Religion

Beyond Buddhist Exceptionalism

Evan Thompson— Confusion reigns in the debates about science and religion. Nowhere is this more evident than in the special treatment Buddhism receives. People say Buddhism is the most science-friendly of religions. According to a widespread view, Buddhism at its core isn’t so much a religion as it is a

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What Can We Know about Early Christ Groups?

John Kloppenborg— A common misconception about early Christ groups is that we know quite a lot about them—their approximate size (50–100), their meeting places (private houses), and the ways they functioned financially. (I use “Christ groups” rather than “Christian groups” for a simple reason: The use of “Christian” of persons

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Variations in Abrahamic Covenant Commentary

By Scott W. Hahn — Unlike the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant has always been a focus of scholarly attention. Perhaps the most important recent contribution is Paul R. Williamson’s monograph, Abraham, Israel and the Nations (2000). Williamson, a synchronic and narrative analyst, recognizes that at least two covenants between God and Abraham are

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Religion of Radical Love

Omid Safi— Our modern word chemistry comes from the Arabic for alchemy, which is not a pseudoscience or primitive science but rather a recognition that all of the cosmos shares in the same ultimate substance. Alchemists knew that each of us have something in us that is base like lead;

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The Jubilee Year of the Six-Day War

Micah Goodman— On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israel formed a national unity government (a broad coalition of all major parties) for the first time in its history. Faced with an acute military threat from the United Arab Republic (a union of Egypt and Syria), not only was Israel’s

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Josephus and Jesus: The Early Christian Movement

Paula Fredriksen— Priest, Pharisee, prophet, military leader, war captive, historian: Josephus. Josephus aids us, in crucial ways, in our quest for the assembly of Jesus’ earliest followers in Jerusalem. Indeed, for almost three decades, in this holy city, he and they would have been neighbors. Yosef ben Mattityahu was born

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The Etiquette of Hell

David Bentley Hart— There is, it seems, a very strict etiquette of hell. I don’t mean the manners and mores proper to the establishment itself; I expect those are pretty dreadful, if you’re the fastidious sort. Rather, I mean a set of unwritten rules one is supposed to observe when

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Myth vs. Truth: Science and Stories

Anthony Aveni— Trained as an astronomer but now spending most of my time writing about skywatchers in indigenous cultures, I’ve come to think that individuals trained in science tend to pay too little attention to stories of creation other than their own “Big Bang.” They generally regard stories from other

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There Are No Non-Believers

Agustín Fuentes— We all believe. But we are not all religious. Belief is an evolved capacity that incorporates our neurobiology, our behavior, our cultures, our histories, our individual development and experiences. This enables humans to live in the here and now, in the moment, in the material world, and to

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Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution

Yehudah Mirsky— Though he died in 1935, Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook (Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook) still towers in contemporary Israeli politics and Jewish spirituality; neither can properly be understood without him. His controversial life and the colossal body of writing he left behind offer powerful lessons and pose difficult questions.

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