Illustration of Dante’s Paradiso.
Giovanni di Paolo
Different cultural groups respond with numerous, often conflicting, answers to questions about life after death. An expert explains the Christian idea of heaven.
Thai monks pray during a cleansing ceremony and memorial service for Saman Gunan, the Thai SEAL diver who died while trying to rescue the boys trapped in the cave.
AP Photo/Vincent Thian
In Theravada Buddhism, ordaining to be a monk and donating the merit thus gained is one of the greatest honors that a person can give to another - in this case to the Navy SEAL officer, who died.
Employees at a gas station in Los Angeles watch President Jimmy Carter giving his energy speech over national television on July 15, 1979.
At at time of rising hatred and nationalism, Jimmy Carter's speech -- a sermon that cautioned against excess, offers a counterexample.
A photo of Jahi McMath shown at her funeral service at Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland, Calif.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
California teenager Jahi McMath's family refused to accept the diagnosis of brain death. Her case opens up a number of questions – among them – what role did race play?
Three of the 12 rescued boys in their hospital beds.
Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau via AP
A scholar, who has conducted research on the Thai caves in which 12 children were recently trapped, explains their power and appeal, including the rituals and myth surrounding these sacred sites.
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?
ccac a o.
The 20th-century philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote how refugees, in the absence of legal rights, were forced to live in a state of 'absolute lawlessness.' Her words matter today.
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.
Pakistani Christians attend Easter service in Lahore in April 2018.
AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary
With Pope Francis recently elevating a Pakistani archbishop as cardinal, a scholar traces the history of persecution of the 2.5 million Christians of Pakistan.
Immigrant children play inside the Catholic Charities RGV in Texas.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
The US has a long history of separating families. Research shows the long-term effects of that trauma.
Hate crimes increased in many major cities in 2016 and 2017.
In 38 US cities, hate crimes rose 12 percent in 2017. There were 1,038 hate crimes in the nation’s 10 largest cities – the most in more than a decade.
People dressed as sperm cells at Papal Nuncio building in The Hague for the sixth birthday of the encyclical, ‘Humanae Vitae.’
On the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, an encyclical released by Pope Paul VI calling for prohibition on contraceptive use, a scholar describes the struggles of Catholic women, as well as their activism.
International Yoga Day in London 2017 in Trafalgar Square.
Anna Sunderland Engels.
Part of yoga's appeal is that it continues to be seen as a mystical, ancient tradition. The truth is, the practice of yoga has gone through some profound shifts.
Young people hold hands for a prayer during a gathering at sunset outside the Christian Fellowship Church in Benton, Kentucky.
AP Photo/David Goldman
Americans have debated what it means to be Christian in politics throughout their history. Those debates continue today.
Jeff Sessions is citing the Bible in defending the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
Sessions ignored the many gospel teaching about love, and used a passagethat has been used historically to justify all manner of immoral behavior, including imperialism, slavery, Nazism and apartheid.
The First Salmon ceremony being performed.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Indigenous people from around the world revere certain traditional foods as sacred. Activists, scholars and chefs are revitalizing these food systems.
Fans hold banners and cheer, as the U.S. team takes the field for a World Cup qualifying soccer match against Panama, Oct. 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla.
AP Photo/John Raoux
Sports fans are of two types: purists and partisans. The attitudes of both can affect the game. An expert explains which one you are and what that means.
A mourner reads a sympathy card left for Anthony Bourdain at a makeshift memorial in New York.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Most religions have a fundamental belief that all human life belongs to God.
A camp for displaced Rohingyas in the city of Sittwe in western Myanmar.
A scholar who visited Rohingya camps in Myanmar found little hope of a safe return home for refugees, who are currently living in camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand partially collapsed after a 2011 earthquake.
AP Photo/Mark Baker
Can artificial intelligence accurately simulate people's religious tendencies in the face of disaster and tragedy?
President Donald Trump sits down for an iftar dinner, in the State Dining Room of the White House.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
As President Trump resumes an annual tradition of celebrating Ramadan, it provides a moment to remember that Islam has long been practiced in America.
Students march on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara to honor the six victims of a mass killing after a young man went on a rampage after being bitter over sexual rejection.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File
Incels compare themselves to other men, before blaming women for withholding sex from, in their perception, deserving men.
Pastors kneel in prayer in front of the Supreme Court, as a counter-protester holds a sign that says “What’s Christian About Discrimination.”
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Arguments on religious freedom have taken place throughout US history and have landed in the Supreme Court as well. Interpretations have changed over time.
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.