3997 Chapters
Medium 9781457109614

19 Our Religious Transition

Fernando Armstrong-Fumero University Press of Colorado ePub

When a people is subjugated, it is relatively easy for the conquerors to impose new art, new industries, new customs, and other manifestations of culture. But it is very difficult and time-consuming to make the conquered accept new religious ideas. Since its origins on the arid hill of Calvary, Christianity was imposed on paganism and Judaism at the cost of torrents of blood. The reformist sects achieved triumph after running through many thorny paths and leaving a trail of martyrs behind them. Almost all religious transitions have had some bloody Saint Bartholomew as their price. Why was the transition from indigenous paganism to Spanish Catholicism in the sixteenth century relatively easy? How is it that only Catholicism has been implanted among us, in spite of active—if pointless—attempts to introduce Protestantism?

The transition from indigenous paganism to Catholicism found no obstacles because the two religions shared certain elements that were propitious to their fusion. In contrast, paganism and Protestantism are dissimilar in essence and form. Catholicism was not imposed by the biting scourge, or by the Sacred Office, or by the charity of the missions. Had it been, rivers of blood would have flowed in Mexico as well. It is well-known that attempts at rebellion during the Colonial period were fights brought on by hunger, lack of land, oppression, and a thousand other causes, but almost never by struggles over religion.

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Medium 9780253006844

9 Hinduism at Work in Queens

RICHARD CIMINO Indiana University Press ePub

Matthew Weiner

How does a Trinidadian Hindu woman named Chan Jamoona – a nurse, mother of four, and caretaker for her mother – become one of the most important civic and religious leaders in Queens? What does her story say about the changing nature of religious leadership? And what does being a good citizen and a Hindu and living in diverse Ozone Park, Queens, have to do with all of this? This chapter argues that community-based religious leaders are often very innovative – both in terms of how their leadership evolves and in terms of the entrepreneurial work in which they engage. This improvisational work is the result of a complex interplay between the changing and multifaceted leadership roles they fill, both in and between their small communities, and the ever-shifting urban contexts in which they reside.

By tracing the story of Jamoona, who created New York’s first Hindu senior center, I offer an example of how religious leaders innovate. Through an analysis of this case study and by attending to several factors – including the religious and civic ecology of Jamoona’s neighborhood, the social capital she helps to cocreate, and the way she lives her religious faith – I explain why she engages in her particular form of social entrepreneurship, and further argue that a better understanding of the social context in which religious communities reside helps to elucidate the way in which both religious innovation and the development of religious leadership emerge.

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Medium 9781609948870

Chapter 7 De Colores: Inclusiveness and Diversity

Bordas, Juana Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

FILLING OUT MY FIRST US Census form in 1970, I searched for a category that would acknowledge my culture and ancestry. I felt a loud thud in my heart as I finally checked the “Caucasian” box. As I filled out the forms, I heard my abuela’s sweet voice, “Ay, mi hijita, nunca olvides quien eres y de donde venistes” (Oh, my dearest little daughter, never forget who you are and where you came from). But remembering your history and embracing your identity is a difficult feat when there is no acknowledgment that your people even exist.

We all have a deep need to be accepted for who we are. This is particularly true for Latinos and other people of color, who have been relegated to a minority status and measured by a White ideal. The story of how “the Browns” (Hispanics) became a category in the US census illustrates the unique history of this cultural medley. (Of course, members of other ethnic groups such as South Asians, Pacific Islanders, Middle Easterners, and American Indians may also consider themselves Brown, but in this story Brown refers to Hispanics and Latinos.)

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Medium 9780253348739

3 German Catholic Views of Jesus and Judaism, 1918–1945

CSC Edited by Kevin P Spicer Indiana University Press ePub


The Second Vatican Council endorsed a change in the Catholic Church’s self-understanding and its stance toward the world and other religions. When Pope John XXIII convoked the council on December 25, 1961, he opened the way for both the end of the hegemony of the notion of the Church as a “perfect society,” that is, as a self-sufficient, juridical institution, and also the end of the Church’s negative attitude toward modernity and non-Christian beliefs. The Council then proceeded in Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, to declare that the Church is “a sacrament—a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race.”1 It also explained that the Church is the people of God and only secondarily an institution. Moreover, the council took a constructive stance toward the world, especially as it acknowledged contemporary society’s merits as well as its dilemmas in Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Further, it conveyed respect for other religions in Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. The Council declared: “Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture.”2 It added that the Church “deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews.”3 When Pope Paul VI closed the council on December 7, 1965, he envisioned the Church witnessing to the coming God’s reign and working with other religions for “the progress of peoples.”4 Vatican II was surely an extraordinary turning point in the life of the Catholic Church.

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Medium 9781574414820

Chapter 30. The Chief from Phoenix

Mitchel P. Roth and Tom Kennedy University of North Texas Press ePub


The Chief from Phoenix

Bill White always did his homework. When he became mayor of Houston in 2003, he researched the Houston Police Department like a doctoral candidate, using the same fact-finding abilities and impressive menu of knowledge he employed to become a notable consensus builder in business and politics. White memorized the details of the department’s three traditional “U’s”—Underfunded, Undermanned and Under-equipped.

By talking to a large percentage of the department, sometimes more than a hundred officers at a time, the new mayor believed that the consensus was that the Command Staff had been in place too long and was out of touch. He included this finding in the major line of reasoning he used to pick an outsider as police chief for the third time in HPD history. White wanted a visionary with a high premium on professionalism and clear definition of policing roles at all levels. He wanted discipline without “management determined by internal affairs” after finding that half the HPD complaints were internal—not from the police interaction with citizens.

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