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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.”

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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.