Religion

photo of a church
Theresa Schenk / Pixabay

Whether it's reducing carbon emissions or increasing solar energy, environmentalists see a need for people to change the way they treat the earth in the shadow of climate change. Likewise, some religion leaders see their faith as motivation to care better for the environment.

Alex Prolmos / Flickr Creative Commons

The latest numbers from the Pew Research Center show that the number of Americans who say they believe in God has declined in recent years. And millennials are much less likely than older Americans to belong to any religious faith.
 

But despite these trends, psychiatrist and researcher Harold Koenig argues that science shows that religious belief is good for mental and physical health.

Image of Kate Bowler with her son and husband
Kate Bowler

When Kate Bowler was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year, she thought, “well, isn’t this ironic?” Bowler is a scholar of the prosperity gospel, the theology that those with the right kind of beliefs will receive God’s grace. As she grapples with her diagnosis, she reflects on life, death, and where faith fits into the picture. She wrote about it in the New York Times, "Death, The Prosperity Gospel, And Me."

Balabhadra (left), Subhadra (center) and Lord Jagannath (right) on display at a temple in Bhubenswar, India.
Krupasindhu Muduli / Wikipedia

Pilgrims flocked to the Hindu temple in Morrisville this weekend to celebrate the installation of three new deities there.

Trilok Pillai of the Hindu Society of North Carolina says about 1,000 people came to honor Lord Jagannath, who is considered by some Hindus to be a form of the protector god Vishnu. Jagannath  was installed with his brother and sister deities, Balahadra and Subhadra.

Pillai says the temple was already well attended, but he expects the new installations will draw more faithful.

www.laurenwinner.net
www.laurenwinner.net

Lauren Winner converted to Christianity in an experience she described as "Girl Meets God," the title of her best-selling memoir.

Since then, Winner has rediscovered her faith more than once; she found spiritual solace through community service after her mother died of cancer, and now says she has reacquainted herself with God by exploring Bible passages that equate God and Jesus with everyday images like food, clothing, and laughter. 

Why I Am A Salafi

Aug 12, 2015
Cover of Michael Muhammad Knight's book 'Why I Am A Salafi'
Michael Muhammad Knight

Michael Muhammad Knight grew up in an Irish-Catholic-working-class family in upstate New York. And as a teenager, he found himself at a unique crossroads: he wanted to either continue writing letters to Charles Manson or devote his time to studying Islam.

He chose the latter, and that decision changed the course of his life. A year later, Knight had converted to Islam and spent two months studying the religion in Pakistan.

Katherine Stewart's book investigates a Bible study club with chapters in thousands of U.S. schools.
PublicAffairs

In 2009, journalist Katherine Stewart heard that something called The Good News Club was coming to her daughter’s public elementary school in Santa Barbara, California.

At first she thought its mission seemed benign, but once she began to look into the organization and how it operated, she felt compelled to dig in further.

Image of the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmturner

State legislators have made headlines this week.

The House offered support for Governor McCrory’s economic incentives package while Senate leadership proposed their own plan. 

Legislators also offered measures to eliminate religious exemptions for student vaccinations and proposed legislation that would hinder citizens' abilities to fight large developments across the state. And a three-judge panel unanimously sided with Governor McCrory and two former governors in a lawsuit against the legislature on the appointments of three environmental commissions.

Duke Chapel, Duke University, Durham
Dave DeWitt

Campus faith leaders will gather for a panel discussion about sacred space at Duke University this afternoon.

This comes one month after Duke canceled plans to let the Muslim Student Association sound a call to prayer from the Chapel Bell Tower.

When that happened, Chapel Dean Rev. Luke Powery said he would work to keep dialogue open on the issue. Powery says this discussion will be part of a larger series of talks held at the chapel called Bridge Panels.

Abraham is recognized as the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Wikimedia Commons/ Web Gallery of Art

Emotions are an important part of religious life for many people. Individuals often describe a feeling or sense of passion during a religious practice even if they cannot name the feeling.  

The academic study of religion and emotion is surging, but scholars are still struggling to find ways to measure and describe this phenomenon. Is emotion biological? Is it cultural? What can the study of emotion in religion tell us about religious intolerance or violence?

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