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Religion

Extreme rituals enhance social cohesion

Physically and mentally exhausting rituals promote the spirit of community in society, according to a new study. This is the first time that this hypothesis has been confirmed experimentally.

Researchers cooperate with ‘medicine men’

Pregnant women in Mali are dependent on medicine men and women, also called traditional practitioners (TPs) of folk medicine. Researchers are now collaborating with these healers to help improve their practice.

Vikings held political summits across Europe

A new Viking exhibition reveals that the Vikings were not just marauding barbarians. They met with the European elite to exchange gifts, form alliances and to negotiate borders.

Music in harmony with faith

There is a clear connection between spiritual beliefs in a society and the music it creates, says Norwegian researcher.

Harry Potter is a goodie bag for the soul

The quest for spirituality is a feature of contemporary society. But we no longer believe in the one true religion. We make up our own metaphysical pick and mix. Harry Potter is just such a mix.

The Pope’s scientists study miracles

God’s representative on Earth has his own miracle commission. Its job is to determine – using scientific methods – whether unexplainable healings really are miracles caused by deceased people.

Fields for religious feelings

Crop circles provide one of many examples of the way religious and spiritual emotions are finding new modes of expression.

Climate debate is based on religion

Religion plays a major part in the climate debate, for instance in our fight to preserve endangered species that have no practical use to humans, argues theologian in a new book.

The origin of fiction

Films, computer games and novels have only come into existence thanks to medieval writers who used their imagination to create novels. New research reveals the surprising historical process behind fiction.

Saga professors toast with Viking ale

More than 300 of the world’s leading Norse mythology researchers met at the 15th International Saga Conference earlier this month in Denmark.