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Religion
The first God

Out of the many gods of ancient Egypt an inspired Pharaoh created a monotheistic faith. What was Atenism and why did it fail?

James K Hoffmeier

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Anthropology
Did laughter make the mind?

A psychological relief valve and a guard against despotism, laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity

Chris Knight

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Poverty & Development
After the storm

Few things tell us more about the nature of state sovereignty, and the threats to it, than the politics of disaster relief

Saptarishi Bandopadhyay

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Rituals & Celebrations
Daily grace

Everyday rituals are ephemeral prayers, a hint to the gods for protection, encircling life like a fragrant garland

Jay Griffiths

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Law & Justice
Purity rules

It is difficult to catch and straightforward to treat. So why does society still shame and punish people infected with HIV?

Rose George

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Work
No boss? No thanks

Far from making them obsolete, the flatter business organisations of today need managers more than ever but in new ways

Nicolai Foss & Peter Klein

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Economics
Economics as a moral tale

The development sector set out to summon the magic of capitalism from the ashes of communism. How is it going?

John Rapley

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Gender & Sexuality
Seduction, Inc

The pickup industry mates market logic with the arts of seduction – turning human intimacy into hard labour

Rachel O’Neill

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Religion
Breath of life

Shinto is uniquely Japanese, yet embodies a once-universal animistic religion of wind and fire, gods and animal spirits

Brian Victoria

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Education
Gold among the dross

Academic research in the US is unplanned, exploitative and driven by a lust for glory. The result is the envy of the world

David Labaree

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History
Collective psychiatry

Chinese psychiatry remains committed to the political ideal of mental hygiene, long after its discrediting in the West

Emily Baum

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History
The maimed and the healing

The casualties of the First World War brought a new understanding of human fragility and wholeness

Stefanos Geroulanos & Todd Meyers

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History
Separatism is no solution

Partition in Iraq rests on Orientalist ideas – and overlooks what many Iraqis, minorities included, say they want

Alice Su