Pope Francis: not as cuddly as he looks. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
It would be great to have a progressive, kind Pope. Sadly, Pope Francis isn’t it
By Sarah Ditum - 26 June 11:11

Pope Francis has been lauded for the green focus of his latest encyclical. But in his attitude to overpopulation and women’s rights, he is justifying exactly the sort of exploitation he is supposedly against.

David Cameron on a visit to a Manchester mosque in 2013. Photo: Darren Staples/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Why is David Cameron using British Muslims as the scapegoat for his government’s failings?
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 19 June 16:51

The prime minister’s approach to radicalisation sees Muslims as somehow the pure product of their religion, not as British citizens, while also conveniently glossing over government failings.

Onward, Christian soldiers: preparing to perk up Oxford Street. Photo: Tom Pilston for New Statesman
As the Salvation Army turns 150, what role does it have to play in secular society?
By Martin Fletcher - 18 June 12:21

Faith is still central and the Army’s attitudes to social issues haven't changed greatly. But some of its members want to do more.

Ragevan Vasan and Paige Round in Avaes Mohammad’s plays. Photo: Mark Douet
The absurd hunt for “Muslim toddler terrorists” exposes the extent of anti-Muslim prejudice
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 10 June 10:35

As the perception of a tacit complicity by the Muslim community in terrorist activity has gained traction, art has become a major outlet for protest and dissent.

Through fire to faith? To many Muslims, the charred remnants of a Quran pose a threat. Photo: Joe Penney/Reuters
Rowan Williams: Blasphemy can provoke violence – and be a progressive force within religion
By Rowan Williams - 04 June 8:21

The former Archbishop of Canterbury on how blasphamy can be a means to deeper religious understanding.

Pope Francis. Photo: Associated Press
Beloved of the people: how the Pope has again become a leader for our times
By Maurice Glasman - 02 April 14:43

At a time when career politicians are held in such contempt, Pope Francis is offering a masterclass in leadership.

A ceiling at the Church of Atotonilco, Mexico, featuring Christ and Judas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Who was Judas: the man who was offered goodness and said “No”
By Rowan Williams - 26 March 10:23

Was Judas an evil man who chose to betray Christ of his own free will – or did God make him do it?

A schoolchild at a service. Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
The problem with church schools? They run counter to Christian values
By Theo Hobson - 04 March 9:13

Church schools don't help the poorest residents, as they're designed to - instead, they fill with middle-class children whose parents feign faith.

James Stewart and Donna Reed in “It's A Wonderful Life” (1946). Photo: Roland Grant Archive
Heaven is a place on earth: popular culture has more to say about the afterlife than religion
By John Gray - 25 February 10:32

John Gray reviews Greg Garrett’s Entertaining Judgement: the Afterlife in Popular Imagination.

A man walks past a polling station in Dublin. Photo: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty
Why are fringe groups allowed the same air-time as LGBT activists in the run-up to Ireland’s marriage equality referendum?
By Paulie Doyle - 23 February 17:07

Under Irish broadcasting law, broadcasters cannot support marriage equality unopposed.

In Iraqi security officer guards a church. Photo: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images
Paradise lost: is Christianity doomed in the Middle East?
By Gerard Russell - 29 January 9:10

A religious revival is just one of the factors leaving Christians deserting the Middle East. Diversity must be upheld.

A protester from the Westboro Baptist Church. Photo: Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images
“Love is wise and hatred is foolish”: how a son of the Westboro Baptist Church lost faith
By Aoife Moriarty - 26 January 14:35

The controversial church has a firm hold on many of its members. But Nate Phelps, son of the church’s infamous patriarch, wanted out.

French police officers stand guard outside Paris' main mosque as people enter for Friday prayers. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
Is the Charlie Hebdo attack really a struggle over European values?
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 09 January 13:07

By targeting the French magazine, the attackers were able to deepen already profound rifts in French society and establish an atmosphere ripe for the recruitment of alienated youths.

Light in the darkness: a woman lights a candle at church in Istanbul, Christmas Eve 2013. Photo: Getty
Reverend Richard Coles: Despite the relentless consumerism, Christmas still has the power to give us hope
By Richard Coles - 22 December 12:54

In spite of retail frenzy, the gratuitous use of glitter and our attempts to reconcile irreconcilable family, we perceive in the darkness a light shining, tiny and vulnerable but inextinguishable.

