Vanessa R. Sasson and Kristin Scheible explain how the Buddha’s life story is not an individual narrative, but a cosmic one, brimming with previous and future buddhas.
Damien B. Schlarb discusses how “Melville’s wisdom,” the version of moral philosophy Herman Melville crafts in his fiction through his engagement with biblical wisdom literature, may help us confront our own moment of informational inundation and uncertainty.
From deadness to life: how today’s conservative Protestants recovered and adapted the Protestant ethic
Andrew Lynn explains how the Protestant faith and work movement is reformulating and creatively adapting earlier theological frameworks in order to make them fit with both contemporary work life and with contemporary ideals about work.
One of the many tragedies of the religious currents swirling around the capitol insurrection and the amplification of white Christian nationalist discourse in American politics and public life is the cementing of evangelicalism with whiteness and Trumpism in the minds of many Americans.
Paul William Harris explores how different the experience of Black Methodists was in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and what the trade-offs were in seeking the support of white allies.
Jennifer McKinney shows how the complementarianism in churches such as Mars Hill Church, Grace Community Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention leads to abuse.
Bibles have had a long history at our Press; in fact, Oxford’s Bible business made OUP a cornerstone of the British book trade, and, ultimately, the world’s largest university press. When you’ve been in the Bibles business for this long, you’re bound to have some interesting anecdotes. Read on for some fun facts in the history of Bibles at OUP.
Can local memory of an association between a place and the people who lived there be preserved for more than three centuries? Ken Dark looks at this question in reference to the “House of Jesus”, and whether it is plausible that the historical associations of a place—even a place in Nazareth—can be remembered 200 years on, let alone three centuries.
Chaplains tend to fly below the radar with little attention outside of emergency situations. Their work has long been an important part of the care religious leaders provide across the country.
European state-formation would have looked very different if rulers did not constantly have to negotiate with a strong clergy, independent townsmen, and the nobility over, inter alia, the wherewithal for warfare, succession and public peace. But the medieval Church shaped European societies in other ways than this. It was the one institution of late antiquity that survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, and it carried the torch of the Roman world after the Empire collapsed.
Reactions to excommunication in thirteenth-century England varied considerably, but its consequences for society as well as individuals were significant. The fact that sentences needed to be publicised so that communities knew who to avoid made excommunication a valuable tool of mass communication. However, when the sanction was used unfairly or vengefully, this publicity shone a light on such abuses, with potentially damaging consequences for the church.
For good reasons, tantra often stands at the center of debates about cultural appropriation and the commodification of religious practices. Through nineteenth-century orientalist studies and missionary polemics, it became associated with sexual licentiousness and abhorrent rituals before it was refashioned as a way to sexual liberation and individual freedom.
Rumi, the thirteenth-century Muslim poet, has become a household name in the last few decades, even becoming the best-selling poet in North America thanks to translations of his work into English. Verses of his poetry are used to begin yoga sessions, religious ceremonies, and weddings, and are ubiquitous throughout social media, in addition to actual […]
What does atheism mean to you? Is logic ancient history? How is Calvinism changing the world? Put your thinking cap on, earbuds in, and get listening to our curated collection of Very Short Introduction podcast episodes for thinkers.
The experience of churchgoing at St Anne’s was undoubtedly shaped by the unconventional situation and layout of the place of worship, but in ways that are now hard to recover. Religious experience, like any other, is embodied experience that unfolds in particular spaces and physical conditions. St Anne’s parishioners may have considered the unorthodox nature of their worship space an unhappy accident of history, or they may just as readily have imbued it with special symbolic significance, making it an important focus of their collective identity.
At this fearful time in American democracy, the best way to starve anti-democratic forces of their energy is to change the subject away from conservative religion and demand investment in civic education, democratic localism, and human rights.