Ethics + Religion – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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The Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. AP/Andrew Harnik

It’s getting harder to prosecute politicians for corruption

A legal scholar looks at the new and narrowed definition of bribery by the US Supreme Court. In the future, will politicians doing favors for donors and friends ever be prosecuted for corruption?
Worshippers at Ash Wednesday mass. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Why do Christians wear ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Churches started to use ashes early as the ninth century as a symbol of repentance. In 1091, Pope Urban II ritualized their use to mark the beginning of Lent. Today, churches provide 'ashes to go.'
Relics of St. Valentine of Terni at the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin. Dnalor 01 (Own work)

The ‘real’ St. Valentine was no patron of love

Valentine's Day originated as a feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr, or perhaps two. So how did the day become a celebration of love?
Mahesh Yogi (seated in front) who gained a following in the United States with musicians and artists. Ben Merk/ANEFO, Nationaal Archief, NL

How Americans came to embrace meditation, and with it, Hinduism

In the 1960s many Americans may have only known Hinduism through meditation, but the story of this country's relationship with Hinduism is much longer and more complex.
What does it mean when public figures say sorry? AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The art of the public apology

Public apologies are a type of performance before a larger audience, and they are to be understood in terms that are different from a private apology.
How many times do we wonder, ‘what’s the right thing to do’? Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA (Helping the homeless Uploaded by Gary Dee, via Wikimedia Commons

How should we decide what to do?

A scholar suggests a few approaches that have withstood the test of time.
Should we be more patient with those we view as distracted? Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock.com

Tolerating distraction

We disapprove of distraction and consider attention as being valuable. What if they were, in fact, morally charged words, referring to the same behavior? Here's what early Christian monks thought.
The tomb of Abelard and Héloise. Alexandre Lenoir, via Wikimedia Commons

What a medieval love saga says about modern-day sexual harassment

An affair between a philosophy professor and his teenage student became the subject of ballads in the streets of Paris in the 12th century. A scholar asks: Why wasn't it called sexual harassment?
Worshippers depart a church service at the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in Garden Grove. Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

How California’s megachurches changed Christian culture

California megachurches played a significant role in how millions of people - Christian or not - understand Christianity.