Travel along, if you dare, with Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" – either in J.R.R.Tolkien's beloved 1937 novel, or through the first installment of Peter Jackson's film trilogy based on the book, which opens in theaters on Friday (Dec. 14).
The German parliament has relieved Muslims and Jews by passing a law Wednesday (Dec. 12) that allows infant male circumcision for religious reasons.
A spring ruling by a regional court in Cologne equated the practice with inflicting bodily harm, and resulted in charges against a German rabbi for circumcising a baby boy on the eighth day of life, as Jewish law dictates.
NEW YORK (RNS) After a 40-year engagement and 20 short months of marriage, Edie Windsor and her late spouse, Thea Spyer, are getting their day in court. So, too, are hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian couples.
Pastor Travis Smith paced First Baptist Church’s sanctuary, decorated for the holidays. He addressed his congregation in Stover, Missouri, about forgiveness. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,” he read from the Gospel of Matthew.
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than a third of Americans believe the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in the "end times" described in the New Testament – a period of turmoil preceding Jesus' Second Coming and the end of the world.
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The British government unveiled a proposal on Tuesday (Dec. 11) that excludes the Church of England and the Church in Wales from planned legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans who file income tax returns won't be affected by proposed changes in how charitable contributions are deducted because they don't itemize their deductions, federal income tax records show.
The world's largest group of Orthodox rabbis is lauding the process that led to the conviction of a Hasidic Jewish man on Monday (Dec. 10) on sexual abuse charges, and called on all segments of the Jewish community to cooperate with police in such cases.
The Supreme Court's decision to take up the explosive issue of same-sex marriage will thrust the high court into a policy debate that has divided federal and state governments and courts, as well as voters in nearly 40 states.
At its heartwarming core, Christmas is the story of a birth: the tender relationship between a new mother and her newborn child.
Indeed, that maternal bond between the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus has resonated so deeply across the centuries that depicting the blessed intimacy of the first Noel has become an integral part of the Christmas industry.
"I approached the composition as a prayer," jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck said of his "To Hope! A Celebration," a contemporary setting for the Roman Catholic Mass, "concentrating upon the phrases, trying to probe beneath the surface, hoping to translate into music the powerful words which have grown through the centuries."