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Articles on Religion and society

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Residents watch French air force jets fly over a Paris suburb during the Bastille Day military parade on July 14, 2023. AP Photo/Youcef Bounab

French schools’ ban on abayas and headscarves is supposedly about secularism − but it sends a powerful message about who ‘belongs’ in French culture

Catholicism, ‘Frenchness’ and secularism are often conflated in French culture, a scholar writes, while non-Christian traditions are viewed with suspicion.
Thousands of people attend a pro-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden in New York in May 1934, with counterprotestors outside. Anthony Potter Collection/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Nazi Germany had admirers among American religious leaders – and white supremacy fueled their support

Two social scientists analyzed periodicals from US religious leaders in 1935 to determine what factors influenced groups’ sympathy, ambivalence or outrage about Hitler and Nazi Germany.
‘Monkey: Journey To The West,’ a nine-act opera adaptation performed at the Chatelet Theater in France. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select via Getty Image

‘Journey to the West’: Why the classic Chinese novel’s mischievous monkey – and his very human quest – has inspired centuries of adaptations

There is a long tradition in China of associating monkeys with the mind – symbolism that has helped the novel’s most memorable character, the Monkey King, find universal resonance.
A group of men praying in front of the mosque in Tinmel village that has suffered serious damage in the recent earthquake. Matias Chiofalo/Getty Images

Tinmel – Morocco’s medieval shrine and mosque – is one of the historic casualties of the earthquake

Morocco is grappling not just with the loss of lives from the recent earthquake, but with the destruction of its cultural heritage – a 12th century mosque in the village of Tinmel is among them.
Members of the congregation sing during a Rosh Hashana service at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles in 2013. Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are times for soul-searching, but not on your own – community has always been at the heart of the Jewish High Holidays

Community is vital in Jewish ritual and tradition, and the High Holidays are no exception, a Judaic studies scholar writes.
A painting from the ancient Egyptian tomb of Niankhkhum and Khnumhotep, royal servants whom some scholars have interpreted to be lovers. kairoinfo4u/Flickr

Ancient texts depict all kinds of people, not just straight and cis ones – this college course looks at LGBTQ sexuality and gender in Egypt, Greece and Rome

Writing about same-sex relationships and gender beyond a strict male-female binary was more common in ancient Greece and Rome than students assume, a scholar writes.
The earthquake has damaged many homes in Ijjoukak village, near Marrakech, Morocco. AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

Marrakech artisans – who have helped rebuild the Moroccan city before – are among those hit hard in the earthquake’s devastation

A scholar who has been working in Marrakech writes about the artisan communities, which have maintained the city’s architectural rich heritage for generations and have been hit hard by the earthquake.
Chaplains talk with anyone, regardless of whether or not the patient has a religious affiliation – and some chaplains themselves are not religious. Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Religious leaders without religion: How humanist, atheist and spiritual-but-not-religious chaplains tend to patients’ needs

As more Americans step away from organized religion, so do more chaplains – but they are prepared to offer spiritual care regardless of a patient’s beliefs.
A child dressed up as Lord Krishna poses for a photo during the Krishna Janmashtami festival in Kolkata, India. Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Krishna Janmashtami: Celebrating the birthday of a beloved Hindu god, renowned for his compassion and his wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated as the birthday of the Hindu god Krishna. Many Hindus reenact episodes from mythology on Krishna’s life, known as ‘Krishna Lilas,’ and perform folk dances.

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