Religion without belief
Most Japanese reject religious belief while embracing multiple forms of ritual practice. Are they religious or secular?
Prayer occurs in many faiths. It stays recognisable despite its varied forms. It must be good for something – but what?
We have this powerful sense that death is a transition, not an end. Why can’t we imagine a world without us?
To heaven and back
Is the heaven tourism memoir spiritual kitsch for the superficial seeker, or an earnest attempt to wrestle with death?
Still seeking omega
The Vatican still refuses to endorse evolutionary theory – setting a billion believers at odds with modern science
Inside the mind of God
Punitive Big Brother; cosmic petty-thief-catcher; vigilant landlord. Why is God so interested in bad behaviour?
Can God lie?
Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?
Seduced by science and rationalism, yet tied to their families and communities, Hasidic atheists opt for a double life
The Communion wafer is food and symbol, relic and rite. In an age plagued by fears of disease, can it still help us connect?
Fra Angelico’s frescos inspired generations of devotion. Can religious art still work its magic on the godless?
Houses of the holy
Sacred structures needn’t be religious. Great buildings have a curious power to command reverence in any cultural setting
The god effect
Religion spawns both benevolent saints and murderous fanatics. Could dopamine levels in the brain drive that switch?
Russia’s sacred land
To understand Crimea, we need an evolutionary theory of national honour. It’s irrational and deadly – but it works
Christian meditation may sound like an uneasy hybrid, but that awkwardness is hiding something important
A drop in the sea
What are the odds that Jesus rose or Moses parted the waves? Even with the best witnesses, vanishingly small
How wonder works
One emotion inspired our greatest achievements in science, art and religion. We can manipulate it – but why do we have it?
How to hobble religion
Contrary to popular belief, migration from Muslim countries is one reason why Europe is becoming more secular, not less