Many religions see natural disasters as divine punishment. But, a scholar argues, it's not that simple.
Students at Ponar Forest in Lithuania, where Nazis massacred many Jews.
Daniel B. Bitran
In recent years, the number of people traveling to sites of death, natural disaster, acts of violence, tragedy and crimes against humanity has dramatically increased. Is it immoral?
A sister tying the protective thread.
On the day of Rakshabandhan, sisters tie a protective thread around the right wrist of their brothers to affirm their bond. This bond is not limited by faith or blood relationships.
Pope Francis at the end of a canonization ceremony for Mother Teresa.
A scholar explains the long process to sainthood and what Pope Francis' recent order might change.
A worshipper receives Communion.
Amr Nabil/AP Photo
The Catholic Church prohibits the use of gluten-free bread for Communion. The reasons lie in the challenges faced by the Catholic Church in the past.
Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez and priests prostrate in front of the altar to seek pardon for sexual abuse in the Church at the cathedral in Granada, southern Spain, Nov. 23, 2014.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church requires nearly absolute obedience. This makes it difficult to speak up against superiors. And by the same token, superiors too can protect offending priests.
Cleanup at the GE Housatonic Superfund site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2007. Years of PCB and industrial chemical use at GE’s Pittsfield facility and improper disposal led to extensive contamination around the town and down the entire length of the Housatonic River.
President Trump's budget would cut funding for Superfund, which cleans up the nation's most toxic sites, by nearly one-third. An economist explains how Superfund cleanups benefit local communities.
Jehovah’s Witnesses pray during a regional congress of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minsk, Belarus in 2015.
There are over eight million Jehovah's Witnesses in 240 countries worldwide. They have no political affiliations and they renounce violence. However, they have been easy targets for many governments.
In the Western world, the U.S. is one of only one of two countries with capital punishment, and support remains strongest in the 'Bible Belt'. Here's a look at the historic arguments within Christian communities over the death penalty.
What is the true nature of temptation?
While temptation can be an invitation to sin, experiencing temptation can also make us consider more deeply: What is it that tempts us and why?
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on the screen of a television camera during his visit to the new studio complex Russia Today in June 2013.
A Russian media expert spent the weekend consuming Russian coverage of America's response to the chemical attacks in Syria.
Christianity has grown at a rapid rate in China.
Catholics & Cultures
Christianity has grown at a rapid rate in China. The Catholic church, however, is split into an official one and an 'underground' one. A scholar explains how better relations with Vatican could help.
A scholar explains how mercy could be a simple act of opening oneself to those with opposing views.
A scholar quotes Biblical passages to show how the text affirms – strongly and unequivocally – the obligation to treat strangers with dignity and hospitality.
Sister Frances Carr, left, and Brother Arnold Hadd of the Shaker Village sing during a rehearsal on Sept. 13, 1995.
AP Photo/Adam Nadel
The Shakers prioritized harmony and a simple lifestyle. They were among the earliest proponents of gender equality.
Pope Francis marks the end of the Jubilee of Mercy by closing the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Tiziana Fabi/pool photo via AP
The pope's action is significant: It encourages priests to be more sensitive to the context of the lives of their laity.
Martin Luther King Jr. statue.
To mark the start of Black History Month, a Classicist reflects on the inspiration King drew from ancient Greek culture.
Some anti-Blatter activists tied their loathing of him to accusations of “slave labor” in Qatar, the site of the 2022 World Cup.
Blatter's decision to step down shocked the world. We asked a few academics to weigh in on what it means.
Transgender is an umbrella term, encompassing a number of different identities and practices.
'Umbrella' via www.shutterstock.com
Transgender is a relatively new word. So when an academic seeks to create a transgender historical archive, complications abound.
How often do politicians lie?
People image via www.shutterstock.com
There may be only one way to tell the truth, but there are at least five ways to "lie." And our politicians seem to be the master of this art. A scholar decides to teach this to his students.