Ethics + Religion – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

Displaying 1 - 25 of 243 articles

Illustration of Dante’s Paradiso. Giovanni di Paolo

What is heaven?

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

The rescued Thai boys are considering becoming monks — here’s why

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. AP Photo/Mao

Revisiting Jimmy Carter’s truth-telling sermon to Americans

At at time of rising hatred and nationalism, Jimmy Carter's speech -- a sermon that cautioned against excess, offers a counterexample.
Three of the 12 rescued boys in their hospital beds. Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau via AP

Inside the sacred danger of Thailand’s caves

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

How the Catholic Church came to oppose birth control

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?
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

Why Americans have long been fascinated by gunfighting preachers

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’s sacred roots and call to protest injustice

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.
People dressed as sperm cells at Papal Nuncio building in The Hague for the sixth birthday of the encyclical, ‘Humanae Vitae.’ Nationaal Archief

How Catholic women fought against Vatican’s prohibition on contraceptives

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.
Young people hold hands for a prayer during a gathering at sunset outside the Christian Fellowship Church in Benton, Kentucky. AP Photo/David Goldman

What it means to be a Christian in America today

Americans have debated what it means to be Christian in politics throughout their history. Those debates continue today.
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

How the American Bible Society became evangelical

The American Bible Society, with an annual revenue of nearly $370 million, is one of the largest religious nonprofits, and a highly influential one.