Nov. 21, 2013

To End Our Days

In recent years, legislatures and courts, religious leaders and scientists, citizens and patient advocates have all weighed in on end-of-life issues ranging from whether the terminally ill should have the right to take their own lives to how much treatment and sustenance those in the last stages of life should receive.

Nov. 21, 2013

Religious Groups’ Views on End-of-Life Issues

Religious leaders, scholars and ethicists from 16 major American religious groups explain how their faith traditions’ teachings address physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia and other end-of-life questions.

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Nov. 7, 2013

Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

This week Sunni and Shia Muslims ushered in the Islamic New Year and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram. For Shias, the month also is a time to mourn the events that sparked the centuries-old schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims. An analysis of polls conducted in 2011-2012 finds high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side.

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Oct. 1, 2013

A Portrait of Jewish Americans

American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, but their identity is also changing: 22% of American Jews now say they have no religion.

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Sep. 12, 2013

Six Months Into Papacy, Large Majority of Catholics Continue To Express Favorable View of Pope Francis

After six eventful months, Pope Francis is rated favorably by eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics (79%), largely unchanged since the days immediately following his ascension to the papacy.

Aug. 15, 2013

Abortion Viewed in Moral Terms: Fewer See Stem Cell Research and IVF as Moral Issues

Regardless of their views about the legality of abortion, most Americans think that having an abortion is a moral issue. By contrast, the public is much less likely to see other issues involving human embryos – such as stem cell research or in vitro fertilization – as a matter of morality.

Credit: Peter Gridley
Aug. 6, 2013

Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension

If new medical treatments could slow the aging process and allow people to live to age 120 and beyond, would you want to? Most Americans say “no” – they would not want a radically extended life span. But roughly two-thirds think that most other people would.

Aug. 6, 2013

Religious Leaders’ Views on Radical Life Extension

No religious group in the United States has released an official statement on radical life extension. However, here are brief summaries of how some clergy, bioethicists and other scholars from 18 major American religious groups say their traditions might approach this evolving issue.

Aug. 6, 2013

To Count Our Days: The Scientific and Ethical Dimensions of Radical Life Extension

The prospect of dying has always fascinated, haunted and, ultimately, defined human beings. From the beginnings of civilization, people have contemplated their own mortality – and considered the possibility of immortality.

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Jul. 18, 2013

Brazil’s Changing Religious Landscape

As young Catholics gather in Brazil, awaiting Pope Francis’ visit in celebration of World Youth Day, an analysis of census data finds that the share of Brazil’s population that identifies as Catholic has been dropping steadily in recent decades. Over the same period, the percentage of Brazilians who belong to Protestant churches has been rising.