Religion and Philosophy

Helping hands while traveling. Illustration By George Wylesol (AFAR Magazine)

What’s the most uncomfortable you’ve ever been on a trip? Anu Taranath is a social justice facilitator and teacher, used to having difficult conversations about race, identity and privilege. She says those are issues that come up all the time when Americans travel abroadMore

the day-to-day hope

Theologian Serene Jones says that hope isn't just spiritual — it's a force that moves people through the day-to-day grind to do bigger things.More

Budding hope

Hope can seem saccharine. Bland. Trite. But talking about hope with Andre Willis, a philosopher of religion, might make you realize you're not thinking big enough when you think about what hope means.More

Water walkers

Since 2003, Grandma Josephine Mandamin led fellow Anishinaabe women on sacred “water walks” around Great Lakes. Fellow water walker, Siobhan Marks, tells her story.More

Margery Kempe was one of the world's most famous Christian mystics — a medieval pilgrim with a penchant for uncontrollable sobbing. More

Left to right: mathematician Georg Cantor, mathematician, and philosopher Kurt Gödel, mathematician and political activist Evariste Galois, and  mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing.

There’s a well-documented link between exceptional creativity and mental illness. Philosopher Jim Holt recounts stories of some of the most beautiful minds in math and science. Were their achievements worth the personal costs? Absolutely.More

Women Who Rule

It's common in literary and historical accounts of powerful women to make them out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erase them entirely. Historian Kara Cooney, author Madeline Miller, Religious scholar Serenity Young, and classics scholar Emily Wilson talk about why that might be.More

A push of the clock

Dan Pink has written several books about motivation, work and behavior. His most recent, called “When,” is all about timing. He says people facing an ending seems to push people in new directions.More

A flower at the end of life

Author and professor Simon Critchley offers a dangerous idea that concerns time. And death.More

lightning strike

Elizabeth Krohn says she left her body, went somewhere else, met and talked to God. And then came back to dream the future. What does her experience tell us about where religion comes from?More

Crossing the plains of the Gnostic Gospels

The religion scholar Elaine Pagels introduced the world to the ancient Gnostic Gospels. 25 years later, she's finally ready to talk about how her own grief — after the deaths of her young son and husband — shaped her religious imagination.More

"The Tradition" book cover design by Phil Kovacevich and art by Ralphi Burgess. (Copper Canyon Press)

The poet Jericho Brown grew up in a black church in Louisiana. He left that church years ago, but his poems keep returning to worship and the Bible — and to religion.More

The spiral of the edges of belief

Religious historian Jeffrey Kripal believes that anomalous experiences — near-death experiences, telepathic dreams and other primal spiritual encounters — are the deep roots of religion. You might call it "religion before it becomes religion."More

Ghosts

Steve Paulson's family has lots of stories of the paranormal, but Steve is the family skeptic. So he did his own investigation, talking with skeptic Michael Shermer, religion scholars Tanya Luhrmann and Jeff Kripal, channeler Paul Selig, and his Aunt Marge Bradley.More

horoscope

Astrology, the Myers-Briggs test, and even Buzzfeed place you into the same archetype as thousands of other people. So why turn to them? It comes down to crafting a personal narrative using archetypes.More

Neon cross

Greg Cootsona was born again on February 8, 1981. And this is his “testimony.”More

Trapped in our bulb

Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann's Dangerous Idea? To be better adjusted, change the way you think about thinking.More

Experience the divine

Jeff Schloss is an evolutionary biologist. He’s also Christian. As a scientist, he’s trying to develop an evolutionary theory for the origins of religion. But he says science can’t explain everything about religion.More

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