Ritual feasting emerged around the time humans were beginning to farm. It came to play an important role in societal bonding, much as it does today.
Director Bernardo Bertolucci, left, discusses a scene from “Last Tango in Paris” with leading actor Marlon Brando and actress Maria Schneider.
The important lessons from one of the most notorious cases of sexual manipulation took place not off-screen but right in front of the camera.
Hanging church courtyard tile mural showing holy family traveling.
Daniel Mayer (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Family is not a clearly defined structure in the story: It isn’t biological or reflective of some 'norm.' It is instead a choice to stick together, come what may.
Who is a terrorist?
A scholar asks: If two acts of violence kill similar numbers of people, have similar effects on victims and communities, and spread fear and terror, should they not be seen as equally abhorrent?
President Barack Obama, right, meeting with leaders of large Jewish organizations in 2011.
Theology and history help explain why US Jews give more to charity than people who observe other religions or are not religious at all.
Clearly, the kids have been good.
Santa reportedly rewards children who behave with more presents than their naughty peers. The data suggest the real world isn't as clear-cut.
Biblical principles have provided an understanding on how to help the needy.
New economic realities have raised new challenges in applying Biblical principles to economic life. But they could still provide guidance on how to help those in need and how to levy taxes.
Why Jerusalem matters to evangelicals.
Many American evangelicals believe that the establishment and protection of Israel set up a chain of event for the return of Jesus. What were the origins of this narrative?
Hanukkah was instituted in 164 BC to celebrate military victory, but the meaning has changed over time with the circumstances of the Jewish people.
Immaculate Heart College Art Department c. 1955.
Photograph by Fred Swartz. Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.
In the '60s, a Roman Catholic religious order, the Immaculate Heart Sisters, created a new vision of a religious community. Meghan Markle, engaged to Prince Harry, attended the high school founded by the nuns.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
When people feel discriminated against because of their religion, they can feel threatened, triggering feelings of social isolation that can perhaps increase prejudice toward others.
The combination of a divisive political climate and widespread use of social media networks to share controversial material has many people asking this question. Here's what Aristotle would say.
Entrance to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, burial place of the founder of the Bahá’í faith, near Acre, Israel.
Bahá’í World News Service © Bahá'í International Community
The Baha'i faith originated in Iran and today has 100,000 communities across the globe, including the United States. Here is their history.
Chancelor Bennett, better known as Chance The Rapper, is donating millions of dollars through his SocialWorks charity to shore up Chicago’s public schools.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Before you reach for that checkbook or give to a charity online, pause to think about what makes a cause good in the first place.
The wedding cake on display at Masterpiece Cakeshop.
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
The Supreme Court appeared divided over claims of religious freedom in the case of a gay wedding. History shows how contentious religious freedom has been in America.
Salvation Army USA West
As Americans make decisions about year-end giving, how much of it will be influenced by their faith?
Walter Dendy Sadler via Wikimedia Commons
For those wondering whether it is sinful to drink, even moderately, a scholar goes into the history of alcohol and its distillation to show how early monks and priests contributed to it.
The holy family.
The Alabama state auditor defended Roy Moore, citing Mary and Joseph. A scholar goes back to early Christian texts texts to explain lesser-known beliefs about the relationship.
The newly completed execution chamber at Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada.
Nevada Department of Corrections via AP
Nevada plans to use a new drug protocol for executing Scott Dozier, who murdered a 22-year-old. A scholar explains why this is problematic.
In the early 1900s, a group of Protestants in the US attempted a reunion of Christianity. They failed, of course, but they prompted a new dialogue.
Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads used in 2016 election released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee.
AP Photo/Jon Elswick
A scholar asks whether democracy itself is at risk in a world where social media is creating deeply polarized groups of individuals who tend to believe everything they hear.
Brazil’s jailhouse preachers may not explicitly condone violence against people of other faiths, but they’ve remained largely silent as their well-armed followers wage a holy war.
As hard-line Pentecostalism spreads across Brazil, some drug traffickers in gang-controlled areas of Rio de Janeiro are using religion as an excuse to attack nonbelievers.
Day of the dead at a Mexican cemetery.
© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
Many in the Western world lack the explicit mourning rituals that help people deal with loss. On Day of the Dead, two scholars describe ancient mourning practices.
Confucius sculpture, Nanjing, China.
Kevinsmithnyc, via Wikimedia Commons
The pain of grief is part of human existence. Daoist and Confucian philosophy can help find meaning in grief.
Detail of figures from the Dance Macabre, Meslay-le-Grenet, from late 15th-century France.
For medieval cultures, the dying process and death itself was a 'transition,' not a rupture.