What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own.
Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.
The earliest sources, including Paul’s letters, show very little interest in the mythological details of heavenly existence.
Wikimedia Commons/ Probably Valentin de Boulogne: Saint Paul Writing His Epistles.
Interpretations of Paul the apostle's texts provided the basic fund of imagery that continues to inform popular opinion about what Christians mean when they talk about "heaven", or "hell".
Which religion fits you?
Religion thumbprints via SunnySideUp/www.shutterstock.com
Choosing your religion – it's not as simple as picking a career path.
Ultimately, whether or not you consider Australia to be secular depends on the definition of secularism used.
Australia has a form of secularism where religion is allowed in the public sphere. As long as religion remains one voice and one option among many, the nation will still be secular.
Religion can be a force for peace, the goal of these Australian religious leaders, or conflict – the believer and not the religion itself bears the responsibility.
There are religious and non-religious extremists and we should not confuse violent believers with religion itself, which has a long history of peacemaking.
The Dalai Lama has been coy about his successor.
An elaborate and lengthy selection process is in danger of being co-opted by the Chinese government.
People continue to marry less – and later – in life.
'Rings' via www.shutterstock.com
The Southern Baptist church is making a strong push to buck a societal trend. Should others follow suit?
Niall Carson/PA Wire
The workplace is a key site for religion's expression and constraint – and the law is playing catch up to public sentiment on its rightful role.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable. It shows an ignorance of history. Worse, it shows a failure to understand the way religious traditions work.
Gay couple Andrew Wale (on right) and Neil Allard hold hold each other as they are interviewed by the media after marrying in the first same-sex wedding at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, southern England March 29, 2014.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) vote to allow gay marriage will have multiple consequences now and in decades to come.
A Rabbi contemplates the desecration of hundreds of Jewish graves in France, where one of the youths arrested denied anti-Semitism was their motive.
Legal artifice is being constructed to make false distinctions between unpalatable anti-Semitism and kosher anti-Zionism.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has been charged with concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s.
Philip Wilson, the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior clergyman in the world to face a charge of concealing sexual abuse in the church.
Massachusetts couple Marcia Hams and her partner Susan Shepard had a cake to celebrate their historic first same-sex wedding in 2004, but some bakers feel unable to oblige on religious grounds.
EPA C.J. Gunther
When a baker refuses, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the right to freedom of religion comes into conflict with the right to freedom from discrimination.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party. It is not active in any Islamic schools, mosques or institutes. It does not have any real influence on Australia's Islamic community.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done.
By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
Storytellers can’t agree whether 16th-century consort Gracia Hosokawa was a victim or a hero.
The story of 16th century Japanese woman Gracia Hosokawa has been told many times but storytellers can't agree on whether she was a victim or a hero.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government would act against “hate preachers”.
Tony Abbott has urged Muslim leaders to speak out more – and sincerely – in the fight against terrorism, as he unveiled tough…
Islamic scholarship gave rise to some of the world’s earliest educational institutions such as the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.
Wikimedia Commons/CPT photo
There is nothing in Islam that makes it dangerous or threatening to a modern Western way of life. However, those looking to incite violence and hatred are always capable of finding textual references in…
With so much uncertainty in halal labelling it can be hard for Muslim consumers to know they’re getting what they’ve asked for.
Halal food certification in Australia has become a contentious issue. Recently, a Western Australian cafe received hateful and anti-Islamic messages after its owners tried to explain halal on Facebook…
There is division over whether immolation is permissible under Islamic law.
The killing of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Islamic State has been explained as an act of retaliation for the air campaign against it. But there have been many questions about whether immolation…