The Stowaway’s Story Chimes with the Explorer in Us All

Stowaway Perce Blackborow and Mrs Chippy aboard Shackleton’s Endurance, 1914-1917. Photo courtesy Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge By Laura Gwen Shapiro / 04.01.2018 Novelist and Documentary Filmmaker Whatever currency drives adventure, whether fame or fortune, a stowaway trying to cash in on glory often features in the story. Sometimes, they’re escaping a bad situation; sometimes, they’re wannabe[…]

Our Dreams Have Many Purposes, Changing Across the Lifespan

Photo by stephentrepreneur, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Patrick McNamara / 03.09.2018 Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry Boston University School of Medicine Although radically different in terms of their content and feel, the rangeof dream states are just as complex as waking states. If we look across an individual’s lifetime, we find that children’s dreams are very different[…]

What Ancient Cultures Teach Us about Grief, Mourning, and Continuity of Life

Day of the dead at a Mexican cemetery. © Tomas Castelazo, / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA Many in the Western world lack the explicit mourning rituals that help people deal with loss. Two scholars describe ancient mourning practices.    By Dr. Daniel Wojcik (left) and Dr. Robert Dobler (right) / 11.01.2017 Wojcik: Professor of English and Folklore Studies, University of[…]

The Evolving Judeo-Christian Concept of “Hell” from the Ancient World to Today

The abyss of hell. Sandro Botticelli The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith. By Dr. Joanne M. Pierce / 04.18.2018 Professor of Religious Studies College of the Holy Cross The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell[…]

An Overview and History of Zoroastrianism, One of the World’s Oldest Religions

Plaque with a Priest from the Oxus Treasure, 500–330 B.C., Achaemenid. Gold, 5 7/8 x 2 15/16 in. The British Museum. Image courtesy of and © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved Looking closely at the objects displayed with the Cyrus Cylinder to find symbols of the ancient religion of Persia—Zoroastrianism.[…]