The Christian church so holy that Muslims hold its keys

Six denominations share the Holy Sepulcher, but not all between them is peace and love.

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  • The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is not just the holiest site in Christianity; it is also emblematic of the religion's deep divisions.
  • As the map below shows, six denominations each control part of the church, with only some parts held in common.
  • Each "territory" is jealously guarded and sometimes fought over. The church's keys are held by… two Muslim families.
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Can you be scientific and spiritual?

Spirituality can be an uncomfortable word for atheists. But does it deserve the antagonism that it gets?

  • While the anti-scientific bias of religious fundamentalism requires condemnation, if we take a broader view, does the human inclination towards spiritual practice still require the same antagonism? The answer, I think, is a definitive "No."
  • Rather than ontological claims about what exists in the universe, the terms spiritual and sacred can describe the character of an experience. Instead of a "thing" they can refer to an attitude or an approach.
  • One can be entirely faithful to the path of inquiry and honesty that is science while making it one aspect of a broader practice embracing the totality of your experience as a human being in this more-than-human world.
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Turns out those aren't the apostle St James’s bones after all

Research shows that bone fragments of Jesus's (possible) brother belong to someone else.

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  • New research in Rome has found that bones purported to be from St. James the Less are impossible.
  • The femoral bone fragments date to somewhere between 214 and 340 CE—a few centuries off the mark.
  • The analysis was conducted on bone fragments, oil, and mummy remains in the Basilica dei Santa Apostoli.
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Is there life after death?

Is death the final frontier? We ask scientists, philosophers, and spiritual leaders about life after death.

  • Death is inevitable for all known living things. However on the question of what, if anything, comes after life, the most honest answer is that no one knows.
  • So far, there is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove what happens after we die. In this video, astronomer Michelle Thaller, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, science educator Bill Nye, and others consider what an afterlife would look like, what the biblical concepts of 'eternal life' and 'hell' really mean, why so many people around the world choose to believe that death is not the end, and whether or not that belief is ultimately detrimental or beneficial to one's life.
  • Life after death is also not relegated to discussions of religion. "Digital and genetic immortality are within reach," says theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. Kaku shares how, in the future, we may be able to physically talk to the dead thanks to hologram technology and the digitization of our online lives, memories, and connectome.
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How psychedelics help you "die before you die"

The heart of the religious ritual is mysticism, argues Brian Muraresku in "The Immortality Key."

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  • The concept of "dying before you die" lies at the heart of religious tradition, argues Brian Muraresku.
  • This secret ritual connects the Eleusinian Mysteries with the origins of Christianity.
  • In "The Immortality Key," Muraresku speculates that psychedelic wine could have been the original Christian Eucharist.
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