Religious Studies Reflections

Fifteen Eighty Four


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  • 21 Jul 2020
    Joanna Collicutt

    COVID, Crisis and the Nature of Religion

    What is the nature of human religiosity? For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, psychologists treated this area of human life as a disposition – something Gordon Allport termed a ‘sentiment’.[1] It was conceived as a kind of personality trait along which people varied: some are more religious than others. Personality traits can be […]

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  • 1 Jun 2020
    Mona Siddiqui

    Covid 19 and the struggle for hope and certainty

    A few weeks ago I went out for my daily walk on Thursday evening just before 8pm. I had forgotten that since the current lockdown in the UK, this is the time set aside for the weekly Clap for our Carers campaign. It’s a public event to show appreciation of all NHS and frontline staff. […]

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  • 1 Jun 2020
    Philip C. Almond

    The Coronavirus, God and Evil

    It’s not the end of the world. But with the coronavirus running rampant, you could be forgiven for thinking so. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse symbolically portray the four events that will occur before the end of the world – plague, death, famine, and war. The first two of these are currently striking fear […]

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  • 27 May 2020
    Francis Young

    Saints, Relics and Belief in a Time of Pandemic

    For a historian of religion, an interesting aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been witnessing the resurgence of popular interest in religious beliefs and practices across Europe that might have seemed archaic, alien and even downright odd before the changes wrought in our lives by the virus. The Middle Ages – that iconic period of […]

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  • 20 May 2020
    Colin McAllister

    Apocalypse Now, or Not?

    Ask someone what comes to mind when they hear the word ‘apocalypse’. The end of time? Images of cataclysmic destruction? Catastrophic climate change and worldwide devastation brought on by a neglectful human race? A divine irruption into the fabric of human history to punish the wicked and bring justice to the righteous? The ‘Number of […]

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  • 14 May 2020
    Michael Ruse

    A Darwinian Reflects on the Coronavirus Pandemic

    I am seventy-nine years old and I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. It is a pretty severe lung disease and, until recently, if you developed it, make sure your will is in order and you might think about pre-arranging your funeral. It was fatal in a couple of years or so. Now, thanks to a very […]

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  • 12 May 2020
    Paul K. Moser

    Pandemic: All for Nothing? Or Learning Opportunity?

    Sooner or later, our pandemic triggers a heartfelt question from its reflective victims: Why us? Of course, we can sketch a biological answer in terms of viral mutation and transmission, but that only would scratch the surface. We sometimes have in mind a deeper ‘Why?’, unless we consider the world devoid of such explanatory depth. […]

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  • 8 May 2020
    Sabine R. Huebner

    Perspectives on the Pandemic

    Each evening the world awaits with anxiety the new numbers John Hopkins University provides for the spread of COVID-19 around the globe. This fascination with mortality rates during an epidemic is nothing new. The Historia Augusta, a biography of Roman emperors composed in late antiquity, reports that during the peak of a pandemic in 262 […]

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