The Conversation

The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of expert news and views, from the academic and research community, written for the public.

All Stories by The Conversation

Bible reading in public schools has been a divisive issue – and could be again

February 4, 2019

(The Conversation) — A spate of new bills permitting the study of the Bible in classrooms threatens to reignite one of the oldest church-state controversies in U.S. politics.

Yom Kippur: A time for feasting as well as fasting

September 18, 2018

(The Conversation) — The Jewish practice of abstaining from food on Yom Kippur is out of step with the rest of Jewish tradition, which in its religious and cultural guises has always revolved around food.

What was the first Bible like?

August 31, 2018

(The Conversation) — The curious case of Bible #1, and how much we actually know about it.

Why Jewish giving to Israel is losing ground

August 20, 2018

(The Conversation) — Israel’s increasingly conservative policies on social and religious issues appears to be playing a role.

Why Native Americans struggle to protect their sacred places

August 14, 2018

(The Conversation) — Despite the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, passed by the US Congress 40 years ago, Native Americans still struggle to protect public lands where they practice their religions.

Revisiting Jimmy Carter’s truth-telling sermon to Americans

July 13, 2018

(The Conversation) — At at time when hypernationalism and xenophobia are increasing in the world, Jimmy Carter’s speech — a theological meditation that cautioned against excess, offers a counterexample.

Yoga isn’t timeless: it’s changing to meet contemporary needs

June 20, 2018

(The Conversation) — Today, part of yoga’s appeal is that it continues to be seen as a mystical, ancient tradition. However, the practice of yoga has gone through some profound shifts.

How Native American food is tied to important sacred stories

June 16, 2018

(The Conversation) — This latest Supreme Court case coincides with a resurgence of interest among a new generation of scholars and activists who are learning about and reviving indigenous food systems.

Religion is uniquely human, but computer simulations may help us understand religious behavior

June 11, 2018

(The Conversation) — Human simulation in action is messier than modeling bridges, but it can be a useful way for researchers to understand just why people behave the way they do.

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar, and here is what I saw

June 11, 2018

(The Conversation) — Myanmar is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and persecution from Buddhist neighbors.

Jefferson’s vision of American Islam

June 7, 2018

(The Conversation) — Jefferson supported the rights of Muslim adherents and evidence exists he had been thinking privately about their inclusion in his new country since 1776.

What are halal foods?

May 20, 2018

(The Conversation) — When Muslims break their fast during Ramadan, many will only choose foods that are considered permissible under Islamic law. The Arabic word for such food is “halal.”

How does Congress have chaplains without violating the separation of church and state?

May 1, 2018

The present controversy over fired House Chaplain Pat Conroy offers a unique opportunity to ask broader questions about why the U.S. Congress employs chaplains and what they do.

I did research at Rajneeshpuram, and here is what I learned

April 30, 2018

A scholar visited Rajneeshpuram and met the many highly accomplished men and women who became devotees of the controversial guru whose story is now the subject of the Netflix docu-series “Wild, Wild Country.”

Why deporting the ‘Dreamers’ is immoral

March 6, 2018

(The Conversation) — Protecting the Dreamers isn’t about rejecting the rule of law. Rather, it reflects respect for the morality that the law proclaims.

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