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Articles on Healing

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Canadian Howie Mandel is a veteran stand up comic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Comedy should punch up, not kick down

At its best, comedy can bridge, unite and heal, rather than divide, bully and perpetuate the very ills that it is uniquely equipped to help us solve.
Apparitions of the Virgin Mary have inspired pilgrimages – and souvenirs – in Lourdes, France, for more than a century. Culture Club/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

How Lourdes became a byword for hope

St. Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary in the 19th century inspired the pilgrimage site millions of Catholics flock to each year.
At the beginning of the 12-day celebration of life ceremony, Elder Wendy Phillips performs a smudge. (Josh Lyon)

Who decides what’s essential? The importance of Indigenous ceremony during COVID-19

Was participating in ceremony despite pandemic restrictions an act of Indigenous resistance and resurgence and did it reflect reassertion of nationhood and self-determination?
A makeshift memorial for the Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File

‘Truth and Healing Commission’ could help Native American communities traumatized by government-run boarding schools that tried to destroy Indian culture

For Indigenous Peoples Day, a scholar of Native American studies explains why understanding the tragic history of Indian boarding schools is important for healing to take place.
A man takes a picture of a statue representing the 5,300-year-old mummy named Ötzi, discovered in the Italian Alps 30 years ago. Andrea Solero/AFP via Getty Images

What Ötzi the prehistoric iceman can teach us about the use of tattoos in ceremonial healing or religious rites

When the 5,300-year-old mummy of Ötzi the Iceman was found 30 years ago, researchers found 61 tattoos on it. A scholar explains how tattoos have been a sacred part of many cultures across the world.
The Jewish High Holy Days commemorate concepts such as renewal, forgiveness, freedom and joy. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

What are the Jewish High Holy Days? A look at Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and a month of celebrating renewal and moral responsibility

As the Jewish community prepares to celebrate the High Holy Days, a scholar of the Bible explains their history and why they might offer consolation in times of uncertainty.
Residents and church members gather at the main gate of the Synagogue Church of All Nations headquarters in Lagos to mourn the death of pastor TB Joshua. Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

TB Joshua: the Pentecostalist, televangelist and philanthropist

Nigeria’s TB Joshua wasn’t just known for his evangelism and controversies. He was also a beloved philanthropist.
Dostoyevsky’s story ‘The Double’ explores the uncanny theme of a replica of oneself, but today’s literary foes are often amorphous ones like environmental degradation. (Shutterstock)

Fiction and memoirs were covering health way before the COVID-19 pandemic

Beyond the ‘literature of madness,’ the narratives about mental and physical health published today explore the interdependence of bodies and their environments.
Medieval Christians believed that heaven was a realm filled with dancing. Italian painter Fra Angelico’s ‘Last Judgment’ showing dancing angels. Fra Angelico's Last Judgment/Wikimedia

Why Christianity put away its dancing shoes – only to find them again centuries later

Despite opposition from the early church, dance was an integral part of Christian devotion for many centuries before falling out of favor.
The older you get, the more slowly you heal, and there are a number of reasons why. Westend61 via Getty Images

Why do older people heal more slowly?

Healing is a complicated process. As people age, higher rates of disease and the fact that old cells lose the ability to divide slow this process down.

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