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Sam Haselby

Senior Editor, Aeon+Psyche

Sam is a historian of early America with a particular interest in religion and politics. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and has been a faculty member at the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo and at Columbia University in New York City. He was a Senior Executive Producer at Al Jazeera America and is the author of The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (paperback, 2016). @samhaselby

Edited by Sam Haselby

People of different ages and genders sitting on park benches, some chatting, some looking at their smartphones

Technology and media

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The illusion of closeness: how social media redefined respect

As we share and like and post, have our notions of restraint transformed so profoundly that all dignity becomes abandoned?

by Lutif Ali Halo

Grief

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After my mom died, I found comfort in a medieval Andalusi tale

Ibn Tufayl’s story of a man mourning the gazelle who raised him helped me appreciate the interconnection of all things

by Veronica Menaldi

Rituals and celebrations

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Together forever: ‘at-home burial’ in southern Vietnam

What might a traveller along the Mekong Delta learn about the beliefs and traditions behind the country’s elevated tombs?

by Gina Elia

Sacred places

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Why Indian Buddhism has gardens, not monasteries

Wishing trees, jewels, unfading flowers – what place do these sensual pleasures have in the ascetic life of Buddhist monks?

by Simran Agarwal

Sports and games

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Sport shows how to use performance benchmarks in a positive way

IQ scores and other contextless benchmarks are suffocating and misleading. We should look to sport for a healthier approach

by Leif Weatherby

A pensive-looking woman is listening to headphones on a bus on a rainy evening

Communication and language

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Listening in on horror: why many women love true crime podcasts

True crime podcasts turn violence against women into a form of entertainment. Why do so many female listeners enjoy them?

by Amelia Anthony

Mindfulness and meditation

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When mindfulness meets capitalism, it loses its way

The modern business of mindfulness strips the practice of both its spiritual meaning and much of its practical value

by Chris Wheatley

Technology and media

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Chatbots remind us that natural conversation is artificial too

People fret about the authenticity of AI chatbots but precisely the same issues confront everyday exchanges between humans

by Larry S McGrath

Sadness and sorrow

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When emotions rot, they compost and transform into something new

A self that fractures through loss or grief marks a psychological shift, beginning a cycle of regrowth through decomposition

by Kelsey Day

Knowledge and reason

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Reason is a powerful tool, but it pays to know its limits

As a philosophy student, I was bewitched by the power of reason – but my life is freer since I escaped from its spell

by Pranay Sanklecha

Death and dying

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Why ancient Mesopotamians buried their dead beneath the floor

In an age before photos or audio recordings, people found other ways to stay sensorially connected to their deceased

by Nicola Laneri

Communication and language

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Facts don’t change minds: a case for the virtues of propaganda

A better understanding of propaganda and how to use it as an educational tool could advance the world in a positive way

by Anna Hennessey