January/February 2011 cover

The soul of activism

What motivates us to fight for positive change? What role does our interconnectedness with other people and our environment play in the struggle for social and environmental justice? Where do religion and action meet? This issue explores the intersection between spirituality and activism, connecting the dots between our goals for positive change in the world and our inner (emotional and spiritual) revolutions.

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    Spirituality and activism are not strangers. The intimate relationship between the two is evident in the work of icons like Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X and Desmond Tutu, for whom activism was part and parcel of their commitments to something or someone beyond the sensory world.

  • Magazine

    Faithful ally

    I remember the exact moment my Sundays changed forever. I was 14. Sunday mornings in our house had always been filled with a routine chaos. Mom and Dad woke up first, showered and dressed, then called my two younger sisters and me in sequence.

  • Magazine

    Solidarity in Islamophobic times

    With Islam having moved to the centre of North American political discourse since 9/11, Muslim practices, cultural formations, sectarian divides, religious laws and political histories are being publicly scrutinized as never before. Grandiose proclamations of a “clash of civilizations” are now commonplace, as are routine examples of racial profiling, hate crimes, polls documenting shockingly discriminatory public opinions, and inflammatory rhetoric from public figures across the political spectrum.

  • Magazine

    No priests, no temples

    Many activists practice yoga, but few would describe their yoga practice as a form of activism or treat their activism as an expression of their yoga practice. Michael Stone is working to change that.

  • Magazine

    Pedagogy of the omitted

    “Our action is our spirituality. It’s my faith that makes me fight.” When Rubens Pita said this, nearly everyone in the room spoke up to offer their own reflections. Rubens is an educator and coordinator at the Escola Fé e Política: Pe. Humberto Plummen (School of Faith and Politics) in Recife, Brazil.

  • Magazine

    Blood, sweat and prayers

    Tibetan Buddhism’s heavy emphasis on virtues of non-violence and compassion for all living beings raises the complex question of if or when to use violence against a violent occupier.

  • Magazine

    Love in a time of climate crisis

    It’s the year 2011. Icebergs are melting, forest fires are raging out of control, sea levels are rising, drinking water is becoming scarcer, droughts, famine, conflict and other climate-related pressures are growing exponentially. How can this crisis — the greatest challenge humanity has yet faced — be transformed into the greatest love story on earth?

  • Magazine

    Twenty years since the blockades

    Leanne Simpson and Kiera Ladner’s new edited collection, This is an Honour Song, seeks to recognize the significance of the events at Kanehsatake for Indigenous peoples, as well as for Canada. The collection does not focus on rehashing the details of events at the pines (a number of good books already exist in this regard), but explores the broader resonance and echoes of the Kanien’kehaka resistance.

  • Magazine

    Interconnectedness in action

    While specific spiritual beliefs are as varied as the distinct First Nations communities on this land, Indigenous world views generally operate from a framework of interconnectedness whereby relationship is the lens through which we understand and sense the world. It informs the ultimate vision of sovereignty and decolonization, and impacts the goals, strategies and tactics of our activism.