The operatic canon, and Wagner in particular, is saturated with religious imagery that can be incomprehensible and off-putting to a modern audience. But that doesn't mean secularists should shun them, says Dale DeBakcsy
With its focus on reason and evidence, our parallel assembly goes deeper than jeering and groupthink, says Adam Smith
Choosing to leave the religion you have grown up in, the faith of your family and friends, can be lonely and painful. In our new series people from a variety of different faith backgrounds who have gone through this experience tell their stories. These testimonies are part of our new initiative—the Apostasy Project—which aims to provide information and support to those going through a similar crisis of faith. See the link on each article for more information and how you can help.
Sam Geall enjoys a strange and darkly funny debut about life in the new China
Edmund Clark's eerily mundane collection of photographs and documents reveals the sinister reality of suspected terrorists confined without trial in suburbia
Though he is an atheist, Matthew Adams finds peace and solace in the Victorian churches of the South London suburb of Brockley. Photographs by Melissa Harrison
Though belief in religion is on the wane, angels have never been more popular. Why’s that? asks Sally Feldman
Making a Panorama documentary about the Church of Scientology journalist John Sweeney memorably lost it on camera "like an exploding tomato". In his new book he analyses the Church and it's treatment of those who criticise it. Review by Andrew Mueller
Those who were hoping for an end to extremism following the death of Bal Thackery, founder of the Hindu natonalist Shiv Sena party, are going to be sorely disapponted, says Salil Tripathi
Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses cracked the skin of Tauriq Moosa's faith. And he's eternally grateful for that.
The capitulation of the Danish left drew Frederik Stjernfelt into the battle to defend free speech. A string of recent attacks have convinced him that it’s a battle that is far from won
Up to 20,000 girls in the UK are at risk of suffering genital mutilation, and more than 60,000 women already live with the consequences of these illegal procedures, yet there has not been a single prosecution. Could that be about to change, asks Alice Onwordi
Frantz Fanon, the Martinican revolutionary of the 1950s, has been cited as an inspiration for the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. But is there anything more to his work than a sophisticated justification of violence? Stephen Howe turns to a new edition of David Macey's definitive biography to find out
John Gray is one of our most celebrated contemporary thinkers, and an atheist. So why is he in constant, tetchy, conflict with prominent humanists – are their arguments really so incompatible? JP O’Malley finds out
A brief conversation between the writer Arthur Koestler and the Nobel-winning biologist Jacques Monod, in 1969, planted a seed in the mind of the young religious biologist *Bryan Hamlin* that bore fruit more than 40 years later
For years Saif Rahman has been an agnostic and an ex-Muslim activist. So why is he thinking of calling himself a cultural Muslim?
Large numbers in this thriving South East Asian state profess no religion beliefs, yet a dated colonial Penal Code means atheists do not enjoy equal rights under the law. John van Wyhe and Huifen Zheng on the trouble with religious freedom in Singapore
The British Humanist Association have a new president, theoretical physicist and science broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili. What can we expect from him? Caspar Melville finds out
Our local star is very inefficient, says Marcus Chown. And we should be grateful for that
In his new book the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin calls for a major shift in the discipline and a recognition that rather than a relative value or an effect of space, time is real and fundamental. Marcus Chown explains
We've been primed by popular culture to expect a close encounter at any moment, governments have made preparations and the tin-hat brigade say they're already here. But now ufology is in crisis and alien agencies are being wound up. James Gray explores the case of the missing little green men