile Jones

Once again, recent events have me thinking of the ethical paradigms people utilize to comprehend and explain violent acts against women. These violent acts galvanize our moral compasses and beg for answers to our most fundamental moral questions. Do cultural relativism, pragmatism, divine command theory, utilitarianism, quasi-realism, virtue ethics, or moral realism better map on to the sentiments that arise in us when faced with misogynistic violence? Can we honestly say that an act is morally wrong when it is tangled up in the cultural and political characteristics of a certain country or group? Or can we justify, in the manner of moral realism, that certain acts are inherently wrong no matter what the context or culture? As you can tell, my ethical plate is full.

The first event that had me thinking of issues is the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. Malala, who I think should have won “Time Person of the Year” instead of President Obama, was gunned down on her school bus by members of the Taliban for being, amongst other threats, the “symbol of the infidels.” Malala survived a shot to her head and neck, and has since received innumerable awards and honors for her efforts to promote women’s education. Recently, 5 female school teachers were shot and killed by Islamic militants in the same province where Malala was shot. These teachers are thought to have been killed for their work fighting polio, since some Muslim extremists in that area think polio vaccines are a Western way of sterilizing Muslim children. Continue reading “Morals, Malala, and Mapping by Kile B. Jones”

Social Engagement as Feminist Praxis in the lives of Patricia A. Reif & Rita Nakashima Brock By Teresa A. Yugar

Today our country and global community need religious leaders to utilize their theological education and feminist principles to model the formation of ally ships across ecumenical and interfaith perspectives, laying the foundation for a more just and peaceful society. While Reif and Nakashima Brock did not know each other, their feminist stance of commitment to social justice and praxis should give us pause.

In 2002, Claremont Graduate University and the Immaculate Heart Community collaborated and created an endowment to sponsor a Lectureship in honor of the memory of feminist teacher, scholar and activist, Dr. Patricia A. Reif. Each year the Dr. Patricia A. Reif committee invites cutting edge feminist scholars in religion to discuss the intersection of their research interests and its influence on their scholarship, activist work and teaching in the broader sense of the term, both inside and outside of the classroom. This year the Reverend Dr. Nakashima Brock is the select guest Lecturer to honor Reif’s life, memory, and legacy. Tammi Schneider, committee member and Dean of the School of Religion stated Nakashima Brock’s visit is timely because in three weeks the national U.S. presidential elections will define the trajectory of our country for, minimally, the next four years. Nakashima Brock’s involvement in the Occupy Movement on a local and national level extends from her feminist commitment and advocacy for the rights of the 99% of our country who are being squelched by U.S. policies that favor the elite 1% of our nation. For Nakashima Brock it is a moral imperative for persons of faith and goodwill to educate individuals and take a stand on policies, on a state and nation-wide level that safeguard the livelihoods of the majority poor of our country. For Nakashima Brock this means quality health care for all, living wages and decent jobs, free high quality public education through college, and an end to the prison-military-industrial complex. Continue reading “Social Engagement as Feminist Praxis in the lives of Patricia A. Reif & Rita Nakashima Brock By Teresa A. Yugar”

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