This 15th-century medical manuscript shows different colors of urine alongside the ailments they signify.
Cambridge University Library
Your doctor’s MD emerged from the Dark Ages, where practicing rational “human medicine” was seen as an expression of faith and maintaining one’s health a religious duty.
A chaplain prays for a COVID-19 patient in Los Angeles while on a video call with the patient’s daughter in November 2020.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Chaplaincy emerged as a professional field in the mid-20th century. In the years since, their roles have evolved and they have also come to include many diverse religious traditions.
The headstone of Father Damien, a Catholic saint who was canonized in 2009.
Richard A. Cooke III/Corbis Historical via Getty Images
Father Damien’s legacy has inspired health providers and humanitarians for over a century.
Confession, circa 1460/1470. Artist unknown.
Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images
Churches’ struggles to respond to the plague and constant warfare in the 14th and 15th centuries helped shape the kinds of Christianity in the world today.
The relationship between public health and faith is far older than the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fred de Noyelle/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Responses to COVID-19 health guidelines have been polarized, including in churches. But religious communities have a long history of involvement in public health.
A group of protesters stands inside the Utah State Capitol in 2016, criticizing a proposal to make polygamy a felony again.
Fear of prosecution and a history of distrust toward the government have contributed to some fundamentalist groups’ views of medicine.
Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims at Lalibela, Ethiopia.
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
Ethiopia’s main religions need to take an emotional distance from politics and find a neutral space so they can get moral clarity.
Many people are using Bible verses to justify their stance against vaccines.
David McNew/AFP via Getty Images
A historian of the Bible in American life explains how Bible verses are being picked out of context to make a case for the anti-vaxxer movement.
A statue of Bishop Richard Allen outside the historic Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
A history of how African American congregations in Philadelphia weathered crises over 200 years.
Anti-mask protesters at a rally in Orem, Utah.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Are masks a religious matter, or is religion being used to suit people’s political agendas? A scholar of Christian conservatism and culture argues both can be true.
Even when singing does take place, voices are muffled.
Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A choral conductor and scholar of sacred music explains what’s missing from church worship with singing banned due to the pandemic – and why live choir rehearsals are still a ways off
A pastor leads a prayer at an outdoor Easter service.
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
If worshippers congregate outside amid coronavirus fears, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. Early settlers used outside worship to sanctify colonized land, and slaves relied on it to meet in secret.
Faithful in many religions, including Islam, may turn to healing amulets like necklaces and other small objects in difficult times.
Yawar Nazir/Getty Images
From magic bowls to holy shirts, Muslim cultures used various devices to protect the user from harm starting in the 11th century. Many of these objects were beautifully designed, too.
Some members of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community defied the government’s ban on gathering for Passover and other religious occasions, Brooklyn, April 16, 2020.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
Given that some people look to religious authorities not health officials in times of crisis, faith leaders can promote hand-washing and social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Haiti’s black saint known as Grann Sainte Anne Charitable in her European Catholic form and Ti Saint Anne, in Vodoo form.
A scholar went on a Voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti and learned how an oppressive slave past has shaped its religious present.
Muslim clerics and members of the Pakistani Christian minority light candles to commemorate the victims of this week’s bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
For centuries, Westerners viewed Islam as an inherently violent religion. But the struggle today, for all religions, including Christianity, is between liberals and conservatives, fundamentalists and moderates, reason and revelation.
One among many inevitable phenomena?
For a biologist like me, the interesting questions about religion have always been where did it come from and why did it evolve? I taught evolutionary biology in a Catholic University in the most Catholic…
His rights as much as hers.
Making a comparison between male and female genital cutting is usually dismissed or condemned. When, for example, the Council of Europe recently passed a motion declaring both female genital cutting (FGC…
Should we favour physical integrity over respect for cultural difference?
Image from shutterstock.com
The Council of Europe’s resolution earlier this month to prohibit the circumcision of infant boys for religious reasons has ignited another round to the “foreskin wars”. This time it’s about the rights…
Unemployment has higher psychic costs for workers who identify with the Protestant work ethic.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
Recently released labour force figures have shown a rise in unemployment figures to 5.8% and, with Treasury’s budget update slating a rise to 6.25% by the end of the financial year, the future doesn’t…