A Walk on the Wild Side: Introduction to a Goddess-honoring Tradition Where the Witch and the Tantrick Meet
By Chandra Alexandre….
Today, a robust and dynamic complexity of religious thought and engagement is being achieved through new traditions in which symbols, deities, and rituals (some only recently constructed) inform by connecting to passions, devotion and a desire for engaged spirituality not contained by country of origin—practitioner’s or deity’s. Add to this a confluence of feminism, goddess-focused spiritualities, and access to various forms of Hinduism, as well as a growing Indian-American population with Hindu diasporic roots and bi-cultural sensibilities, and we find a Western Shakta Hindu perspective and related forms of worship and practice emerging that assert both authenticity and independence from the Hindu source. One such emergence is the countercultural religious tradition known as Sha’can, what I fondly call a (R)evolutionary Shakta Tantra
Sheema Khan, The Globe and Mail….
Then came the March 8 rally to commemorate International Women’s Day. About 200 women, along with a smattering of men, gathered in Tahrir Square to urge Egypt to give women a voice in building its future. Many had been alarmed by an ominous turn of political events deemed unfavourable to women: Only one woman had been selected to the interim cabinet; the eight-member committee tasked with formulating constitutional amendments was all male; one of the proposed amendments suggested that future presidents could only be male; and the quota of 64 parliamentary seats for women had been abolished.
Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, State of Formation….
Jerusalem’s Old City when a bearded man with narrow eyes reached out his hand and tried to grab my breast. I did not know him. I had not made eye contact. I was not acting provocatively—in fact, despite a heat wave that added insult to the already injurious desert summer, I was burning up in the long-sleeved shirt and ankle-length skirt that’s customary for the region. In response, the man with whom I was traveling reached out and struck the stranger’s hand, causing him to trip sideways into the crowd.
By Nicole Greenfield, Religion Dispatches….
Annie Lobért knows that sex sells. The 16 years she spent as a stripper, prostitute, and high-class escort, most recently on the Las Vegas Strip, taught her that. And although she’s been out of the game for years, has since accepted Christ and gotten married (to Oz Fox, lead guitarist for the Christian metal band Stryper), Lobért appreciates the allure of her former lifestyle. Calling herself a hooker for Jesus, she has set out to “hook, help, and heal” those still in the industry.
By Kate Daley-Bailey….
Abraham’s article awoke anew many concerns I have had with the Catholic Church’s’ ardent fear of the possibility of allowing women into positions of authority in the church. As Abraham so astutely pointed out, the linking of female ordination and sexual abuse of children is startling. Is the Catholic Church launching a preemptive strike against what they fear will be a renewed interest in allowing women into the priesthood? This overreaction led me to investigate the origin of the Church’s fear of women in leadership roles.
By Peter Applebome, New York Times…..
Still, it was the least celestial item that perhaps mattered most. That would be “Discussion of Maetreum of Cybele v. Town of Catskill, N.Y.,” a legal case dating to 2007 after the town first approved and then denied tax-exempt status for the group, which has been certified by the federal government as a tax-exempt religious charity. The goddess may rule the universe, but the lawyers will help decide whether the pagans of Palenville have a future in this historic old town just down the snowy hills from Hunter Mountain.
By Religion Newswriters Association, Religion Link….
Super Bowl XLV in Dallas will be the most watched, and most hyped, sporting event of the year. But the dark side of such a huge gathering is the sex trade that targets the thousands who attend. This edition of ReligionLink focuses on the human trafficking pipeline that supplies the sex-for-money industry.
By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, State of Formation….
Here’s a news headline for you: The trial begins in Phoenix today for Faleh Hassan Almaleki, the Iraqi immigrant accused of killing his daughter for becoming too Westernized. The prosecution’s argument goes like this: Almaleki ran over his 20 year old daughter with a Jeep Cherokee because she was abandoning their traditional Muslim values, having moved in with her boyfriend’s family.
By Nilanjana S. Roy, New York Times….
“Religion is assumed to be the domain of men, and women do not have much role in it,” the Indian feminist writer and publisher Urvashi Butalia said in an interview. “But women generally do not have the right to question religion — this is something men hold on to tightly, and it’s not only in Islam. Look at all those so-called honor killings in India — all of them under the guise of religious sanction and tradition.”
Last week, the blasphemy laws claimed a prominent victim. The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards. Mr. Taseer’s assassin was showered with rose petals by crowds who approved of his act. Mr. Taseer had drawn much criticism in Pakistan for his defense of Ms. Bibi and his demand for changes to the blasphemy law.
By Dennis S. Ross, Religion Dispatches….
In one of the greatest overstatements of 2010, Lord Nicholas Windsor of England argued recently that abortion is a bigger threat to Europe than al-Qaeda. The reality is that when a woman believes she needs an abortion, not being able to get one poses a significant threat to her health and safety. And any member of the clergy can tell the tale. Clergy tell stories. It’s a tradition as old as the Bible. And it’s a common practice when someone dies.
A U.S. Catholic interview….
For the Spaniards, the most important value was salvation of the soul through individual character, both in making a name for oneself and in the hereafter. They understood their salvation came through the sacrifice, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Indians’ most important value was the salvation of the group and its wellbeing and preservation. Indian religion valued the individual only for his or her contribution to collective activities designed to preserve the cosmic order.
By Kathryn Joyce, MS Blog….
Although I first encountered biblical womanhood and submission theory in fundamentalist circles—where submission means women submitting a daily itinerary to husbands for approval and not speaking in church—the idea of biblical womanhood as a conservative counteroffensive to feminism is far broader, garnering the support of the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention in a 1998 resolution. Complementarianism is a code of ethics with rules based on gender inequality.
By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr.
Deren was born in Kiev, but was raised in Syracuse, New York. She studied literature, especially the Symbolist poets, first at Syracuse University, then later at NYU and Smith College. It was in New York that she got involved both in radical politics and in modern dance. Even then, it would seem, Maya Deren understood art to be a form of radical politics and an experiment in radical religious vision. She eventually landed on film as the medium best suited to her own expansive visions, and she began making a number of important short films in an explosively creative period that began in 1946 and lasted until roughly 1951.
By Reza Sayah, CNN
This month a Pakistani court sentenced Isham’s mother, 45-year-old Asia Bibi, to death, not because she killed, injured or stole, but simply because she said something. Prosecutors say Bibi, who is a Christian, broke Pakistan’s strict blasphemy law by insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment according to Pakistan’s penal code.