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Faith Matters


Creating Congregations That Work

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Making sense of America's ever evolving religion scene is no easy task. Are those churches, synagogues, and mosques most successful that adapt to the needs and tastes of our time? Or are orthodoxy and traditionalism the way to win and hold young spiritual seekers? Is free-form spirituality slowly ...

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religion

Science in the Islamic World

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Almost every standard world history textbook notes and celebrates Islam's golden age of science. Between the ninth and 13th centuries, Muslim scholars not only translated into Arabic the great works of Greek medicine, mathematics, and science but also pushed forward the frontiers of discovery in ...

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religion
Islam
Pakistan

Where Catholicism Is Going

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Anyone following developments in the Roman Catholic Church today knows the work of John Allen. In addition to reporting prolifically for the National Catholic Reporter, formerly from Rome but more recently from New York, Allen has written timely books on everything from the organization of the ...

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Catholic Church

Leaving Islam Shouldn't Be a Crime

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Does Islam say that believers who abandon the faith should be punished, even executed? The answer depends, of course, on whose interpretation of Islam you consult. Conservative literalists in many parts of the world choose texts from the Koran and the Hadith (accounts of the life and sayings of the ...

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religion
Islam

Meetings with Remarkable Gurus

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It is hard for a thoroughgoing skeptic to admit this, but maybe we all need a guru, or least need to try one.

In the Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh traditions, a guru is a teacher and spiritual guide—a dispeller of darkness, according to the Sanskrit roots of the word—and in some sects of these ...

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Meditation
religion

Doctors for Death and Other Lessons in Contemporary Fanaticism

Reasonable people keep wondering how or why someone who takes the Hippocratic Oath can contemplate killing innocent civilians. So it is refreshing when a recovering fanatic of the Islamist variety comes forth to tell people that one of the most frequently recycled explanations is utter bunk.

Hassan ...

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Islam

It's the Emotions, Stupid!

Democrats have a right-brain problem. Or sort of. Neuroscience has moved beyond the pop-psychology model that locates all emotions in the right hemisphere of the brain and cool, analytical reason in the left hemisphere. But to the extent that the old model survives as a metaphor, its application to ...

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religion
politics

Is Americanism the 'Fourth Great Religion'?

David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University, is perhaps most widely known for having survived one of "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski's 16 attempts at postal assassination—a twisted neo-Luddite campaign that ended up killing three people and wounding 23. Suffering permanent damage ...

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religion
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