Polygamy advocate Brady Williams talks with his five wives during an interview at their home in a polygamous community outside Salt Lake City. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Explaining polygamy and its history in the Mormon Church

Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, taught that a righteous man could help numerous women and children go to heaven by being 'sealed' in plural marriage. Norms have been revised, but tensions remain.
What’s the role of faith in service? European Commission DG ECHO

How religion motivates people to give and serve

Religious values, deeply rooted in texts, serve as an important motivator for giving. Religious Americans volunteer more, give more, and give more often.
Muslims start the hajj by circling the Kaaba, the black, cube-shaped house of God. UmmSqueaky

Explaining the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj

Each year, Muslims from all over the world go on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, known as hajj. A scholar explains its spiritual significance.
The Roman army at the Battle of Cannae. The painting depicts the death of Roman consul Paulus Aemilius. John Trumbull (The Athenaeum / Yale University Art Gallery), via Wikimedia Commons

A trans soldier in the ancient Roman army?

An ancient Roman fable imagines a cinaedus, well-known for his brazen effeminacy, fighting heroically. The story raises concerns over gender identity in the military -- much like those seen today.
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. Pepe Marin/Reuters

How the Catholic Church’s hierarchy makes it difficult to punish sexual abusers

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.
Oak Grove Acapella Singers, a Gospel group of Chester County, Tennessee, being recorded while singing in the office of the preacher at the Oak Grove Church of Christ. Tennessee State Library and Archives

When gospel sermons came on the phonograph

As the African-American Music Appreciation Month comes to a close, a scholar discusses the role of early preachers in shaping gospel music.
A mosque in Herat, Afghanistan was attacked on Aug. 1, 2017. Mohammad Shoib/Reuters

What is the Shia-Sunni divide?

There have been several attacks on Shia mosques in several parts of the world. At its heart is the centuries'-old sectarian Shia-Sunni divide.
What is different about hookup culture on Catholic campuses? Boy girl image via www.shutterstock.com

Does hookup culture differ on Catholic campuses?

As Catholicism teaches abstinence before marriage, there is a common perception that Catholic schools would be places without hookup culture. Does faith make a difference?

More Analysis and Comment

Just a thought

The rock-fueled enthusiasm of the Jesus People for upbeat music created a “Contemporary Christian Music” industry and triggered controversial change in many churches’ worship styles and music. Larry Eskridge

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