Meryl Streep Partners with Kevin Cahill and Fordham University to Promote Education

Academy Award-winning, world renowned actress Meryl Streep joined Fordham author and activist Kevin Cahill at the launch of his new book, Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency, at the United Nations on April 21. Cahill, the director of the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham, advocates for the importance of education in times of emergency relief, stating that education should receive equal funding and attention as basic needs such as medical aid and supplies in refugee camps.  The book contains 19 essays written by relief workers, experts in the field, and national leaders, several of whom were on hand at the launch to discuss the book with 65 distinguished guests.

Streep agrees with Cahill’s mission and the overarching statement of the book. She said, “”Young lives can be saved by the order and safety of school.  It lets children know: here you are safe. Here there’s understanding. Here there is care. Here there’s a future and here’s how you’re going to get there.”

The book, publishing in May, closes with a poem by Maya Angelou. The faculty and administration at Fordham is so convinced of the vitality and necessity of this book and its mission that it’s required reading for each entering Fordham freshman, transfer student, and graduate student this fall semester.

Fordham salutes Dr. Cahill and all who are involved in the efforts to bring education into the lives of those most in need.

Academy Award-winning, world renowned actress Meryl Streep joined Fordham author and activist Kevin Cahill at the launch of his new book, Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency, at the United Nations on April 21. Cahill, the director of … Full Story

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Catch the EcoSpirit: Earth Day 2010

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, first christened by US Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970 to raise awareness of environmental issues and conservation. Since its inception, it’s become a global event, especially in recent years, when issues such as global warming have become crises of critical importance.

Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies of the Earth, edited by Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller, examines the increasing shift toward awareness, even as the intensity of environmental destruction continues. The essays in this volume posit that nothing short of an epic epiphany in global thinking can begin to reverse the damaging effects we’ve wreaked on the planet thus far. This change in thinking would involve the very overhaul of the way we practice religion and philosophy–what Ecospirit proposes is a shift so profound, it would challenge the very foundations of the way humans have talked about, written about, and studied the Earth for thousands of years. It’s a radical challenge, but a call to action we all need.

Also from Catherine Keller, and Chris Boesel, comes Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality, a study of Apophatics, or the study of negative theology, in which God is described in what CANNOT be said about the divine. This volume pursues the unlikely conjunction of apophasis and the body, not for the cachet of the “cutting edge” but rather out of an ethical passion for the integrity of all creaturely bodies as they are caught up in various ideological mechanisms—religious, theological, political, economic—that threaten their dignity and material well-being.

New this Spring, Apophatic Bodies contributor Virginia Burrus has collaborated with Mark D. Jordan and Karmen MacKendrick on Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires, Confessions. Seducing Augustine analyzes the iconic Confessions, exploring religion and theology in a sexual context–a perspective not often tackled by critics. Often ambivalent but always passionately engaged, their readings of the Confessions center on four sets of intertwined themes—secrecy and confession, asceticism and eroticism, constraint and freedom, and time and eternity.

Discussion of the Earth and the environment has its roots in theology, philosophy, and human nature itself. Join the discourse with Fordham!

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, first christened by US Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970 to raise awareness of environmental issues and conservation. Since its inception, it’s become a global event, especially in recent years, when … Full Story

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Terror in Modern Times

On April 19, 1995, a bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ending the lives of 168 people. It was the worst terrorist attack in America, until, of course, the attacks on September 11, 2001. In an op-ed piece published yesterday in The New York Times, Bill Clinton ruminated on the aftermath, 15 years later. The former president invokes the kindness of those who helped in relief efforts, the strength of the survivors, and the enduring legacy of the innocents who died that day. He cautions, “Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.”

In The Rhetoric of Terror: Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror, Marc Redfield examines the cultural impact of terrorism and what it means when such shocking acts of violence saturate our media and society. Redfield astutely blends the philosophy of Jacques Derrida with the modern concepts of “virtual terror” and the “war on terror.”

Forthcoming in August is Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror and the Modern Republic. Jacques Lezra examines political philosophy in a contemporary climate, musing on questions such as how can social unity be achieved in a divergent culture? If so, does such unity require certain universal laws? What does democracy mean in a culture of globalization, terrorism, and fundamentalism? In contemplating these questions, Lezra gets to the root of what our politics really mean in our modern world. 

On April 19, 1995, a bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ending the lives of 168 people. It was the worst terrorist attack in America, until, of course, the attacks on September 11, 2001. … Full Story

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Sheri Fink wins Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting

Sheri Fink, a contributor to The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for her piece “Deadly Choices at Memorial,” a gripping piece about Memorial Medical Center, a hospital in New Orleans that was cut off from the city by flood waters during Hurricane Katrina. The piece focuses on the ethical and legal issues medical professionals were faced with during the devastating natural disaster. Hundreds of patients died, leading to a national investigation and a campaign to enforce clearer laws for medical personnel during these types of catastrophes. The piece, written over two years and using interviews with about 140 sources, was finally published in the New York Times Magazine on the fourth anniversary of Katrina, in 2009. The article had immediate ramifications for New Orleans and the medical community as a whole.

The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance, edited by Dr. Kevin Cahill, is a collection of essays focusing on the very same issues, examining international humanitarian efforts, especially following wars and natural disasters.

Dr. Cahill, the director of Fordham’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and president of the Center for International Health and Cooperation, has a new book called Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency , published by Fordham and available in May. Even in Chaos takes an intimate and personal look at students, aid workers, and national leaders as they struggle to provide and obtain the basic right to education following catastrophe.

Congratulations, Dr. Fink!

Sheri Fink, a contributor to The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for her piece “Deadly Choices at Memorial,” a gripping piece about Memorial Medical Center, a hospital in New Orleans that was cut … Full Story

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Today Marks the 145th Anniversary of the Lincoln Assassination

On April 14, 1865, just days after the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a bloody act of rebellion that stirred the world and shaped a nation’s identity.  Harold Holzer, premier Lincoln scholar, together with co-editors Craig L. Symonds and Frank J. Williams, has added a book of essays examining the cultural, historical, and political impact of this event to his already extensive body of work on Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Assassination: Crime and Punishment, Myth and Memory , forthcoming in June, offers a close look at the assassination itself and the immediate aftermath, chronicling the pursuit and prosecution of the conspirators–a relentless period that isn’t often written about. All of the contributors are leading Lincoln scholars, and each essay offers a new perspective on an event that shook a still-fledgling nation.

Now in paperback,  Summers with Lincoln: Looking for the Man in the Monuments won the 2009 J. Owen Grundy History Award for its provoking look at what the 200 statues erected in Lincoln’s honor mean to us as Americans. James Percoco, a high school history teacher, embarked on a journey spanning four summers and an entire country, seeking to understand the significance behind Lincoln’s being the single most commemorated American in history. Along the way, he documents each monument’s history and impact in the community, discovering the human stories behind the immutable stone. Acclaimed author and Civil War historian James M. McPherson says of the book, “This splendid evocation of Lincoln’s image in sculpture combines poetic description, human-interest anecdotes, and incisive analysis. James Percoco shows how the different styles of public art shed light on the changing memories of our greatest president. Each chapter alone is worth the price of this book.” 

On April 14, 1865, just days after the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a bloody act of rebellion that stirred the world and shaped a nation’s identity.  Harold Holzer, premier Lincoln scholar, together with … Full Story

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