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Calls for Islamic reform overlook the political motivations of extremism, and attack fundamental religious practices. Elias Pirasteh

An Islamic reformation is not the solution to stop extremism

Calls for a reformed, modern Islam will not combat the political and social motivations that underly radical and extremist ideologies.
Looking to the cosmos to find our place in the universe. Milky Way from

The problems with Big History and turning science into myth

Proponents of Big History say science provides a better sacred story for humanity than traditional faiths. Will this lead to an era of better stewardship of the environment?
Evidence to support the idea of a married Jesus is about as minimal as it ever has been. mnd.ctrl

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife can’t be taken as gospel

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife, once thought to be authentic, has been revealed as a fraud. How did critical scholarship uncover the truth, and how can it further biblical studies?
Very few of the millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq have made it to European countries in the hope of resettlement. Reuters

Who are we responsible for in the age of mass migration?

Solving the refugee crisis depends on the extent to which the people of the world – in the Gulf, Europe, Australia or anywhere else – are willing to live up to their moral responsibilities.
Narratives of grievance are foundational to Islamic radicalisation. It may have helped motivate 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar’s actions. AAP

How are Western youth conditioned to commit terrorist acts?

Each individual case of radicalisation has its own characteristics. But the research has highlighted some patterns that may help to explain the dark world that is drawing in some Australian youth.
Mysteries of the mind. Brain via

Oliver Sacks, the brain and God

Oliver Sacks, the celebrated neurologic storyteller who died at the end of August at age 82, once described himself as “strongly atheist by disposition.” Sacks could write sensitively about religion, including…
B.A. Santamaria (left) is the subject of a new biography by political commentator Gerard Henderson. Wikimedia Commons

Book review: Santamaria, A Most Unusual Man

Gerard Henderson has produced a rounded and at times fascinating portrait of B. A. Santamaria. His broad conclusion is that Santamaria was a compelling, skilled and persuasive man who was enormously devoted to his causes.

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