The last sacred kings
The veneration which surrounds the world’s last sacred kings shows how secular most of political life has become
Ideas were not enough
Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy
The limits of tolerance
A religious worldview cannot expect the same kinds of tolerance as racial, gender, or sexual identities. Here’s why
What is a cult?
Cults are exploitative, weird groups with strange beliefs and practices, right? So what about regular religions then?
Monks with guns
Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam?
Christians were strangers
How an obscure oriental cult in a corner of Roman Palestine grew to become the dominant religion of the Western world
Religion without belief
Most Japanese reject religious belief while embracing multiple forms of ritual practice. Are they religious or secular?
Against Muslim unity
Even the pilgrimage to Mecca exposes the myth of a united Islam and the formative power of the wider world
Is God a silverback?
Protective, omnipotent, scary and very territorial. The monotheistic God is modelled on a harem-keeping alpha male
Six centuries of secularism
When the first ‘how-to’ books began to explain the way the world worked, they paved the way for science and secularism
Graffiti on the walls of Europe’s old churches reveals the real Middle Ages – a world far removed from knights and damsels
The founding moment of the United States brought a society newly freed from religion. What went wrong?
Spare the rod
Christian Domestic Discipline and the erotics of religious submission raise the possibility of a new concept of God
Islam’s forgotten bohemians
With its subversive poetry, rejection of politics, and ecstatic rituals, Sufi Islam continues to surprise and to thrive