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Religion

Detail from the Bull-leaping fresco from the Minoan Palace of Knossos

King Minos and the Minotaur remain shrouded in mystery and mythology, yet evidence of a Bronze Age ‘Bull Cult’ at the Minoan palaces abounds. Were bulls merely for entertainment or did they have a deeper significance?

The sound of silence: ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’, by Alfred Latour, from Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs by British and French Artists,  by Geoffrey Holme, 1919 © Getty Images

The devastating fire at Notre-Dame destroyed more than just bricks.

Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, first century BC.

A study of cultish rituals in Roman Britain reveals a cross-fertilisation of religions.

Portraits of Leo X, Cardinal Luigi de Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici by Raphael, 1518. © Bridgeman Images.

An unsolved Renaissance mystery casts light on the dark world of extortion, revenge and power politics at the heart of the Catholic Church.

John Wesley by Nathaniel Hone, c.1766.

Methodism gained great popularity in the 18th century, but its followers were thought enthusiastic to the point of insanity, posing a serious threat to the established church.

Seated Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara, or Guanyin, China, 11th century.

The compassionate Buddhist deity who walks among us.

The grand funeral of Anne of Cleves, the neglected fourth queen of Henry VIII, took place during the reign of Mary Tudor, when English Catholicism was resurgent.

Eve (detail), panel painting in oil by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1528.

The central paradox to the story of Adam and Even is that, the more reality they take on, the more they are shown to be fiction.

A French priest’s shocking attack on religion called for the fall of altars and the heads of kings. 

Missionaries and Islanders, Dobu, 1899.

The arrival of a Christian mission on the island of Dobu in Papua New Guinea was met with ambivalence, but it resulted in a mixing of cultures and the development of new traditions.