The earthquake last night interrupted the grading (and blogging) a bit, but here’s where we are this morning. I have one more page of Multiple Choice to grade, including the extra credit, then it’s off to the essays!
The fourth page question which surprised me the most (aside from the one I gave up on) was:
- Under Islamic rule, some other religions were
- dharma, considered lower forms of rebirth
- dhimmi, acceptable religions with scriptures
- dhows, forced to move to new lands
- diwali, used as slaves
- all of the above
I know foreign language terms can be daunting, but over half missed this, chosing mostly (a), followed by (e) and (d). (d) might almost be reasonable, if the term ‘diwali’ didn’t refer to a Hindu festival of light (and if (b) weren’t an option!).
I was also a bit surprised by how many people (almost 1/3rd) selected the name of a Christian kingdom in Africa as the rulers of the first Islamic empire.
As you can see from the course schedule page, I have adjusted next week to allow students to participate in the Homecoming Convocation, Wednesday noon. To keep things even, I am also cancelling the 2pm section, and encouraging those students to attend the Convocation, if their noon classes allow.
I have had to shift the schedule a bit to accomodate: most importantly, rather than do a lecture on the Roman Religion questions, I’m going to rely more heavily on the Frontline From Jesus To Christ series that I had assigned. You will now be required to not only watch it, but to write a short (1 page) summary and reaction paper for each of the 3 assigned hours (parts 1, 2 and 3), due by email no later than Friday the 14th.
At the Crimson and Gold Ballroom in the Student Center this week:
From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. In Tibetan this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “mandala of colored powders.” Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks.
Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.
On previous US tours the lamas have displayed this sacred arts in museums across the country, including the Arthur Sackler Gallery, Washington; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem; the Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, and The Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
The mandala viewing is free and open to the public.
The Mystical Arts of Tibet is part of the PSU Performing Arts & Lecture Series. For more information visit www.mysticalartsoftibet.org or contact the PSU Campus Activities Center at 620-235-4795 or campusactivities.edu.
There will be an opening invocation at Noon on Monday, followed by a four day creation process. It will be open to viewing Monday 12-6, Tue and Wed 10-7, Thur 10-3, with a closing ceremony Thursday at 4 and a lecture on the symbolism Thursday at 7pm (Governor’s Room).
This year Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer which marks the revelation to Mohammed, covers September, a rare conjunction of the lunar and solar calendars. There’s a lovely photographic chronicle of practices here