Religion

New Hampshire Episcopalians are set to choose a successor to retiring Bishop Gene Robinson, whose election in 2003 as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop created worldwide headlines and controversy between the church and the Anglican Communion.

Lisa Wangsness covers religion for the Boston Globe; she joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to look at the three candidates and the state of the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire.

Tibetan Monks Meet Shaker Tradition

May 18, 2012
Todd Bookman/NHPR

This weekend, the Canterbury Shaker Village opens its doors for the season.

It’s 600 acres of stillness, of restored buildings and manicured fields. But there’s one thing missing.

“Visitors come here expecting to see Shakers,” says Funi Burdick, Executive Director of the Village.

(Photo by Twinxamot via Flickr Creative Commons)

These days, there’s a reality TV show for every hobby, lifestyle, income bracket, family situation, and even religious persuasion.

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

What would Jesus do with the U.S. economy?

That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.

After the House passed its budget last month, liberal religious leaders said the Republican plan, which lowered taxes and cut services to the poor, was an affront to the Gospel — and particularly Jesus' command to care for the poor.

About 20 million people in the United States practice some form of yoga, from the formal Iyengar and Ashtanga schools to the more irreverent "Yoga Butt."

But some Hindus say yoga is about far more than exercise and breathing techniques. They want recognition that it comes from a deeper philosophy — one, in their view, with Hindu roots.

Many forms of yoga go back centuries. Even in the U.S., the transcendentalists were doing yoga in the 1800s.

On a bright Sunday morning in the tiny town of Heathsville, Va., Jeffrey Cerar surveys the church he's preached in for the past 15 years — its 130-year-old wooden pews, its stained glass windows, its paschal candles, its cross.

"Virtually everything you see here is going to stay; the high altar, the credence table, the hymnals and books of common prayer will all stay," he says. "The Bibles will go with us."

If there's one building in Jerusalem that represents the city's tangle of religions, this is it. The ground floor is a Jewish holy site said to house the tomb of the biblical King David. The second floor is the Cenacle, a Christian holy site, the room believed to be the site of Jesus' Last Supper. On the roof, there's an old minaret from when this place was marked a Muslim holy site.

One building, three religions, decades of property disputes. And the fight isn't over.

In 1998, when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Cuba, few Cuban-Americans made the pilgrimage across the Florida straits.

But when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, hundreds of Cuban-Americans will be on hand in Santiago de Cuba when he celebrates Mass.

Carlos Saladrigas is well-known in Miami's Cuban-American community. He's a prominent businessman and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group, an organization working to make Cuba a free and open society. He'll be in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square for Mass.

In a busy New York subway station, a man serenades passersby with a beat-up guitar. A few of them look up from their BlackBerrys and toss a little change in his guitar case. It's a scene that plays out in subways and streets around the world.

Globally, the prevailing form of polygamy is of one man with multiple wives – generally older men marrying younger wives. Social scientists have quantified that crime rates are higher in those cultures, with younger men having few prospects for family life. And it is no great shakes for young, often pre-pubescent girls forced into marriage by culture, economics, and tradition.

Most Americans have little difficulty practicing their religion. But for Native Americans, performing traditional religious ceremonies isn't always so simple. Many rites often involve heavy regulation by federal authorities — especially when it comes to using sacred items like eagle feathers.

Alain de Botton is the author of Religion for Atheists.

A survey published in the U.K. in January predicted that within 20 years, the majority of the British population will define themselves as having no religion. In the British isles, religion has become something of a sideshow, even a joke. Remember that this is the land that gave us The Life of Brian. Even the BBC has caught on with a satirical series called Rev., about a hapless comedic clergyman who has no faith but has a strong inclination to be good.

Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.

Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.

In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.

Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.

The Quran is considered to be the speech of God to humankind — word for word — explains Imam Johari Abdul-Malik.

"The traditional way of disposing of used or damaged copies of the text of the Quran is by burning it," he says.

While Rick Santorum and the Catholic Church are continuing to fuel backlash over the Obama administration’s compromise to allow insurance companies to cover birth control for employees of faith-based organizations, new polling d

R.I. Student Draws Ire Over School Prayer Challenge

Feb 7, 2012

There are not many 16-year-olds who take a police escort to school, but until recently, Jessica Ahlquist was one of them.

