Who was Pontius Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus to death?

Pilate consciously misused his power to curry favour

Who was Pontius Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus to death?As a Catholic schoolboy in 1950s Ireland, Easter was a mixed bag. Yes, we got a week and a half off school, which was never something to be sneezed at. And the days were visibly brightening, indicating the departure of winter. But that was about it. In contrast to Christmas, the lead up to Easter…

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s origins

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with the religious celebration of Easter?

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s originsThe community Easter egg hunt was fun until the Easter bunny showed up. My granddaughter took one look at the hairy hare, and the bliss of savouring a chocolate egg turned to terror. My grandson carried on happily eating his treat until the Easter bunny approached him, at which point he too began to cry.…

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?

Catholic church doctrine was used to justify colonization, subjugation and exploitation worldwide

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?The papal apology to the Indigenous peoples of Canada on April 1 was an extraordinary moment for the individuals whom Pope Francis addressed directly. And it has the potential for much broader implications. In the days leading up to the apology, Francis listened intently and embraced the pain of the residential school survivors who spoke…

Only by embracing humanity as sacred can we end bloodshed

When we embrace the humanity of one another, borders don't matter and enemies become friends

Only by embracing humanity as sacred can we end bloodshedSince the end of the Cold War, there has been almost endless war and genocide. This century has seen Afghanistan and Iraq torn apart by violence. We’ve watched the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world continue in Yemen year after year, and we’ve yet to see an end to the conflicts in Syria and the…

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum work

The U of A’s Mactaggart Art Collection helps students contribute to a lasting historical and artistic legacy

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum workAs a child in South Korea, Sung Eun Cho spent many weekends with her Buddhist grandparents, who brought her along to the temples they visited. The youngster found herself captivated by the ornate beauty of the buildings, richly adorned with traditional images and symbols of the ancient religion. “I was mesmerized by the vivid colours…

Five steps to living a more authentic life

Start by being honest about yourself and being open to change

Five steps to living a more authentic lifeLiving a happy life is everyone’s goal. Who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves? Yet many of us live a life of self-doubt, feeling undeserving or incapable, or wishing we were walking another path. But wishing you were living a different life won’t make it happen. And others (even if they love you) can’t…

A religious upbringing leads to healthier kids

Psychoanalyst Dr. Erica Komisar advises atheists to profess a belief in God for the good of their kids

A religious upbringing leads to healthier kidsEveryone remembers the children’s fable about a chicken called “Chicken Little” or “Henny Penny” who believes that the sky is falling when an acorn falls on its head. While the phrase “the sky is falling” is now something of a cliche, it pops up, now and again, especially during pandemic times. Raising or working with…

Ted Byfield played an influential role in Canadian conservatism

In all parts of the country

Ted Byfield played an influential role in Canadian conservatismTed Byfield passed away at his home on Dec. 23 at age 93. Many Canadian conservatives mourn the loss of a great man. Byfield was a giant in Canadian conservatism. He consistently challenged existing orthodoxies and societal norms within modern liberalism and helped create an intellectual blueprint for a political movement that had often struggled…

The real work of Christmas begins after Christmas

The season of giving should remind us how to live the rest of the year

The real work of Christmas begins after ChristmasThe company has gone. The tree flops sadly at the curbside. The decorations are stowed away for another year. As we resume our normal activities, the feel-good generosity and goodwill of Christmas fade. With the Salvation Army kettles out of sight, the needs of others are out of mind. Howard Thurman, an African American whose…

Why Christmas matters in a secular society

It is shortsighted to restrict ourselves to a candy cane diet of Christmas cuteness

Why Christmas matters in a secular societyWe go to extremes to avoid the religious aspects of Christmas in the public sphere, and we are worse for it. Christian beliefs about Christmas might offend someone in our secular and multicultural society, so we ignore its religious and historical background. The reluctance to mention the origins of this much-loved holiday permeates early childhood…
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