Tag Religion

The Monastery and the Microscope

James Doty— Over the past few days, you have heard my colleagues discuss evolution, neuroanatomy, empathy, compassion, affiliative behavior, and the impact of genetics and the environment, as well as the concept of in-group versus out-group. Research is wonderful. It’s a great intellectual exercise. We can learn a great deal

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What is Religion?

Richard Holloway— As with many useful words, symbol comes from Greek. It means to bring together things that had come apart, the way you might glue the bits of a broken plate together. Then a symbol became an object that stood for or represented something else. It still had the idea of

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Rethinking American Religion in the Age of Trump

Mark Oppenheimer— When I published Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, in 2003, the field of the 1960s was still relatively under-studied, the field of American religion in the 1960s in particular. Flying somewhat blind, I made the argument that the revolution in American religion in

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Reconciling Deism and Puritanism in Benjamin Franklin

Thomas S. Kidd— Americans incessantly debate the role of religion in our nation’s origins. Was America founded as a Christian nation? Or was the American Revolution mostly championed by Enlightenment skeptics? Some of the Founders, such as George Washington, spoke highly of religion, but their personal beliefs were unclear. The

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Dorothy Day for the Twenty-First Century

Joseph Kip Kosek— Dorothy Day (1897–1980) was deeply shaped by the economic and political upheavals of the 1930s and 1940s. Early in her career, she worked as a journalist in New York City, participating in the radical political and cultural experiments centered in Greenwich Village. Then, in 1926, the year

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Buddhism for a Secular Age

Stephen Batchelor— Our current use of the terms “religious” and “secular” are determined by the senses they have acquired in modernity. Since they have no equivalents in any of the classical Buddhist languages, we must use them with caution when talking of premodern Buddhism. The same is true of the

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The Artful Religion of William Blake

Leo Damrosch— Religion was profoundly important to Blake, in a questing and questioning way that is thought-provoking even for readers and viewers who are not religious at all. One of his first experiments in relief etching was a little pamphlet entitled All Religions Are One, which asserts that however much

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A Different Kind of Paganism

Anthony Kronman— For more than a dozen years, I’ve been teaching in Directed Studies—a traditional, Great Books program for freshmen in Yale College. Programs of this kind are increasingly rare on America’s campuses. But I believe deeply in the spirit of liberal learning that they represent and in 2008 published

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A Little History of Religion by Richard Holloway – A Video and Extract

To mark the release of the latest addition to the Little Histories series A Little History of Religion, we are sharing a short interview with the author – the wonderful Richard Holloway – and an extract from Chapter Two: The Doors. WATCH A SHORT FILM WITH RICHARD HOLLOWAY Richard Holloway—

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How to Love Your Enemy

Robert Miner— Beyond his status as a musical innovator—guitarist extraordinaire, master architect of King Crimson, collaborator with David Bowie and Brian Eno—Robert Fripp is a serious man. He dresses impeccably; he reads old books in his study. One perceptive reader of his online journal, noticing his apparent fondness for Anglican

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