An atheist, Ahlquist sued the city of Cranston, R.I., over a banner hanging in the auditorium of her high school, Cranston High School West. Printed on the banner, a longtime feature at the school, is a prayer to "Our Heavenly Father."

In January, a federal judge ordered the banner removed. The school board is expected to decide Thursday whether to appeal.

The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will no doubt face intense scrutiny if Mitt Romney becomes the GOP's candidate for President. A few months back, we reported on the LDS campaign to rebrand- the church, with a series of ads depicting stereotype-busting people introducing themselves as Mormons…

OH. MY. GODS.

Jan 12, 2012
Photo by Sp!ros via Flickr Creative Commons

How many times have we heard that studying the classics is no longer useful, an anachronism? Then out come movies like Clash of the Titans, or Troy, and suddenly everyone is hungry for more. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, references to ancient myths are inescapable.

Ed Clemente Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

And now, a new tick on the American conversation on religion. Yes, politicos discuss how GOP candidates appealed for the Evangelical vote in Iowa, and will again in South Carolina. But, another discussion arises from the spectacle of one Tim Tebow. The Denver Broncos quarterback’s out-of-nowhere fourth quarter surges and open displays of devotion make him the target of criticism and adulation.

Nearly a thousand people packed into St Joseph's Cathedral to witness the installation of Peter Libasci as Manchester's tenth bishop.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Libasci was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI in September of this year.

In his first address to the congregation, the newly instated Bishop thanked those in attendance, as well as other members of the church who were watching via television:

11/26/11 PART 3

Nov 26, 2011
Photo by Piet den Blanken, courtesy of Oxford University Press

Why would a gun-wielding, tattoo-bearing "homie" trade in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down lifestyle of an evangelical hermano (brother in Christ)? To answer this question, Robert Brenneman interviewed sixty-three former gang members from the "Northern Triangle" of Central America--Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras--most of whom left their gang for evangelicalism.

Photo by Piet den Blanken, courtesy of Oxford University Press

Why would a gun-wielding, tattoo-bearing "homie" trade in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down lifestyle of an evangelical hermano (brother in Christ)? To answer this question, Robert Brenneman interviewed sixty-three former gang members from the "Northern Triangle" of Central America--Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras--most of whom left their gang for evangelicalism.

Making Water a Universal Right

Mar 24, 2011

A look at access to fresh water from youth producer Dolna Smithback from the Youth Media Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which celebrates youth voices and fosters youth-produced media. In 2009, Dolna traveled to the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia, to find out how other nations value water—and cope with its scarcity.

During these tough economic times people often turn to churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations for help. Maybe the church runs a shelter, maybe congregants cook food for a family, maybe the temple has a clothing drive.

But while communities of faith will do what they can to help their members and others in the community, few are as well-organized as the Mormon church.

NHPR Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern has the story.

Sound of door opening, Kirsta saying hello, hi, how are you, come on in, fade under

Krista’s apartment is a little cramped.

Each of us within a particular religion think our religious beliefs are true, but how do we make sense of our neighbor, who thinks the same about her religion? Can all religions be true, even though they often contradict one another? Can they all be false? How can we make sense of religion in a pluralistic society? Post your thoughts below and respond to other postings.

Guest

  • Max Latona, Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Anselm College

The Cow Gas Effect

Mar 29, 2009

Here’s something to chew on from vegetarian Manon Bonnet and vegan Liam Midgely from Terrascope Youth Radio in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Manon and Liam wanted to know if the choice they have made for themselves not to eat meat—or, in Liam’s case, even wear animal products—is also the better choice for a greener planet.

About 4500 people living in New Hampshire were born in India. And more than a third of them live in Nashua. They do their best to keep their connections with their culture through their cooking and recreation - Nashua alone has five cricket teams. But one thing they don't have is a place to pray. Now a group of local residents is saying it's time to open a Hindu temple.

More Than a Thousand Flock to Prayer Service

Sep 14, 2001
wallyg

An overflow crowd turned out in Concord today to honor victims of this weeks terrorist attacks. As part of the Governor's Day of Prayer and Remembrance, more than a thousand people prayed and sang inside, and outside, Saint Paul's Church.

NHPR's Trish Anderton prepared this audio postcard.

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