Stephen Hills

Confucius, The Great Teacher of the East and Confucianism

We know very little for certain about the life of the Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius or Kongfuzi, whose name literally means “Master Kong”. He is said to have lived from 551 to 479 BCE and he may have been a student of the Daoist Master Lao Tzu. Confucius’ life, in contrast to his tremendous importance, seems starkly undramatic,…

The Man behind The Way: Lao Tzu & Daoist Spirituality

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who is a guiding figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), which is a still popular spiritual practice. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of…

The Spiritual Legacy of Margot Adler

Margot Adler, an iconic NPR correspondent and Wiccan priestess, died on Monday July 28 from endometrial cancer at the age of 68. Born on April 16, 1946, Adler began working with NPR as a general assignment reporter in 1979. She reported on topics ranging from the Ku Klux Klan, to the AIDS epidemic, and the Harry Potter craze. Over…

The Spiritual Legacy of Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara

Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch, who headed the country’s order of Buddhist monks for more than two decades, died last week. He was 100. He passed away on last Thursday after suffering a blood infection following recent surgery for an intestinal infection, doctors said. He had been receiving treatment at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok since being…

The Spiritual Legacy of Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the religious scholar and spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jews who transformed his downtrodden community of immigrants from North Africa and Arab nations and their descendants into a powerful force in Israeli politics, died on Monday. He was 93. To supporters, he was a revered sage who empowered masses of disenfranchised Sephardic…

The Spiritual Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the Chair of St. Peter in April 2005, he was 78 years old and said that he did not expect to have a long papacy. His predecessor, John Paul II, was elected at the age of 58 and reigned for 26 years. Benedict is 85 now and has…

Walking & Spirituality

I love to walk. Ordinarily I walk one or two miles a day. Often I go to a nearby park. Other times I roam the neighbourhood. I’ve even learned to walk in the rain—if there’s no thunder and lighting. But if the weather is really bad, I grudgingly use the treadmill at the gym. I walk for…

Calls for Separation Between Church and State Following Savita Death, But Could There Be Benefit For All

Atheist Ireland has this week been calling for an immediate separation between the church and the state following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. They have been holding a series of public meetings around Ireland to highlight the issue and to raise awareness of the plight faced by victims of laws on blasphemy.

These calls for a Separation Between Church and State is not only being call by Atheist Ireland but a Rainbow Coalition of secular groups. However if a Secular State was voted in Ireland could there be mutual benefits for all?

Justin Welby, Bishop Of Durham, New Leader Of World’s Anglicans

A former oil executive and critic of corporate excess was named on Friday as the next Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans. Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, who was widely tipped in British media to succeed Rowan Williams, capping a meteoric rise up the Church of England hierarchy since quitting the business world and being ordained in 1992.

The Spiritual Legacy of Cardinal Carlo Martini

The recent death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, known as the Roman Catholic Church’s most influential progressive thinker and who was once considered as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II. Making Catholics who called for church reform on issues such as homosexuality, female ordination and priestly celibacy wonder have they lost one of their last leading lights in the top echelons of the church’s hierarchy.

The Spiritual Legacy of Patriarch Abune Paulos

The unexpected death of Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church, Spiritual leader of 45 million followers, on the 16th of August at the age of 76. This has ushered in a period of uncertainty for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. His death, together with that of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, four days later means that Ethiopia is without two of the key figures who have influenced its growth and development since the fall of the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

Spiritual but Not Religiously Inclined

I am not a religious person, and I’m most certainly not spiritual either. Both of these statements get me into trouble in polite society, especially when they are coupled. Apparently I’m not the only one, as anybody who has used an online dating service will readily testify. Typically, these web sites allow you to specify your religious beliefs (and to express a preference for the religious beliefs of your prospective dates). Try simply checking the “atheist” box (if there actually is one), and you’ll be waiting a long time for your matches. But if you describe yourself as “spiritual but not religious” your chances are markedly improved (though the problem now is that you’ll see a lot of new agey types showing up in your inbox). Why?