Archive for the ‘international’ Category

Breaking good: How religion, science can work together

What happens when you bring together respected social scientists who for many years have gathered significant data on the relationship between science and religion? A humble dialogue offering new pathways to cooperative efforts on issues from evolution and climate change to eradicating disease

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Religious freedom, civility are at heart of struggle for democracy in Asia

Political appeals to religious and secular constituencies have roiled democracies across Asia and the world, prominent journalists, scholars, analysts and religious leaders revealed at a conference in Jakarta. But that does not mean Islam or other major religions are incompatible with democracy, participants noted. What does matter is that the religious freedoms and dignity of all groups are protected and respected.

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Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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Culture matters: Reconciling faith and homosexuality across borders

No one factor tells the whole story of why attitudes toward homosexuality vary widely across national borders. But new research is helping to unravel why, despite the fact most world religions have proscriptions against homosexual practices, some nations are much more tolerant than others.

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Studies reveal 5 ways faith matters in the struggle to place spiritual before material goods

It is not just Western Christians in this Advent period who are tempted to ignore their faith’s warnings to focus on spiritual rather than material goods. New studies are revealing the ways members of different global faiths may transcend – or fall prey to – consumer cultures willing to co-opt even their most sacred festivals to move merchandise.

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Studies find atheists, Christians hold similar core moral values but prejudices persist

Atheists and Christians share many of the core universal values such as compassion and fairness that are at the heart of a just, civil society, a new study suggests. Yet when asked to judge one another, members of the two groups embraced many of the negative stereotypes that fuel the culture wars in the U.S

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The war at home: Four ways good faith can help defeat ISIS

Protect religious freedom. Maintain an independent judiciary. Respect your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors. These are the ways the nation can help reduce the threat of terrorism and preserve civil liberties, research suggests.

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Walking through the darkest valleys: How religion can be a healing balm for veterans

Religion can be a critical source of spiritual and social support for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, new research indicates. What also matters is that it be the right type of spiritual support. Veterans who are able to find a resource in faith in a loving God who cares for them appear to be better able to work through the stresses of combat. Those who continue to struggle with images of a judgmental God who is responsible for senseless suffering may be more likely to take their own lives.

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Fewer cheerful givers: The financial crisis facing U.S. churches

Even as the economy improves from the depths of the recession, several U.S. religious groups are not keeping up financially, according to two new studies. Giving as a percentage of income continues to fall for many Protestant groups, while the Catholic Church faces several financial challenges from changing demographics to church embezzlement and the fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

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Older worshippers find it’s never too late to switch

Religious switching is not limited to the young. Nearly three in 10 older adults made a major change in spiritual homes within just an 11-year period, according to a study. The findings and related research indicate both why it is important for older adults to be in a supportive congregation and why leaving a long-established spiritual community late in life could jeopardize the individual’s well-being.

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