Nicholas C. DiDonato On this blog, my esteemed colleague and friend Connor Wood recently wrote a defense of the Templeton Foundation that centered on a defense of the study of “religion” (a word I wished he would have defined). While I agree with 90% of what he argued, the remaining ten percent troubles me. More specifically, I strongly disagree with his statement that, “refusing to engage religion… is an apparently rational decision that betrays a woeful misunderstanding of the delicate,… Read more

Physicist Sean Carroll recently made a splash across the Internet by proclaiming that he’ll never accept funding from the John Templeton Foundation, since taking religion seriously would lessen the credibility of science. Here’s why he’s wrong – and why I’m glad he’s not competing for Templeton funding. Read more

Timothy Tyler Brown (University of California, Berkeley) investigated the value happiness prayer yields for the average individual per year in dollars, and found that the answer is…$63,628. Read more

Check out to learn how your religious beliefs and commitments shape up against orthodox, progressive, and other kinds of belief styles and orientations. Read more

A new survey of the literature on religion and helping behavior calls into question the usual assumption that religion encourages prosociality. Read more

Research from the University of Missouri shows that reduced functioning in the right parietal cortex is associated with high levels of spirituality – particularly forgiveness. Read more

Focusing on religious identity, psychologists R. David Hayward (University of Michigan), Joanna Maselko (Duke University Medical Center), and Keith G. Meador (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) found that people accurately remember their childhood religious behavior but alter their childhood religious identity so that it matches their present religious identity. Read more

I believe the study of religion and ritual in human cultures argues compellingly for the importance of an interactive morality, one that prioritizes the concrete and particular life of communities and their relationships. This kind of morality is closer to that encouraged by our evolutionary heritage, which demanded constant, daily investment in relationships as the basic currency of survival.…At the same time, this interactive morality, on its own, is also no longer enough. Read more

Researcher Michael McFarland (University of Texas at Austin) and colleagues found that forgiveness positively correlates with health over time – but only for African-Americans. Read more

New research from the University of Virginia and China shows a surprising finding – liberals are WEIRDer than conservatives! Read more

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