Churches built in post-colonial India

Vividly-coloured and shaped like stars, ships and castles, several churches in Kerala appear to defy one of the basic tenets of architecture as set by the influential American architect Louis Sullivan – “form follows function”. Read Why are some Kerala churches shaped like stars, ships and castles? You may also like:

The link between praying and writing

When acclaimed South African novelist and Nobel Prize winner JM Coetzee was asked about the writing process, he compared it to the effort of praying. “In both cases it’s hard to say to whom one’s discourse is directed. You have to subject yourself to the blankness of the page and you wait patiently to hear whether the […]

Religion is an antidote to stress

American neuroendocrinologist and author Robert Sapolsky is a self-proclaimed atheist but he still believes in the health benefits of religion, with an emphasis on its benevolent and social qualities. When you’re religious you have fewer lifestyle risk factors. The mere ability to perceive causality, reason, benevolence—“Benevolence especially for people like me if I say the right combination of […]

In that dream of mine 

Whether through religion, materialism, or video games, the pursuit of fantasy is an inalienable right. We earn points in repeating rewarding behaviors: praying, shopping, or playing Half-Life. Says Yuval Noah Harariof, the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: “The meaning of life is always a fictional story created by us […]

Alain de Botton — A School of Life for Atheists

On the latest On Being podcast with Krista Tippett, philosopher and best-selling author Alain de Botton talks about his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. Alain de Botton is an atheist, but his perspective on religion is far more complicated. Instead of debunking religion in thinking that all […]

Trekking the Shikoku henro, Japan’s oldest pilgrimage route

Financial Times writer Barney Jopson went on the Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan, a route founded and dedicated to commemorate the original 750-mile trek of Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. Also known as Kūkai, Daishi returned from studying in China in the late 7th century AD to help import Buddhism in Japan. Jopson biked the route but […]