The Ecstasy of St Theresa, by Gianlorenzo Bernini in Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.
Arguments over religion miss the point that we have religious urges, whether or not we think they are justified.
A detail from William Blake’s God answers Job (c. 1804). The Gods of Moses in the Old Testament, Jesus in the New Testament and Muhammad in the Quran have a similarly complex and ambivalent character.
The founder of Islam, Muhammad, saw himself as the last in a line of prophets that reached back through Jesus to Moses, Abraham and Noah. But while the three religions worship the same God, he divides as much as he unites.
Contraceptives lie at the heart of proper family planning but in Nigeria uptake has been slow.
Nigeria must reduce its population growth to increase the quality of life for people in the country. A better knowledge of contraceptives can help achieve this.
What do you believe in?
Four stories on belief: from the allure of cults and conspiracy theories, to the effect of trauma on faith, to the way dogma has influenced science – and if technology can actually shift our beliefs.
Coining a phrase. Muslim philosopher al-Fabri depicted on Kazakh currency.
Abu Nasr al-Farabi can teach us about the thinking behind radicalisation, and offers a warning to terrorists guilty of 'over-belief'.
EPA/Saudi Press Agency
Terrorism is a denial of the basic tenets of almost all religions.
A photograph from The Sabbat Cycle’s Austin stop, where a screening of ‘The Witch’ was held, followed by a satanic ritual.
The Satantic Temple
What, exactly, are the political goals of The Satanic Temple, which formed in 2013? A religion professor attended a recent satanic ritual to find out.
Nick Lehr/The Conversation
The prosperity gospel – a uniquely American strand of Christian theology – creates a dilemma for its adherents.
The Statue of Liberty stands as a beacon of the civil religion that is the contemporary faith in human rights.
The tradition of republicanism offered us civil religion, a foundation of belief that could counter any politics or policy that demands sacrifice in this world to be compensated in some “beyond”.
A Christmas service in Manhattan.
Mike Segar /REUTERS
How should we celebrate Christmas during a time when religious extremism inspires terrorist attacks and young people are abandoning the church?
An exorcism being performed in Fafe, Portugal.
Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters
The belief in demonic possession – often thought to be a relic of The Dark Ages and the Salem Witch Trials – remains surprisingly mainstream.
A replica of the Temple of Solomon, built by the Brazilian evangelical “Universal Church of the Kingdom of God” in Sao Paulo.
Members of a church expect to find mutual support from one another - emotionally and spiritually. This is not the case at the South African branch of The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
A protester outside the US Supreme Court of Appeal objects to gay marriage. An incident at a Cape Town university has raised issues of religious freedom.
The furore around freedom of sexual orientation vs religious freedom at a South African university should lead to deeper thinking about Christianity's historical role in promoting liberalism.
Teaching Plato in Palestine?
Does God exist? Is piety worth it? Can violence be justified? Philosophy can offer a way to engage with these questions on which there are often widely differing beliefs.
Recognizing death’s inevitability, people find comfort in their beliefs.
Why are atheists deemed as untrustworthy as rapists?
The sacrament of marriage that takes place in the eyes of God is a separate process from the state’s legal recognition of the coupling.
The sacrament of marriage does not depend on the law, which exists only to regulate the rights and responsibilities arising from the practice. For religious believers, same-sex marriage won't change their union.
Religion can be a force for peace, the goal of these Australian religious leaders, or conflict – the believer and not the religion itself bears the responsibility.
There are religious and non-religious extremists and we should not confuse violent believers with religion itself, which has a long history of peacemaking.
Does mankind’s religious instinct date back to prehistoric times?
Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the…