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Life after death, in one form or another,  has been examined by multiple disciplines for centuries: From theology, to physics, to philosophy, to medicine and more. But while the topic is taken seriously by some, it remains a focus of ridicule and skepticism by others.

Robert C. Demarest / Wikimedia Commons

Ram Dass' 1971 book, "Be Here Now," was the gateway drug into spirituality for a lot of young people seeking answers in the era of Vietnam.

Dass first tried being a psychology professor at Harvard, where he and colleague Timothy Leary, sought God through experiments with psychedelics. Then, he went to India and found his guru, who taught him how to feel high without the drugs. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A recent stabbing at a Hanukkah gathering in New York has local leaders in the Jewish community worrying about acts of anti-Semitism taking place in Connecticut.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Lawmakers and state leaders joined members of the Jewish community at a vigil in West Hartford Monday evening, in solidarity with the victims of a stabbing attack in New York.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors in New York have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of carrying out a stabbing rampage north of New York City over the weekend that wounded five people as they celebrated Hanukkah.

There's a good chance that President Trump knows that the stain of impeachment will be part of his legacy. And as damning details about the president's behavior trickle out, we're realizing how much we still don't know. This may explain why impeachment may be more popular than we realize.

David Howard / Creative Commons

Christianity Today, an evangelical Christian publication founded by Billy Graham in 1956, published an editorial Thursday by editor-in-chief Mark Galli, calling for President Trump to be removed from office. 

Chion Wolf photo / Connecticut Public Radio

The holidays are traditionally a time of celebration and good cheer. But for many, this season of joy compounds feelings of sadness, stress, and loneliness. Many places of worship respond to those who are hurting during the holidays with what’s called a “Blue Christmas” worship service.

Crandall “CJ” Yopp

Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean is a Quinnipiac University professor and author of Identity Politics in the United States. 

Earlier this month, she sat down with us in front of a live audience to talk about the book, which paints identity politics -- a term often associated with modern-day elections -- in a new, historical light.

This hour, we listen back to our conversation, and we also hear from you. 

Uptowner / Flickr Creative Commons

Donald Trump's election was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. The mean-spirited comments tossed to voters eager to "lock her up" fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

miss_millions / flickr creative commons

"Hate" is the imprecise word we use to describe a group of ideas that have moved out of the shadows of American public life and into its center ring.

At the core of these movements sits one common idea: that all people are not equal.

Courtesy: Diocese of Bridgeport

A report released Tuesday says that 281 people have been sexually abused by members of the Diocese of Bridgeport since its inception in 1953 -- and nearly all of them were minors. In a report commissioned by the diocese itself, retired state court judge Robert Holzberg found that they had been sexually abused by 71 priests. 

Christopher Peak / New Haven Independent

Jurors in the sexual assault trial of New Haven Rabbi Daniel Greer heard testimony Wednesday from the accuser’s wife.

Shira Mirlis, wife of the complainant, testified that her husband is a closed book, doesn’t trust anyone, and is emotionally disconnected. 

Center for Security Policy

A group representing local Muslim Americans wants to know more about the owner of a minor league baseball team’s ties to an outfit that’s been called an “anti-Muslim hate group."

Pexels

Catholics in Connecticut are reacting to the news that Diocese in four New England states launched a confidential online reporting system for abuse last week. One of the Connecticut Diocese launched a similar system back in March. 

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Marianne Williamson was Googled more than any other candidate after last week's Democratic debate. Voters liked her call for "some deep truth-telling" and a "politics that speaks to the heart." But to understand Williamson's words, we need to first understand A Course in Miracles, the almost 1,300 page spiritual text she has built a career on interpreting. 

Wild Churches Bring Religion Outside

Jul 12, 2019
James Napoli

It’s Sunday morning. The Reverend Stephen Blackmer is ringing two large handbells. He’s calling his congregation back from silent meditation. 

They gather to pray around the altar. It’s a small wooden table set on a sunny knoll beneath three white pine trees. On top of the table sits communion bread wrapped in foil, wine in a Nalgene bottle, and offerings of clover, mushrooms, and berries gathered from the surrounding forest. This is Church of the Woods.

Lauren Smith/CT Public Radio

The man accused of a hate crime against a Connecticut church may have been in great theological distress – according to the church’s pastor.

Rev. Kristina Hansen is senior pastor at Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in downtown Milford, which has been openly defying the regulations of its governing body with its public affirmation of the LGBTQ community.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Off a highway in central Connecticut is the mosque with a 400-student Muslim Sunday school.

More guards are on patrol these days. And for the older students in the transition class, talking about Islamophobia is not only welcomed, but encouraged. The teenagers are in their final years of high school and will be heading off to college soon.

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

Seriously: a show about towels.

There's the history of towels, towels in Christianity, Terrible Towels, Towel Day.

Oh, and there are actual towels too.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The intentional burning of New Haven's Diyanet Mosque during Ramadan prompted community members of all faiths to gather at the site for a vigil Thursday night. The mosque went up in flames on Sunday afternoon, sending waves of concern, anger, and heartbreak throughout the community.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Investigators say that a devastating fire at the Diyanet Mosque in New Haven was the result of arson. This hour, we hear reaction from members of that mosque community.

This fire took place during  Ramadan, a holy month of fasting that Muslims around the world are observing. Later, we talk with Connecticut Muslims about how they celebrate this religious tradition.

At a rally on Capitol Hill organized by black female leaders in support of Ilhan Omar, the embattled Democratic congresswoman addressed the crowd.

"They cannot stand that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she's equal to them," she said, referencing President Trump, members of the Republican Party and even members of her own party.

A poster offering a $2,500 reward for information about the burning of a New Haven mosque lay in the mosque's parking lot on May 14, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven fire and police officials say a two-alarm fire at the Diyanet Mosque on Middletown Avenue on Sunday was intentionally set. 

Erich Ferdinand / Flickr Creative Commons

Religious scholar Elaine Pagels, trusted the Gospel of Thomas to get her through the almost unbearably painful years after the death of her six-year-old son -- born with a congenital heart defect -- followed one year later by the unexpected death of her husband. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When Rabbi Philip Lazowski was just eleven years old, the Nazis invaded his hometown and began the mass slaughter of Jewish residents.

This hour we sit down with Rabbi Lazowski, a Holocaust survivor and longtime leader in the Greater Hartford Jewish community, to hear his story. After witnessing one of the worst sides of humanity, how did he maintain his faith and find the strength to help others?

Melanie and Kyle Elliott / Creative Commons

NPR has a new theme song. The new theme is much like the old theme with new embellishments created by a "sonic studio" instead of one artist and a "creative director" instead of a composer or arranger. After 40 years, is it time to update or do you miss the old song?

Marco Verch / Creative Commons

It's just Colin and your calls.

Sam Goldenberg

A series of pictures depicting the Ten Commandments is on display at Yale Divinity School. The works were drawn by Bruce Gillespie, a celebrated artist with Down syndrome.

For  Gillespie, making art is practically a necessity. For most of his life -- he's in his 60's now -- any spare moment has been spent with his trusty felt-tip markers and sketch pad.

Retired special education teacher Sam Goldenberg has mentored Gillespie for years. He first met the artist when Gillespie was in his early twenties.

In Search Of Religion

Apr 23, 2019
Yuri Obukho / Creative Commons

The number of Americans who identify as 'spiritual but not religious' is growing, especially among millennials who may not be finding what they need in the religious institutions of their parents generation.

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