Philosophy of religion


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Aldous Huxley in 1958. Photo by Philippe Halsman/Magnum

Essay/
Philosophy of religion
Perennial philosophy

Aldous Huxley argued that all religions in the world were underpinned by universal beliefs and experiences. Was he right?

Jules Evans

Astronomy and geometry from Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre (c1420), Royal 20 B XX f3. Courtesy the British Library

Essay/
Religion
Science + religion

The science-versus-religion opposition is a barrier to thought. Each one is a gift, rather than a threat, to the other

Tom McLeish

Thomas Jefferson’s copy of George Sale’s 1734 translation of the Quran is used in the swearing in ceremony of US Representative Keith Ellison at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, on 4 January 2007. Photo by Getty

Idea/
Thinkers and theories
Muhammad: an anticlerical hero of the European Enlightenment

John Tolan

The Golden Rock at Shwe Pyi Daw, Kyaiktiyo, Burma (now Myanmar), in 1978. According to legend, the rock is balanced on a strand of Buddha’s hair. Photo by Hiroji Kubota/Magnum

Essay/
Philosophy of mind
Buddhism and self-deception

How can I logically manage to deceive myself? Buddhist thought offers a way out of the philosophical paradox

Katie Javanaud

Words of God. Father Lequeux, priest of Buc, Île-de-France, and his puzzled congregation photographed in 1958. Photo by Edouard Boubat/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Essay/
History of ideas
Wittgenstein and religion

In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?

Stephen Law

Classic /Philosophy of religion
CLASSIC

A funhouse mirror for the soul

Zhuang Zi

Zhuang Zi , c300 BCE

With a new introduction and commentary by Alan Jay Levinovitz

Evangelist Billy Graham in Jerusalem visiting holy places in the city in 1969. Photo by PW/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Essay/
Religion
Christian Zionism

It’s one of the most successful, and in some ways unlikely, interfaith movements in the modern world

Dan Hummel

A shaman-healer prepares for an Ayahuasca ceremony in La Calera, Cundinamarca. Photo by Eitan Abramovic/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
Caves all the way down

Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion?

Jules Evans

Photo by Dennis Stock/Magnum
Essay/
Philosophy of religion
What is nirvana?

Liberating oneself from rebirths might seem irrelevant to the non-believer. But nirvana is also a profound psychological goal

Robert Wright

Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on 20 October 2016. Photo by Yara Nardi/Italian Red Cross/Reuters

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
I and Thou

When we encounter another individual truly as a person, not as an object for use, we become fully human: Martin Buber

M M Owen

Nursery school children pass in front of Italian citizen Alberto ‘Daijo’ Pitozzi, 42, currently under training as a novice zen monk at Soji-ji temple, Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Jeremie Souteyrat
Essay/
Religion
Religion without belief

Most Japanese reject religious belief while embracing multiple forms of ritual practice. Are they religious or secular?

Christopher Kavanagh

Sister Catherine Thomas of the Dominican Sisters of Mary prays in the convents chapel. USA. Ann Arbor, MI. 2011. Photo by Peter van Agtmael/Magnum
Essay/
Philosophy of religion
Why pray?

Prayer occurs in many faiths. It stays recognisable despite its varied forms. It must be good for something – but what?

Benjamin Dueholm