Which Right is Right? An Exploration of the Intersection between Religious Identity and the Human Right to Gender Equality in Two Different Teacher Education Contexts: South Africa and Norway
Janet Jarvis, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Ncamisile Mthiyane, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Eva Mila Lindhardt, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Olav Christian Ruus, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
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This article analyzes how religion shapes Argentine memory of the period of state terror (1976-1983). The analysis focuses on the commemorative practices at the Church of Santa Cruz, a target of the former regime's violence. The article describes the mechanisms through which the church undertakes its commemoration. These processes produce a "martyrological memory" that links the secular political past to core Christian narratives about "the giving of blood" for the sake of justice and "the kingdom of God." A vision of a reconciled Argentina that centers the oppressed and the martyrs thus emerges.
The church, as an institution, is a religious community informed by certain beliefs and values but for clergy it is also employer. Drawing from interviews with 79 pastors and spouses, this paper explores the competing dynamics between congregational employment practices and clergy ideologies and expectations. While pastors are forthright in describing ministry as a job, many hold the church to a higher standard compared to secular employers, drawing from a set of ideas and values I call an "ideology of community." I examine the consequences stemming from different congregational approaches, including churches mimicking secular institutions and churches operating as alternative institutions.
Past research indicates substantive gender differences in democratic norm commitment and political tolerance in the U.S. Analyzing gender differences in democratic values, we focus on religion and the separate traits of psychological security as potential explanations as both a mediating force and direct influence. In general, our results show a lack of gendered differences in the religion-psychological security connection to democratic values, and suggest that unless the psychological security traits are considered separately, we fail to capture the unique and disparate contributions of each. Ruling out gender in the religion-democratic values connection, is a unique contribution in this literature.
In this paper, we seek to draw lessons about the roles that religious institutions can play in promoting democracy in deeply divided societies by examining the experience of the Catholic Church in Latin America. We focus on the cases of Chile and El Salvador, two countries where the Catholic Church played a decisive role in advancing democracy after autocratic military rule. These two cases illustrate where theology and action productively promoted social change in highly conflictual societies. We note challenges to democracy in the region, but also new opportunities in the era of the first Latin American pope, Francis.
his article argues that the intersection between personal religious identity and human rights issues needs to be explored. There is a need to bridge the gap between policy (the constitutions of countries such as South Africa and Norway espouse gender equality) and practice. Using gender equality as an example of a human rights issue, an intervention strategy is employed using an empathetic-reflective-dialogical approach to engage with pre-service teachers in both South Africa and Norway. Selected pre-service teachers are encouraged to engage in self-dialogue and to write their self-narratives. Participating in Communities in Conversation, Communities in Dialogue, and Communities for Transformation provides the platform for empathetic-reflective-dialogical restorying to take place. This restorying has the potential to address possible dissonance between the individual’s personal and professional identities when dealing with human rights issues. Classroom practice could become classroom praxis! There is also the potential for transformative practice in the wider society.