BY STEPHANIE AREL on MARCH 16, 2017 In light of the recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries —the desecration of Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia and the toppling of more than 150 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in Missouri — along with my reminiscing that a year ago today (March 1 as I am writing) I was en route to Jerusalem to work with a group of scholars for the Intercontinental Academia on Human Dignity.
BY STEPHANIE AREL on MARCH 7, 2017 I have been thinking frequently about trauma, about what perpetuates suffering and what supports the arduous journey of transforming traumatic experiences, especially in the aftermath of traumas of human design. The violation of bodies lies at the heart of such traumas. Thus, how we practice behaviors that refuse to denigrate bodies are critical and necessary to alleviating suffering and promoting the body’s dignity.
BY STEPHANIE AREL on FEBRUARY 9, 2017 In the frenzied wave of responses to Trump’s most recent, and horrifying, decisions – reinstating the Mexico City Policy and the newly instated Immigration Ban – I have experienced surges of anger, frustration, despair, concern, and hopelessness. My adrenaline has rushed – both as a result of notifications from the New York Times buzzing on my Apple watch and as a consequence of stepping off a train to find myself in the heart of a protest I failed to know was happening, but for which I also felt pride.
BY STEPHANIE AREL on JANUARY 29, 2017 On December 30, 2016, Katelyn Nicole Davis, a 12-year-old girl from Cedartown, Georgia filmed her suicide by hanging from a tree in her front yard. Recorded live, the video has gone viral. Alarmingly, a young girl’s succumbing to death logged on the Internet clamors recognition of an existence she felt helpless to bear alone. Reported in her blog, abuse and sexual assault tainted her young existence. As a result, her perception of her own isolation, her articulated sense of worthlessness, and her shame motivated a trajectory toward death, demonstrating what is at stake when these crimes go unrecognized.
BY STEPHANIE AREL on JANUARY 6, 2017 In March of 2011, at a symposium on trauma, healing, and spirituality in Belfast, Ireland, I spoke about shame in the context of war, addressing the experiences of women survivors of rape during the Rwandan genocide, US soldiers returning from war with PTSD symptoms, and cultures, such as those in Belfast and Bosnia, steeped in war and violence. While discussing how theology has a responsibility to examine how the church talks about shame, guilt, and sin to help survivors of war trauma heal, I recognized A. Denise Starkey in the audience, a woman whose work was instrumental in the crafting of my own.…
By Stephanie Arel. Posted by Bearings on February 10, 2017, in 21stCenturyMinistry, 21stCenturySpirituality, The best sushi I ever tasted was handed to me fresh from the Sea of Galilee. I was the last customer at the restaurant when a fisherman brought it in. A Palestinian Christian waiter, the Jewish fisherman who caught the fish, and his Palestinian Muslim friend invited me—an Irish, Italian-American Catholic—to share this meal at a back table of the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem. The experience of sitting with those three men, in a country where each represented a different religious group, discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict together, in vulnerable and open ways, impressed itself into…
Phase 2 – Tuesday, August 9, 2016 During the morning session, Aleida Assmann introduced the topic of empathy and the way it has interweaved in different fields and disciplines, spanning the humanities and neurobiology, and reaching from the social sciences to works of art. In the course of her presentation, Aleida differentiated between empathy and other related concepts such as sympathy, pity, compassion, identification, and projection. The fellows discussed the different meanings related to the term and its spectrum of possibilities, and the various levels and stages of emphatic engagement.
Engaged Debate on Human Dignity / The lecturers also include the constitutional lawyer Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff Wissenschaftlicher Diskurs: Aleida Assmann, Stephanie Arel, Anita von Poser, Ulrike Davy, Levi Cooper und Vanessa Hellmann (v. l.) im Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung. | © Wolfgang Rudolf Matthias Bungeroth 12.08.2016 | Stand 12.08.2016, 13:21 clock Bielefeld. In the times of great refugee flows or the threat of international terror to talk about the topic “human dignity” is quite obvious. If this field is also taken by two scientific institutions in Germany and Israel in focus, such an initiative gets a whole Special weight.
Sex on the Margins Conference at Boston University Sex on the Margins: Navigating Religious, Social, and Natural Scientific Models of Sex Differences Hosted by the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion and Boston University, February 24-26, 2017. Co-sponsored by the Graduate Division of Religion Studies, the School of Theology, the Albert & Jessie Danielsen Institute, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Programat Boston University Conference Organizers: Stephanie N. Arel, Megan DeFranza, Kate Stockly In Consultation with: Jennifer Wright Knust (Boston University), Carrie J. Preston (Director Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Boston University), Wesley J. Wildman (Boston University).