March 28, 2017

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

March 21, 2017

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

February 24, 2017

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

February 14, 2017

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

February 4, 2017

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

January 14, 2017

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

December 21, 2016

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

November 29, 2016

Human ritual is an evolutionary product of the behavioral instinct for play. Without that instinct, we might work ourselves to the bone. Read more

November 15, 2016

Connor Wood On Election Tuesday last week, I flew from Boston to Norfolk, Virginia, for a work conference. The day was beautiful and sunny, and people were friendly. My colleagues and I got an incredible view of Manhattan taking off from our layover in LaGuardia, its numberless spires catching the light like crystals. I was optimistic about the future and hopeful for the election. That evening, as the world realized that Donald Trump would win, that hopeful optimism was replaced… Read more

September 6, 2016

According to historian Peter Turchin, the white American ethnicity arose out of protracted military struggles against native Americans. But could there be a way to create social unity and cohesion without fighting against an outgroup? Read more

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