Religion

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AAP/Fabrizio Belluschi

Is the Pope Catholic?

Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I’ve always found it a bit difficult to take men who go to work wearing silk dresses, lots of jewellery, and improbably large hats terribly seriously. Plenty of people…
Australia’s reaction to revelations that its citizens were fighting for IS follows a pattern of intellectual and state fear-mongering. AAP/Lukas Coch

Radical Islam and the West: the moral panic behind the threat

If governments are to maintain public support for their military ventures, war narratives must be kept simple and consistent. The underlying message must not change: the West is always the innocent victim of terrorism, never its perpetrator.
Showing his stripes: visiting a favela in Brazil in 2013. Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil

With encyclical, Pope Francis elevates environmental justice

The pope's encyclical turns climate change into a moral discussion by focusing on the disproportionate impact of climate change on poor countries and regions.
Australians are surprisingly bad at thinking about the place of religion in society. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Religious freedom should not necessitate sexual discrimination

Australia has an apparent conflict between religious freedom and sexual anti-discrimination legislation. It is particularly prominent in three areas: marriage, education, and social service provision.
What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own. Facebook

IS radicalises Western youth via the internet? It’s not that simple

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.

Paul’s Apocalypse gave us heaven and hell several times over

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".
Ultimately, whether or not you consider Australia to be secular depends on the definition of secularism used. shutterstock

Is Australia a secular country? It depends what you mean

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.
The Dalai Lama has been coy about his successor. Sergio Carvalho/Flickr

Could this Dalai Lama be the last?

An elaborate and lengthy selection process is in danger of being co-opted by the Chinese government.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable. Hartwig HKD

Easter scuppers the certainties of modern fundamentalists

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.

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