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

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

The New Testament is full of tense exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees, who often tried to trip him up in legalistic debates. But who were the Pharisees really and what did they believe?

By Dave Roos

‌It's one of the largest religions on Earth but little-known in the West, where its practitioners are often mistaken for Muslims or Hindus. What else should we know about the Sikh faith?

By Dave Roos

Many Jewish people will affix a mezuzah, a decorative case, to the doorframe of their houses. What's the significance of this?

By Dave Roos

Lao-tzu was the legendary Taoist philosopher whose words sound profoundly modern. They help us maintain a sense of harmony in an often-chaotic world. Here are five of his sayings to ponder.

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

An obscure passage in Genesis mentions a group of superhumans who were the offspring of angels and women. Why was this included and what does that have to do with the Watchers?

By Dave Roos

Cain and Abel are depicted in the Bible as the first pair of brothers and also the first case of murder on Earth. But what does the story really mean?

By Dave Roos

The black-haired "demoness" of folklore turns up in the legends of many ancient cultures but in the 20th century she has been recast as a feminist symbol. This is her story.

By Dave Roos

Nonviolence is central to the core of Jainism, as everything has a soul – animals, flowers and even bacteria, as well as people. How do Jainists practice this in daily life?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

This short four-line prayer is one of the best-known in the world. But who wrote it and how did it come to be associated with AA?

By Dave Roos

It's the oldest (and probably most obscure) monotheistic religion. So, how did it influence so many of the better-known ones? And will Zoroastrianism survive?

By Dave Roos

The first man and woman are formed from clay to live in paradise until they are forced to leave because of deceit. It's a biblical story but also one found in many other cultures.

By Dave Roos

Many Christians believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth to judge and rule it; they refer to it as the Second Coming. For centuries people have hoped it would happen in their lifetimes. So when — if ever — will it take place?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

Originally, 'Pagan' was a putdown for the country folk who continued to worship the old Roman gods, rather than embracing Christianity. Today, paganism is having a resurgence but with a modern twist.

By Dave Roos

By the time Richard Alpert died in 2019, he was better known as Baba Ram Dass and had become a spiritual teacher, psychedelic research pioneer, best-selling author and New Age guru to millions of followers.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Born in 1207 as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, the Sufi mystic and Persian poet wrote a staggering amount of verse, and is still beloved and widely influential to this day.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The most famous Quaker (the one on the oats box) is not even a real person. And this religious group, best known for its pacifism, has had much success in a sweeter area of food: chocolate!

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

In TV shows and movies, sometimes an angel of death appears to tell some unfortunate soul their time on Earth is over. But where did this idea come from? And what if you tell the angel, "I'm not ready?"

By Dave Roos

Are Hindus polytheistic? Do they worship cows? And how does yoga fit into this religion? We answer some of the most-asked questions around Hinduism.

By Dave Roos