A Palestinian man wearing a Santa Claus costume is confronted by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in village near Bethlehem, 19 December. Photo: Getty
If Mary and Joseph tried to reach Bethlehem today, they would get stuck at an Israeli checkpoint
By Mehdi Hasan - 22 December 11:08

Why is it that the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, or countries such as Sudan, has attracted the attention and anger of politicians in the west, yet the Christians of Palestine don’t get a look-in?

The Reverend Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport.
Meet Libby Lane, the Church of England’s first woman bishop
By Caroline Crampton - 17 December 17:57

After decades of wrangling, the Church of England has finally appointed its first woman bishop. Caroline Crampton went to meet Reverend Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport.

The feminist case for the veil
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 12 December 14:03

In Refusing the Veil, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has written a socially conservative book that is dressed up as a liberal feminist manifesto. Rather than challenging the prejudice Muslim women face, Alibhai-Brown provides the ultimate insider’s reassurance that such emotions are warranted and legitimate.

Gone to ground: what makes a good grave? Photo: Andreas Heumann/Lensmodern
Six feet under: meeting Britain’s Gravedigger of the Year
By Xan Rice - 20 November 10:01

To his surprise, Jonny Yaxley, a former landscaper, found he enjoyed the craftsmanship involved in preparing a perfect grave. And he liked learning about the lives of the deceased.

Richard Dawkins. Photo: Getty
Richard Dawkins doesn’t deserve this fellow atheist’s smears
By Jerry A Coyne - 10 October 10:50

John Gray should attack his ideas, not his character.

A woman enjoys an ice-cream during an Eid celebration fun fair in Burgess Park, London. Photo: Getty
The Myth of the Moderate Muslim
By Bina Shah - 06 October 12:47

Everyone seems to know that the moderate Muslim exists, but nobody seems to really agree on what he or she looks like, how he or she acts, behaves, what she believes in, how he or she practises.

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.
The closed mind of Richard Dawkins
By John Gray - 04 October 16:01

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.

The outskirts of Sukkur in Pakistan in 2010. Photo: Getty
Inside jobs and Israeli stooges: why is the Muslim world in thrall to conspiracy theories?
By Mehdi Hasan - 05 September 12:29

The “We’ve been lied to” argument goes only so far. Scepticism may be evidence of a healthy and independent mindset; but conspiracism is a virus that feeds off insecurity and bitterness.

Audiences may no longer understand Monty Python’s Life of Brian because of the biblical references.
Why religious education is letting our children down
By Adam Dinham - 03 September 15:02

Religious illiteracy leads to an anxiety about the role of religion in the public sphere: from fear of terrorism to fear of exclusion and fear of litigation.

The cast of Chris Morris’s black comedy Four Lions. Photo: Magnolia Pictures
What the jihadists who bought “Islam for Dummies” on Amazon tell us about radicalisation
By Mehdi Hasan - 21 August 10:06

Pretending that the danger comes only from the devout could cost lives.

How do you do God? David Cameron and Ed Miliband
On a vote and a prayer: how evangelical groups could influence the election
By Oliver Bullough - 01 August 16:30

Labour does not “do God”, in the words of Alastair Campbell, but a group of believers from Luton do – and they won the party the seat. Could their success be replicated? 

Pointy bishop hats for everyone! Photo: Getty
I'm a big Jesus fan! Make me the first lesbian bishop, Church of England
By Eleanor Margolis - 17 July 11:51

All over the world, socially liberal Christians would be able to say that they’d lived to see a Jewish lesbian don the pointy hat of bishopdom

Nicky Morgan voted against same-sex marriage partly because of her Christian faith. Photo: Getty
Why does an MP’s moral code matter more than anyone else’s?
By Frances Ryan - 16 July 15:36

Faith doesn’t justify voting for inequality or taking the rights of minorities.

The London Oratory School has been found to have broken broken an unprecedented 105 aspects of the School Admissions Code. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The London Oratory is just the latest faith school to use religion to exclude poor pupils
By Richy Thompson - 16 July 14:08

The Roman Catholic state school – which was attended by two of Tony Blair’s children and where Nick Clegg’s son is currently a pupil – has been censured for using a faith-based entry system to cherrypick white, privileged pupils.

Pages