Pope Paul VI banned contraception for Catholics in the 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.”
AP Photo/Jim Pringle
July marks 50 years of Pope Paul VI's encyclical prohibiting contraceptive use. For many years prior to it, the church had not been so explicit on its stance. How did it become such a thorny issue?
What do we really know about homelessness in the U.S.?
Are most homeless mentally ill? Is it inevitable that a society will have homeless people? A researcher digs into the real data on homelessness.
In June, 2009, people were invited to bring their firearms without bullets during a service at the New Bethel Church Louisville, Ky.
AP Photo/Ed Reinke, Pool
There is a long line of well-armed American preachers -- both real and fictional -- in US history and culture, confirming perhaps the view that true justice cannot be enforced by institutions alone.
Guitarist David Hinds at Reggae on the Rocks in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP
Reggae is the musical expression of Rastafari, a belief system of migrants to Jamaica. A popular song, 'Rivers of Babylon,' offers a window into their spirituality and longing for their homeland.
A protest against the family separation policy in Los Angeles in mid June.
The US attorney general cited Paul's letter to the Romans to justify the Trump administration family separation policy. Here's why that's a misreading of the Bible.
Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth chats with Eric North, secretary of the American Bible Society, during a visit to the organization’s headquarters in New York City on Oct. 28, 1954.
AP Photo/John Lindsay
The American Bible Society, with an annual revenue of nearly $370 million, is one of the largest religious nonprofits, and a highly influential one.
The Mormon church is still grappling with a racial past.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
Forty years ago, the Mormon church reversed restrictions on its members of African-American descent. Today, the church wants to celebrate the value of its diversity.
Evangelical Christian educator, Paige Patterson.
AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser, File
With controversial Christian educators like Paige Patterson who believe that the Bible teaches women to submit to men, it matters to know today that evangelicals encouraged women's education in the past.
Throughout Australian history, the Bible has been used by those both asserting colonial power and subverting it, as a tool of oppression and as an instrument of justice.
A new book explores the complex and nuanced place the Bible has held in Australian culture since hundreds of copies arrived with the First Fleet in 1787.
Members of the senior class of Russell County HIgh School in Kentucky recite the Lord’s Prayer, in defiance of a court ruling, during commencement exercises in 2006.
AP Photo/James Crisp
As the Kentucky Senate considers a bill for school prayer, a scholar explains the violent history of prayer – and a time when Catholic students were sometimes whipped, beaten and worse for not participating.
Title page and dedication from a 1613 King James Bible, printed by Robert Barker.
Private Collection of S. Whitehead
Research on under-catalogued documents in Oxford sheds new light on one of history's most influential books.
Former FBI Director James Comey.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Here are three lessons that former FBI Director James Comey, took from the 20th-century American Christian philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr.
Songwriters such as Nick Cave (pictured) and the late Yolngu star Gurrumul have often drawn on the scriptures in their work.
In less than two generations, the proportion of Australians who never pick up a Bible has leapt to seven out of ten. But a robust biblical literacy can help us decode creative works and understand the past.
Jim Caviezel as Luke and James Faulkner as Paul in ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ.’
'Paul, Apostle of Christ' is an enjoyable movie but its sugary message is like a can of soda: easy to swallow but not good for you with ideals that have have been manipulated to project a golden era.
Christ as depicted in the film Jesus of Montreal.
Christ can't simply be seen as a religious figure when his life and teaching were so political.
Detail from Caravaggio’s Mary Magdelene, painted circa 1594-1596.
For centuries, Mary Magdalene was wrongly depicted as a repentant whore, diminishing her vital role as witness to the resurrection. A new film portraying her life does much to restore her character.
The remains of what has been identified as Isaiah’s seal.
Ouria Tadmor/ Eilat Mazar
The discovery of the signature of Christianity's favourite prophet has caused a stir, but what does it mean?
Puzzle: fragments of 2,000-year-old scrolls before reassembly.
Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority, The Leon Levy Library of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Painstaking reconstruction of fragments of text has revealed the working draft of an ancient Jewish calendar and priestly duty schedule.
via Wikimedia Commons
In three Gospels, Christ suffers in silence, while in the fourth he speaks out. Either way, the result is the same: crucifixtion and death.
Worshipers pray during an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, on March 6, 2019.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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.'