Latest in "faith & ideas"

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    Heartfelt rationality
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    Written by: Magnus Nome All articles by Magnus Nome

    The side effects of good intentions and tolerance can be more suffering. We must let our hearts set our goals, but use the mind to pursue them. Our former Editor-in-Chief, reflecting on rationality and the fallout of a TV-series. Archive: This article was first published on October 1, 2012.

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    Our fallible prophet
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    Written by: Sara Azmeh Rasmussen All articles by Sara Azmeh Rasmussen

    Rational reflection and reasoning should not be a threat to religion. Drawing on religious texts, the author argues Muslims should embrace the fallibility of the prophet, and so free themselves of the shackles of history and paralyzing dogmas.

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    Manchurian mormon?
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    Written by: Seth Redniss All articles by Seth Redniss

    Mitt Romney needs to answers basic questions about potential conflicts between his religious vows and his prospective presidential vows.

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    The Great Partnership: multiculturalism, faith and citizenship
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    Written by: Robin Llewellyn All articles by Robin Llewellyn

    Do the supposedly civilised values of human rights and responsible citizenry become exclusionary, used to divide rather than unite? Is religion a partner of liberty? On the day the British parliament considers a bill proposing the banning of headscarves in public places, Robin Llewellyn reviews Jonathan Sacks' ‘The Great Partnership: God, Science, and the Search for Meaning’

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    2011, a year of wonder
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    Written by: Tina Beattie All articles by Tina Beattie

    A great scientific breakthrough is also a path to appreciating the core ingredient of our humanity, says Tina Beattie.

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    An arch-visionary of Canterbury
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    Written by: Theo Hobson All articles by Theo Hobson

    The leading religious authority of the Church of England has disappointed many of the hopes invested in him. Rowan Williams has indeed failed to address the challenges facing the Church and the Anglican Communion, not least its historic entanglement with state power. This is the project that his successor must understand, says Theo Hobson.

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    9/11: the identity-politics trap
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    Written by: Sami Zubaida All articles by Sami Zubaida

    The reaction to the attacks of 11 September 2001 included an instinctive veneration of their chief architect. Its deeper foundation is a regressive and widespread ethno-religious view of the world, says Sami Zubaida.

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    The dinner-party revolution
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    Written by: Keith Kahn-Harris All articles by Keith Kahn-Harris

    The dinner-party is a symbol of complacent presumption, the last occasion to be associated with genuine dialogue or the jolt of rethinking. But it’s possible to renew the ritual in surprising ways - and really caring about the food is just the start, says Keith Kahn-Harris.

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    Indonesia: pluralism vs vigilantism
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    Written by: Charles Reading All articles by Charles Reading

    A pattern of violence against the Ahmadiyah religious community, in which the perpetrators enjoy near-impunity and official indulgence, is disfiguring Indonesia. It also presents a wider challenge to the country’s vital search for a model of religious tolerance in public life, says Charles Reading.

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    Moderate secularism: a European conception
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    Written by: Tariq Modood All articles by Tariq Modood

    The question of religion’s place in modern secular societies is intellectually contested and politically divisive. Here, the scholar Tariq Modood argues that European experience and institutional development can favour an accommodative model that respects religion yet goes beyond both toleration and even civic recognition. This moderate secularism, he says, meets the test of core democratic values while avoiding the dangers that fear-induced exclusion of religion from the public sphere would entail.

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    Egypt, and the post-Islamist middle east
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    Written by: Asef Bayat All articles by Asef Bayat

    The portrayal of Egypt’s uprising in terms of its potential capture by Islamists is doubly misleading, says Asef Bayat: for this misses both the true character of the people’s movement and the transformation of the Arab world’s religious politics.

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    Multiculturalism, Britishness, and Muslims
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    Written by: Tariq Modood All articles by Tariq Modood

    The idea of multiculturalism has been subjected to greater criticism in recent years, especially on the grounds that it is divisive and undercuts other solidarities of society, class or nation. But a fuller understanding of the context in which the arguments for multiculturalism arose and evolved can help both address some of the simplifications that now cluster around it and achieve a more nuanced view, says Tariq Modood.

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    The religious crisis of American liberalism
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    Written by: Theo Hobson All articles by Theo Hobson

    The extraordinary arc of Barack Obama’s popular appeal tells a deeper story of America: of how the relationship between liberalism and religion was forged, then frayed and broken, and how the president’s rhetoric offered the mirage of healing. Theo Hobson asks what, if anything, can be recovered from the ashes of a once-potent compact.

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    The “Islam” drumbeat: an Orwellian story
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    Written by: Arshin Adib-Moghaddam All articles by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

    A reductive and tendentious portrayal of Islam and its followers is spreading across Europe and America. It is all too reminiscent of the chilling world imagined by George Orwell, says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

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    Pope Benedict: the faith of authority
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    Written by: Michael Walsh All articles by Michael Walsh

    A delicate papal visit to Britain was in the end a diplomatic success. All the more reason to examine the ideas it advanced, says Michael Walsh.

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    Ayodhya: verdict and consequence
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    An Indian court’s ruling on the Hindu-Muslim dispute over the sacred site of Ayodhya sheds light on the relationship between two forms of rationality in India, says Deep K Datta-Ray.

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    Europe's Muslims: burqa laws, women's lives
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    Written by: Sara Silvestri All articles by Sara Silvestri

    Several European states - France, Italy, Belgium and Britain among them - are involved in legal, social or political disputes over the dress-codes of Muslim women. A detailed and alert survey of the variegated experiences and attitudes involved is the best way to understand a complex issue, says Sara Silvestri.

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    Siberian Shamans Come in From the Cold (part 3)
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    Written by: Ken Hyder All articles by Ken Hyder

    After decades of repression, Siberia’s shamans are re-emerging. Ken Hyder is a musician who performs with a Tuvan shaman. His novel describes the culture of contemporary shamanism as it emerges after decades of repression. Part three of three.

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    Siberian Shamans Come in From the Cold (part 2)
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    Written by: Ken Hyder All articles by Ken Hyder

    After decades of repression, Siberia’s shamans are re-emerging. Ken Hyder is a musician who performs with a Tuvan shaman. His novel describes the culture of contemporary shamanism as it emerges after decades of repression. Part two of three.

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    Siberian Shamans Come in From the Cold
    Published on:
    Written by: Ken Hyder All articles by Ken Hyder

    After decades of repression, Siberia’s shamans are re-emerging. Ken Hyder is a musician who performs with a Tuvan shaman. His novel describes the culture of contemporary shamanism as it emerges after decades of repression. Part one of three.

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