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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

What the joyous solitude of early hermits can teach us about being alone

By The Conversation — February 8, 2018
(The Conversation) — Loneliness (feeling alone) and solitude (being alone) are not the same thing. And lessons can be learned from those who have found solitude essential for inspiration.

What’s behind America’s promotion of religious liberty abroad

By The Conversation — February 1, 2018
(The Conversation) — The United States has, in fact, been promoting religious liberty abroad since its founding, but there has always been disagreement on what exactly it is.

Who are the Sufis and why do extremists see them as threatening?

By The Conversation — November 25, 2017
(The Conversation ) — A new attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt drives home the hatred of Islamic State and other some other Muslim groups for the Sufi traditions of inclusiveness and mystical worship.

What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like

By The Conversation — November 23, 2017
(The Conversation) — Waterfowl – not turkey – would have been the main course.

Why Pope Francis is reviving a long tradition of local variations in Catholic services

By The Conversation — October 1, 2017
A liturgy expert explains that until the 12th century local bishops made decisions on Catholic liturgical practices even though the Catholic Mass was celebrated in Latin until 1970. How did that change?

Hinduism and its complicated history with cows

By The Conversation — July 18, 2017
... and people who eat them.

Will global warming change Native American religious practices?

By The Conversation — July 8, 2017
For the past 100 years, indigenous peoples have been forced to adapt to changes in their environments and modify their religious rituals in the United States. Global warming, however, is different.

Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

By The Conversation — May 6, 2017
Their biblical interpretations and missionary work have critics. But it is the group's political neutrality that has attracted the most suspicion. They do not vote in elections.

Blasphemy isn’t just a problem in the Muslim world

By The Conversation — May 2, 2017
Many in the West treat blasphemy as an obsolete concept. A scholar argues blasphemy laws in the West suggest otherwise, while also sharing common features with such laws in the Muslim world.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?

By The Conversation — March 11, 2017
Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization could have the effect of limiting the opportunities for those Muslims who are attracted by the Muslim Brotherhood’s moderate agenda to engage in politics.

Why America needs Marvel superhero Kamala Khan now more than ever

By The Conversation — February 15, 2017
Kamala Khan is a superhero whose patriotism and contributions to Jersey City emerge because of her Muslim heritage, not despite it.

Songs of worship: Why we sing to the Lord

By The Conversation — February 12, 2017
(The Conversation) Sacred music has a unique ability to engage both body and mind. It brings people together in expressing gratitude, praise, sorrow and even protest against injustice.

What is the true meaning of mercy?

By The Conversation — February 11, 2017
(The Conversation) In such times, talk about mercy may seem more like wishful thinking. But mercy matters – now more than ever.

What’s missing in teaching about Islam

By The Conversation — January 11, 2017
The teaching of Islam has been limited to its religious practice. Its impact on the arts and culture, particularly in the United States, is seldom discussed.

How Standing Rock became a site of pilgrimage

By The Conversation — December 7, 2016
People were drawn to go there as a spiritual quest, reflecting on how the experience changed their sense of identity, gave meaning to their lives, provided a sense of community and transformed them forever.
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