Religion

Are we free?

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Neuroscience gives the wrong answer For several millennia, people have worried about whether or not they have free will. What exactly worries them? No single answer suffices. For centuries the driving issue was about God’s supposed omniscience. If God knew what we were going to do before we did it, in what sense were we free to do otherwise? Weren’t ... Read More »

Pictures at an execution: The condemned in art

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A new exhibition aims to humanise condemned prisoners. From the sword to the electric chair, the death penalty has inspired challenging art, writes Jason Farago. One man, before dying, said, “I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.” Another said, “I’m going to a beautiful place.” A third: “I am innocent, innocent, innocent.” Those were their last ... Read More »

Islamophobia: A Global Threat We’ll Be Fighting For 100 Years

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When Christians are being slaughtered, that’s bad. When Muslims are being slaughtered, we’re indifferent. Tim Robertson explains. Sam Harris and Bill Maher’s most recent tirade against Muslims and their faith is indicative of the global threat posed by Islamophobia. The widespread bigotry is being harnessed and used as justification to persecute Muslims around the world, writes Tim Robertson. It’s unsettling ... Read More »

Saint Demetrios

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The traditional iconography of some of the “warrior” saints of the Orthodox Church has always disconcerted me a little. Saint Eustathios, Saint Minas, Saint George and Saint Dimitrios are invariably depicted in soldier’s armour, something that seems to fit uneasily with the pacifism of Christianity. In some of the nineteenth century, baroque inspired iconography, Saint Dimitrios, patron saint of Thessaloniki, ... Read More »

Alevis rally in Turkish capital against jihadist attacks

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Members of a group of Alevi associations gathered in the Turkish capital Ankara on Oct. 12 to hold a rally to protest jihadist violence launched by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, as well as compulsory religions classes in Turkey. Some deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also joined the rally in ... Read More »

Gaudí, an inspiration to architects—and a famous chef

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This month’s congress on Gaudí will focus on the church of Colònia Güell A conference on the designer, alternately called a madman and a genius, is taking place in Barcelona It is said that when the head of Barcelona’s school of architecture gave a young Antoni Gaudí his degree in 1878, he said it wasn’t clear if he was presenting ... Read More »

New Gitmo Commander: ‘Majority of Detainees Have… a Relative Degree of Freedom’

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GUANTANAMO BAY Rear Admiral Kyle Cozad says you need “skin about an inch thick” to work at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Dozens of recent news reports have alleged detainees are abused by military guards and subjected to brutal force-feedings by nurses. There’s also the general negativity that surrounds Gitmo, where the 149 remaining detainees — once among 779 branded the “worst of the worst” — have been ... Read More »