The positively Abrahamic game of Chess

[ by Charles Cameron — interfaith rivalry on the checkered board ] . Many of you will be familiar with the Christian and Muslim playing chess in this illustration from El Libro de los Juegos or Book of Games of Alfonso X of Castile: "Book of games" by Alfonso X "The Wise".King of Castile and […] Read more »

Which ground is holy?

[ by Charles Cameron — a question of what makes “holy ground” holy? ] . ** Upper panel, Ramadan Confrontations Test Restraint on Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade: For the first twenty days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, an unusual calm prevailed on Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and […] Read more »

Destructive Witnesses: JW, IS, Saudis, Brits, Byzantines

[ by Charles Cameron — religions taking other religions apart, stone by stone, image by image, song by song ] . Some recently converted Jehovah’s Witnesses appear to have destroyed the altars of indigenous Otomi people in Mexico, an anthopologist has stated: Assailants have damaged an ancient Otomi Indian religious site in Mexico, toppling stone […] Read more »

Sunday surprise: three entangled faiths

[ by Charles Cameron — two exhibits linking the Abrahamic faiths ] . For disciplinary as well as doctrinal purposes, the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity, Islam — are generally thought of separately — a separation which the two exhibitions this post revolves around are intended to bring into question. ** One: Of gods […] Read more »

Brutal violence vs deeply symbolic threat

[ by Charles Cameron — two manifestations of the extreme right in Israel ] . ** I don’t think too many people will argue that deliberately burning famiies in their homes is less than brutal. My question to ponder here is how brutal human-on-human violence of that kind is, compared with the symbolic impact of […] Read more »

Think and think again

[ by Charles Cameron — the world is not always built to our expectations, eh? ] . Here are a couple of “unexpected consequences” — unexpected in this case because the local context in which they arose isn’t the context that the wider-angle, borader-brush view to which we are habituated might suggest. The first shows […] Read more »

Reminders, and other signs

[ by Charles Cameron — the camps, theirs and ours, and nuking Mecca, with a pinch of Lynch ] . Here are the reminders.. ** These DoubleQuotes arose in the context of comments by Georgetown Syria specialist Marc Lynch, better known on the web as the blogger Abu Aardvark, on a recent On the Media […] Read more »

The “refugee” koan

[ by Charles Cameron — considering both sides, while tilting one way or the other ] . I call it a koan because you can flip it — there are two sides to it, and very possibly a serrated edge that it can balance on, foiling your best efforts to come up with a yes-no […] Read more »