Phyllis Tickle is a southern born and bred, mother of seven and a doyenne of religion writers.  She is now 81, and a widow living on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee just outside of Memphis. The land where her cows once roamed, stray dogs she has adopted and some family surround her. She is being treated for Stage IV cancer. Religion News Service photo by Karen Pulfer Focht

Author Phyllis Tickle dies at 81 – a profile

LUCY, Tenn. (RNS) After learning of her Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis last spring, the renowned spirituality author said: “Am I grateful for this? Not exactly. But I’m not unhappy about it. And that’s very difficult for people to understand.”

2014atheism_square

2014: The top stories in atheism

From the popularity of ‘Cosmos’ on Fox-TV to the Roku launch of ‘Atheist TV’, from open atheist James Woods’s inspiring congressional campaign to Richard Dawkins’s less-than-inspiring tweets, atheists made headlines all year.