Whether you’re enduring difficult times or need to give a friend hope, a basic knowledge of religion is useful. There is comfort in the unknown, in the help that comes from beyond us, regardless of which religion you’re discussing.

Religion is also a fascinating topic to research for academic purposes. Why else would there be so many great TED Talks on the subject.

To start you on your journey of learning about religion, here are some of the best.

Rick Warren: A Life of Purpose

Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven Life is a beloved spiritual bestseller, especially for those in the Christian belief system. In his TED Talk, he asks an important question: “What are you going to do with what you’ve been given?” Most people can agree that we ought to share if we find ourselves with more wealth than we need. This talk will help you discern how you can share what you have.

AJ Jacobs: My Year of Living Biblically

Have you ever tried to live your life exactly as the Bible dictates–including Old Testament instructions about how to dress, eat, and talk? AJ Jacobs gave it a try, and his experience is fascinating to hear about. Learn what he did in the year that he followed the Bible’s words, letter by letter, and see how it affects your worldview.

Michael Specter: The Danger of Science Denial

On the other side of the religious spectrum is those who swear by science. To them, the law of science is more reliable than religion, and it becomes a form of religion on its own. Michael Specter talks about Darwinism and the danger of letting divine thoughts get in the way of fact. If you want to know how science can enrich your spirituality, watch this talk.

You can be a Christian, a Buddhist, or an Atheist–religion is still an interesting topic to study. It comes in useful because the majority of the world has faith in something. Most of all, it is part of our nature to ponder the unknown. Through these great TED Talks, you’ll have a starting point when it comes to learning about religion.