In New Zealand, strongly religious people have less prejudice for Muslims and immigrants. But nightly news-watchers feel more prejudice and less warmth. Read more

If you ever want to get seriously frustrated, I suggest getting advanced graduate training in religious studies. Why’s it frustrating? Because everyone thinks they understand religion already. Seriously, biologists don’t sit down next to strangers on airplanes, let slip that they’re biologists, and then find themselves subjected to a 10-minute lecture on their seat mate’s poorly informed ideas about cellular signaling pathways. But the equivalent happens to people who study religion all the time. You say, “Oh, I study ritual… Read more

This was supposed to be an era of globalism and tolerance. But if we want the global community to seem real, we have to use ritual and myth to make it real. Read more

After centuries of being more religious than other Western societies, the United States in the 21st century is becoming more secular, with attendance and membership in most mainline churches plummeting. Many secularist writers have lauded this development, arguing that a less religious America will be a more open and tolerant – in short, more liberal – one. But in a fierce, tightly-argued online op-ed, Atlantic editor Peter Beinart raises the question of whether this decline in traditional religiosity might be,… Read more

Will secularism continue to grow? Computer models suggest that the answer worldwide is “not really.” Read more

A science of religion would help us understand some baffling things. Why do otherwise normal people spend thousands of dollars to flock from halfway around the world to Mecca? What’s with all the fasting and ritual? Why do people people pray to invisible personalities? None of these questions is simple, but a growing community of researchers from diverse disciplines is buckling down to try to answer them – scientifically. From cognitive science to social psychology to evolutionary modeling, the tools… Read more

Liberals can teach students about the bad side of hierarchy – oppression. Conservatives can teach about its good side – leadership. Colleges need both. Read more

A recent article in Boston Magazine argues that colleges are too liberal. This is true, and it’s a problem – even though it’s not professors’ fault. Read more

Some think we should live in Rationalia. But Donald Trump shows us what a world with no unquestionable or sacred values would look like. Read more

Why does social media bring out the worst in us? Religious studies tells us that ritual helps stabilizes society – and there’s no ritual on the internet. Read more

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