From the earliest days of humanity, shared beliefs have shaped societies around the world. Neil MacGregor, former director of the British Museum, examines rituals, monuments, and artifacts as symbols of spiritual tenets.
After almost a millennium of harmonious existence in Spain, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula by the end of the 15th century. Author Jeffrey Gorsky traces that history—which encompasses both power and the persecutions of the Inquisition—as well as the impact of this early racial and religious discrimination on later cultures.
Biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg explores how the people who left us the Bible were informed by cultures including Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, and how these influences are reflected in its books.
The Smithsonian often uses politics and religion to tell stories of American life and history. Curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy of the American History Museum and Brad Braxton of the African American History and Culture Museum reveal how their work shapes those narratives.
Who is Allah? The teachings and the temperament of the figure at the center of the world’s second-largest religion have drawn widely varying—and often controversial—interpretations over the centuries. Noted religious scholar Jack Miles investigates that question of identity by examining the nature of Allah as reflected in the Qur’an and in interactions with humanity.