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Margareta, head of the women’s community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book. Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS theol. 2o 59, f. 73v.

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Pope Francis recently confirmed that clergy members abused nuns. Since the early days of monasticism, the presence of nuns led to restrictions that limited contact between men and women.
Library subjects and call numbers can be the subject of controversy. jakkaje808/shutterstock.com

The bias hiding in your library

The way books are sorted at the library can be highly political, touching upon issues of race and identity.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research? Okrasyuk/Shutterstock.com

A case against a moratorium on germline gene editing

Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
White supremacist groups like the National Socialist Movement, seen here at a rally in Arkansas on Nov. 10, 2018, have gained power in the U.S. since 2016. Reuters/Jim Urquhart

White nationalism, born in the USA, is now a global terror threat

The recent massacre at a New Zealand mosque is a traceable, direct outgrowth of an American white nationalist movement that insists immigrants and people of color are a threat to 'white civilization.'
The 2002 installation ‘Rape Garage’ displayed statistics about rape, along with first-person narratives about sexual trauma. Stefanie Bruser, Josh Edwards, Katie Grone and Lindsey Lee. Mixed media site installation at “At Home: A Kentucky Project with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman.” 2001-2002. Courtesy the Flower Archive, housed at the Pennsylvania State University Archives.

A half-century before the hashtag, artists were on the front lines of #MeToo

Many Renaissance-era masterworks depicted rape and sexual assault as erotic. Beginning in the 1970s, artists worked to redefine rape as a crime of aggression and act of female subjugation.
Muslims praying in a Chicago mosque following the shooting in New Zealand, on Friday, March 15. AP Photo/Noreen Nasir

What is the significance of Friday prayers in Islam?

Last Friday, Muslims were killed while praying at two mosques in New Zealand. For Muslims, Friday is the day of gathering, the most important prayer day of the week.
Mourners at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018 and the Linwood Mosque in 2019. AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Reuters/Edgar Su

The politics of fear: How it manipulates us to tribalism

Fear, a psychiatrist writes, has roots deep within the human psyche, and demagogues have long exploited the emotion. In today's world, it's important to know the dangers of that exploitation.
Santa Clara County produced more patents than any other U.S. county in recent history. MintImages/shutterstock.com

Why some counties are powerhouses for innovation

When it comes to innovation, Santa Clara County is way ahead of the rest of the US. Between 2000 and 2015, more than 140,000 patents were granted there – triple the number of the next-ranked county.
A steel wall along the U.S. border near Tecate, California, cuts across Mount Cuchame, a site sacred to the Kumeyaay people. Reuters/Adrees Latif

For Native Americans, US-Mexico border is an ‘imaginary line’

The U.S-Mexico border runs through Native American territories. A wall would further divide these communities, separating children from schools, farmers from water and families from each other.