This week, Hindus are celebrating the festival of Diwali, which means "row of light." Menaka Kannan, who participated in a colorful celebration of Diwali in Landover, Maryland, describes the origins and customs of the Diwali holiday.
When a person has a religious experience, what happens within the brain? What kind of changes take place? In one experiment, brain scans examine the parts of the brain that are activated during prayer. In another, mystical and religious experiences are simulated by using bursts of electrical impulses. These experiments have created no small amount of controversy. More
There have been many estimates around the world about the desperation of people in Afghanistan. The country has suffered years of war and years of drought, and many advocate that this is the poorest country in the world. Before the current situation, Afghans were in tragic circumstances. Now, some of the people are starving and many are relocating to other areas in search of a better life.
As Congress worked on the antiterrorism bill, proponents argued that the FBI and police need new tools to keep up with modern technology, while others expressed concern about violating privacy and other rights. Lucky Severson reports on the new search for the right balance between national security and civil liberties. More
As of early October 2005, 30,000 U.S. troops had been deployed to the Middle East and Central Asia, and among them were some of the country’s 2,800 military chaplains. How do chaplains help prepare U.S. forces for whatever lies ahead? In particular, how are they counseling American military personnel who are Muslim? More
As the U.S. builds coalitions and deploys troops in response to last month’s attacks, an old moral question has resurfaced: In order to fight a great evil, how much evil do you have to condone? R & E discusses the implications with Nina Shea of the Center for Religious Freedom at Freedom House, Dr. Stephen Morrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Rev. Dr. John Wimberly, Jr. of D.C.’s Western Presbyterian Church. More