Religion

After he was cast into the wilderness, Roger Williams argued that religion and government must be divided.

God, Government and Roger Williams' Big Idea

The Puritan minister originated a principle that remains contentious to this day—separation of church and state

Thomas Jefferson believed that his version of the New Testament distilled "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has never been offered to man."

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible

Thanks to an extensive restoration process, the public can now see how Jefferson created his own version of the Scripture

In his illustrated books, Patel distills the gods and goddesses down to their essentials as shown in this illustration from Ramayana: Divine Loophole (2010).

Sanjay Patel: A Hipster’s Guide to Hinduism

The 36-year-old pop artist and Pixar veteran brings a modern twist to the gods and demons of Hindu mythology

Padre Pio (1887-1968), an Italian priest and stigmatic, was elevated to sainthood in 2002 as St. Pio of Pietrelcino. In the 1940s he heard the confession of the future Pope John Paul II and–John Paul recorded–told him he would one day ascend to "the highest post in the Church though further confirmation is needed." The marks of the stigmata can be seen on Pio's hands.

The Mystery of the Five Wounds

The first case of stigmata—the appearance of marks or actual wounds like those Christ received during the Crucifixion—was recorded in 1224

Thomas Jefferson cut verses from six copies of the New Testament to create his own personal version.

Secretary Clough on Jefferson's Bible

The head of the Smithsonian Institution details the efforts American History Museum conservators took to repair the artifact

The Arab Spring uprisings tell only part of the story.

The Struggle Within Islam

Terrorists get the headlines, but most Muslims want to reclaim their religion from extremists

Non-Muslims use a wood ramp to enter the complex, home to the gilded Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine, and the Western Wall, holy to Jews.

What Is Beneath the Temple Mount?

As Israeli archaeologists recover artifacts from the religious site, ancient history inflames modern-day political tensions

Philadelphia's Bible Riots of 1844 reflected a strain of anti-Catholic bias and hostility that coursed through 19th-century America.

America's True History of Religious Tolerance

The idea that the United States has always been a bastion of religious freedom is reassuring—and utterly at odds with the historical record

Cassadaga, Florida is considered the oldest active religious community in the Southeast.

Cassadaga: America’s Oldest Spiritualist Community

The mystics of the Florida village offer a connection to the spirits living among us and a portal into America’s religious past

Nearly 2.5 million people come each year to Varanasi which sits on the banks of the most sacred Indian river.

The Holy City of Varanasi

Tourists and pilgrims flock to Varanasi, a sacred Hindu city on the banks of the Ganges River

In a once strife-torn Belfast neighborhood (where murals today dramatize a message of hope), reconciliation is taking hold.  Even so, says Father Aidan Troy, formerly of a Belfast parish, progress must be nurtured day by day: "Peace is a delicate plant."

In Northern Ireland, Getting Past the Troubles

A decade after Protestants and Catholics agreed on a peace treaty, both sides are adjusting to a hopeful new reality

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Kwanzaa Just a Part of Year-Long Jubilee in Anacostia

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Science to Religion: Can't We All Just Get Along?

A Mormon encampment in Provo, 1858

The Brink of War

One hundred fifty years ago, the U.S. Army marched into Utah prepared to battle Brigham Young and his Mormon militia

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Heaven Scent

A 600-year-old pharmacy started by Florentine monks is now a trendy global marketer of perfumes and medieval elixirs

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Scott's Cross

A huddle grows around the high priests, with one young priest bearing an ikon, or holy picture, while others hold ornate gold and silver crosses.

Keepers of the Lost Ark?

Christians in Ethiopia have long claimed to have the ark of the covenant. Our reporter investigated

Amenhotep III (a granite head from the temple complex is his best extant portrait) was succeeded by his son Akhenaten, who revolutionized Egypt's religion—temporarily.

Rebellious Son

Amenhotep III was succeeded by one of the first known monotheists

Adhering to tradition is a way of life among the Zuni Indians of northwestern New Mexico, whether it's dryland farming or wedding ceremonies. "The Zuni's complex social web seems to hold people," says Dennis Tedlock. "Their religion and language provide...ethnic identity."

The Zuni Way

Though they embrace computers and TV, the secret of the tribe's unity lies in fealty to their past

A Hindu monk offers a morning prayer along the Ganges River.

India's Holiest City

At Varanasi, Hindu pilgrims come to pray—and to die—along the sacred Ganges River

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