Seduced by science and rationalism, yet tied to their families and communities, Hasidic atheists opt for a double life
Christians were strangers
How an obscure oriental cult in a corner of Roman Palestine grew to become the dominant religion of the Western world
Graffiti on the walls of Europe’s old churches reveals the real Middle Ages – a world far removed from knights and damsels
Monks with guns
Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam?
The limits of tolerance
A religious worldview cannot expect the same kinds of tolerance as racial, gender, or sexual identities. Here’s why
Is God a silverback?
Protective, omnipotent, scary and very territorial. The monotheistic God is modelled on a harem-keeping alpha male
The white man Jesus
There’s a reason why the Bible is silent about the colour of Jesus’ skin. So why has this become an issue for our age?
Religion without belief
Most Japanese reject religious belief while embracing multiple forms of ritual practice. Are they religious or secular?
Ideas were not enough
Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy
Godless yet good
There’s something in religious tradition that helps people be ethical. But it isn’t actually their belief in God
Is nothing sacred?
Every culture looks for creative inspiration to other cultures, but is there a point when this is just outright theft?
Curb your enthusiasm
High priests, holy writ and excommunications – how did Humanism end up acting like a religion?
Prayer occurs in many faiths. It stays recognisable despite its varied forms. It must be good for something – but what?
What is a cult?
Cults are exploitative, weird groups with strange beliefs and practices, right? So what about regular religions then?
The founding moment of the United States brought a society newly freed from religion. What went wrong?
Islam’s forgotten bohemians
With its subversive poetry, rejection of politics, and ecstatic rituals, Sufi Islam continues to surprise and to thrive
Rituals bind us, in modern societies and prehistoric tribes alike. But can our loyalties stretch to all of humankind?
Still seeking omega
The Vatican still refuses to endorse evolutionary theory – setting a billion believers at odds with modern science
Against Muslim unity
Even the pilgrimage to Mecca exposes the myth of a united Islam and the formative power of the wider world
I contradict myself
I am an atheist and a Quaker. Does it matter what I believe, when I recognise that religion is something I need?
The wanderer stilled
Leaving Europe as a young woman, Martine Batchelor was transformed by an encounter with Buddhist meditation
How to hobble religion
Contrary to popular belief, migration from Muslim countries is one reason why Europe is becoming more secular, not less
Free will and fate are both illusions. The trick is learning to sail with the prevailing winds of life
Spare the rod
Christian Domestic Discipline and the erotics of religious submission raise the possibility of a new concept of God