Religion & Spirituality

Religion and Spirituality is an important element of every culture. Learn more about world religions and spiritual practices in both Eastern and Western cultures.

Learn More

During the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, it's common to hear people wish each other "Shana Tova!" What does this phrase mean?

By Laurie L. Dove

Mabon is a fairly recent Pagan festival created to give thanks for the harvest. What does Mabon mean and how is it celebrated?

By Dave Roos

A koan is a riddle or puzzle that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help them unravel greater truths. We look at some examples to see how these enigmatic sayings work.

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

The recent attack on author Salman Rushdie led many to conclude that it was the result of the fatwa issued against him in 1989 by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But what exactly is a fatwa?

By Myriam Renaud

Ashura is a very important holiday to both Shiite and Sunni Muslims but the two groups attach very different meanings to the day.

By Dave Roos

She's the hero of one of the best-known Bible stories and also described as one of Jesus' ancestors, even though she was a Canaanite prostitute. Who was Rahab, really?

By Dave Roos

Some of the most paradoxical, profound words that Jesus spoke can be contained within these eight beatitudes. So what do they really mean?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

Did Jesus speak Hebrew? Greek? Aramaic? Or some unknown tongue?

By Dave Roos

When you hear the word "Samaritan," you might think of a hospital or charity or the Bible story about the Good Samaritan. But "real" Samaritans still exist in Israel, though their numbers are small.

By Dave Roos

You've probably seen Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, but what do they symbolize and who should hang them?

By Tara Yarlagadda

John Calvin is best known for his doctrine of predestination, a controversial belief that continues to be popular in some churches. But what who was he, and what is predestination?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

The Bible doesn't say exactly when Jesus was born but a close reading of the text gives us clues to a more correct date than Dec. 25. And why was that date chosen away? It has nothing to do with pagan religions.

By Dave Roos

Buddhist nuns and female scholars are gaining new leadership roles, in a tradition that began with the ordination of Buddha's foster mother.

By Jue Liang

President Biden's menorah lighting promises to prioritize ritual over reception, focusing on the lighting of the traditional Hanukkah candelabrum itself.

By Jonathan D. Sarna

Papa Legba is a figure that stands as a mysterious link between the human and spirit worlds in the religion of Vodou, but who is he and what's his story?

By Tara Yarlagadda

Advertisement

Prayer apps are not new — they've been around since 2010. But how effective are they and can they replace the value of a religious community?

By Dorian Llywelyn

The biblical King Solomon is depicted as being very rich, very wise and very married to hundreds of women. But there is little evidence outside of the Bible that he existed. So what has been found so far?

By Dave Roos

The process requires a rigorous examination of the life and holiness of a candidate and involves several stages that can last years or even centuries.

By Dorian Llywelyn

Shabbat is the holiday that is central to Jewish life, occurring every Friday at sunset to Saturday night. But what is it and how is it observed?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

The Jewish High Holy Days commemorate concepts such as renewal, forgiveness, freedom and joy.

By Samuel L. Boyd

The roots of the Taliban's religious beliefs – Deobandi Islam – can be traced to 19th century colonial India.

By Sohel Rana & Sumit Ganguly

Sharia, which is Islamic law, can strike some people in the West as draconian and harsh. Is this an accurate portrayal?

By Dave Roos

A scholar of religion explains why the Islamic New Year never falls on the same date and depends on the sighting of the moon.

By Igbal Akhtar

Advertisement

In both Hebrew and Greek, letters have numerical values, so many people, both in the past and today, saw hidden meanings in words as well as numbers found in the Bible. Here are just a few examples.

By Dave Roos

He makes just one brief appearance in Genesis, yet he's been seen as a precursor of Jesus Christ. What was he really and how did he become associated with Jesus?

By Dave Roos