Polygamy is a major part of Mormon history, dating back to the 1800s when Mormon leaders first encouraged it. While it is now a taboo subject, it had an undeniable impact on Mormon life, as illustrated in this infographic.
By Grant Macaskill
In the Christian calendar, today is Ascension, the day that marks the translation of Jesus from earth to heaven. While Christmas and Easter are widely celebrated, not just by those actively involved with the church, Ascension will pass unnoticed for most.
By Peter Gardella
Unlike the 4th of July with its fireworks or Thanksgiving with its turkeys, Memorial Day has no special object. But the new 9/11 Museum near the World Trade Center in New York has thousands of objects. Some complain that its objects are for sale, in a gift shop and because of the admission fee.
By Jon Balserak
For some, it was no surprise to see a book claiming that John Calvin believed he was a prophet. This reaction arose from the fact that they had already thought he was crazy and this just served to further prove the point. One thing to say in favor of their reaction is that at least they are taking the claim seriously; they perceive correctly its gravity: Calvin believed that he spoke for God; that to disagree with him was to disagree with the Almighty ipso facto.
By Y. S. Chen
Aronofsky’s Noah Movie has aroused many criticisms for the ways it has rewritten the biblical story of the Flood. It is observed that not only has the movie added extra materials to, as well as removed original elements from, the biblical account, but more seriously it has also modified and darkened the character of Noah and even of God.
African religions cover a diverse landscape of ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and worldviews. Here, Jacob K. Olupona, author of African Religions: A Very Short Introduction shares an interesting list of 15 facts on African religions.
In his study, sociologist David Yamane found an interesting correlation between the type of catechetical sessions used in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process (which an adult who wants to enter the Catholic Church undergoes) and the socioeconomic standing (SES).
In their National Study of Youth and Religion, Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen studied a sample of young people for five years, starting when they were 13 to 17 years old and completing the study when they were 18 to 23, a stage called “emerging adulthood.”
By Jacalyn Duffin
On 27 April 2014, Pope Francis will canonize two of his predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II. As the rules require, devotees have long been preparing for their recognition as saints, gathering biographical materials and evidence of miracles. This act brings the number of canonizations in his papacy to ten.
By Kirsty Doole
Religion has provided the world with some of the most influential and important written works ever known. This reading list is made up of just a small selection of the texts we carry in the series, covering religions across the globe
By David Yamane
For many Catholics in America, waking up in the morning to find no news about the church is a relief. They won’t have to deal with stories about the lingering stench of the priest sexual abuse scandal, the consolidation of parishes and closing of schools, controversy over Catholic hospitals and the loss of Catholic youth, fewer and older nuns and more and younger “nones.”
By David Yamane
Contemporary ritual studies luminary Ronald Grimes highlights a unique and contradictory aspect of Western industrialized societies when it comes to initiation, one perhaps implied by Eliade.
By David Yamane
The American religious landscape is ever changing. The rise of religious nones, the spiritual not religious, thoughtful spirituality, the emerging church, online religion, megachurches, and on and on.
By Glenn Dynner
Today, observant Jews the world over are selling off their leavened foodstuffs (chametz) in preparation for the Passover holiday, which begins with a seder this evening and is followed by eight days of eating matzah, macaroons, and other unleavened products.
By John C. Pinheiro
Few Americans today would have difficulty imagining a United States where the citizens disagree over the wisdom of immigration, question the degree to which Mexicans can be fully American, and dispute about the value of religious pluralism. But what if the America in question was not that of 2014 but rather the 1830s and 1840s?
By Rebecca Gordon
The US military involvement in Iraq has more or less ended, and the war in Afghanistan is limping to a conclusion. Don’t the problems of torture really belong to the bad old days of an earlier administration? Why bring it up again? Why keep harping on something that is over and done with? Because it’s not over, and it’s not done with.