WEEK IN RELIGION

The process the Roman Catholic church uses to canonize saints, known as a “cause,” was recently updated for the fist time in centuries by Pope Francis. Up until now, the “cause” was limited to three categories, which began after a person’s death. On July 11, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis added a new category for people who give their lives to save others. Along with the new fourth path, the paths to sainthood include martyrdom (where a person is killed out of hatred of Christianity), if a person has lived an exceptionally virtuous Christian life, and if a person has had the reputation of holiness for many years after their death. Sainthood candidates whose causes will start under the new path would still have to have two miracles attributed to their intercession. One such example of the new “cause” is Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest who was killed by Nazis at Auschwitz as part of a collective punishment for a prison escape.

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STUDY SAYS

Most Americans think religion has positive impact on U.S.

According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans see religion as having a positive impact on the way things are going in the U.S. The study also found that 26 percent said that religion has had a negative impact on the way things are going in the country.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton” by Rob Iliffe

In “Priest of Nature,” historian Rob Iliffe introduces readers to Isaac Newton the religious animal, deepening our understanding of the relationship between faith and science at a formative moment in history and thought. Previous scholars and biographers have generally underestimated the range and complexity of Newton’s religious writings, but Iliffe shows how wide-ranging his observations and interests were, spanning the entirety of Christian history from Creation to the Apocalypse. Iliffe’s book allows readers to fully engage in the theological discussion that dominated Newton’s age. A vibrant biography of one of history’s towering scientific figures, “Priest of Nature” is the definitive work on the spiritual views of the man who fundamentally changed how we look at the universe.

— Oxford University Press

THE WORD

Vipassana: Pronounced “vih-PAHS-suh-nah.” In Theravada Buddhism, a profound, nonjudgmental self-awareness practiced in meditation. Often called insight meditation.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Peru:

— Roman Catholic: 81.3 percent

— Evangelical: 12.5 percent

— Other: 3.3 percent

— None: 2.9 percent

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