Tag Archives: religion

How better education has built a more secular Britain

How better education has built a more secular Britain

It’s official: the people of Great Britain have lost faith. New research from the British Social Attitudes survey reveals that 71% of young people are not religious. Overall, 53% of the population in England and Wales are non-religious. It is the first time that following a religion has been a minority position. Only 18% of […] … learn more→

The remote Irish monastery where medieval Christianity meets fictional Jedi spiritualism

The remote Irish monastery where medieval Christianity meets fictional Jedi spiritualism

Contains mild spoilers for those who haven’t seen The Force Awakens Star Wars is many things to many people: nostalgia-tinted staple of childhood memory, space opera extraordinaire, modern day merchandising behemoth. For every starry-eyed fan there is probably a giddy scholar feasting on the many historical ingredients that make up Star Wars’ intergalactic soup. At […] … learn more→

What did Jesus really look like?

What did Jesus really look like?

Currently making the news is a report on a reconstruction of what is being called Jesus’s face. The reconstruction, by British anatomical artist Richard Neave, is actually more than a decade old, but it recently has started doing the rounds again – fitting given the time of year. Rather than intending to show precisely what […] … learn more→

Easter scuppers the certainties of modern fundamentalists

Teaching any sort of academic program with religious content can be a tricky undertaking. Religious passions, whether pro or con, can be volatile; religion is a matter about which people can become upset. My doctoral studies were in the relatively safe arena of Greek philosophy – no-one really cares what you say about Socrates and […] … learn more→

That pesky Muslim problem, again

The disastrous interview of Reza Aslan, a religion scholar and author of a new biography of Jesus, by Fox News’s Lauren Green reminds me of a cartoon from The Far Side. Titled “What we say to dogs,” the image is of a man pointing his finger at a dog and saying, “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had […] … learn more→

Project to tackle teaching of Christianity in the classroom – Research

A YouGov poll commissioned by Oxford University\’s Department of Education has found widespread support in England for the teaching of Christianity as part of Religious Education. The survey was undertaken as the initial part of a national intervention project by Oxford researchers to support teachers tackling the subject of Christianity in schools. In the poll […] … learn more→

Assaulting tolerance on the edge of the Muslim world: The tragedy in Northern Mali

The nation of Mali, and much of Sahelian West Africa, has long standing moderate Muslim practices dating back to the 9th century. This broadminded intellectual, spiritual and cultural tradition is being undermined by a new wave of religious colonialism emanating from outside of the region, an especially violent and intolerant form of fundamentalist Islam. The […] … learn more→

Banned Books Awareness: “Waterland”

Last week I reported that the Plymouth-Canton Schools in Michigan resolved a challenge to the book Beloved; but the same parents that objected to that title also have their torches aimed at another novel- Waterland, by Graham Swift. Matt Dame, along with his wife, Barb, complained that “Beloved” was inappropriate because of passages that deal […] … learn more→

Religious fervour and fireworks in the Peruvian Andes

I’m on my way to Cocharcas, a town in the southern Peruvian Andes. As I bump along in a crowded minivan, I run through some questions in my head. They relate to my research into local cults and pilgrimage and they explain why I am here. The biggest question is: how can we explain the […] … learn more→