Does it Matter Where our Christmas Traditions Came From? – Towards a Positive Genealogy of Christmas.

by Chris Lynch Amidst the rituals and tropes associated with celebrating Christmas, thinkers and commentators occasionally intervene to highlight how Christmas as practised in 2017 Britain is in some important respects culturally specific, politically problematic, and not as straightforwardly wrapped up with ‘authentic’ Christianity as commonly assumed. Motivating these interventions seems to be the thought […]

Colorado Cake: Is ‘Religion’ driving Legal Discrimination? Not so fast

by Theo Poward You may be vaguely familiar with the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case which is currently pending before the US Supreme Court. In July 2012, same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins from Colorado visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver to order a custom wedding cake for a celebration of their marriage. Masterpiece’s owner […]

Secularism: Contemporary Pleas for Complexity

by Chris Lynch Over the last few months, several thoughtful and conceptually rigorous books have been released exploring the topic of secularism. Two that stand out for their critical acclaim but also for their scholarly style are: Andrew Copson’s Secularism; and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination (a point-counterpoint text written by philosophers John Corvino, Ryan […]

When Monks Take a Break

by Raymond Pagnuccio From sunrise to sunset the life of a Buddhist monk is fairly routine no matter where in the world they may be. For most monks in Myanmar, their daily routine is pretty mundane. A typical day unusually begins around 4:30 in the morning with prayers followed by chores, breakfast and more prayers. […]

Religious Harmony in Indonesia: The Source of Tolerance

by Nur Aqmarina Ade Puspasari Indonesia has a large population of 257.9 million people (2017), the fourth largest population in the world. The total population is divided into several tribes with different local languages, more precisely there are 1,340 ethnicities including Javanese, Sudanese, Batak, Ambon, Bugis, etc. There are an estimated 736 regional languages. To […]

A Reflection on All Soul’s Day

by Alexander Taylor Last month, by way of a late summer holiday, I was able to spend a couple of weeks backpacking around northern Greece. One of the highlights of the trip was the day I spent visiting the ancient monasteries of the Meteora. The Meteora is a magnificent geological formation of many great rock […]

Fandom, Religious Zeal, and Idolatry

by Theo Poward   There are a lot of similarities between religious people and nerds. This is elegantly highlighted by a short video that you might need to watch as background for this piece. Despite the oversimplification, particularly in referring to a religious tradition as a “franchise,” there is a lot of truth to this […]

Diwali and Hinduism

by Nila Joshi   When I moved to Scotland I brought with me a wealth of Language, Religion, Culture, Traditions, Belief, Colours and Customs. Culture gives us our identity and guidelines for leading a healthy life style. I am a practicing Hindu and believe in the concept of God as an all pervading spirit. God, […]