Religion & Spirituality

Religion and Spirituality is an important element of every culture. Learn more about world religions and spiritual practices in both Eastern and Western cultures.


Some turn to faith healing as a last resort when ill, and others rely on it solely to provide a miracle cure. But can it really treat the sick?

The Church of Scientology has a short but strange history. What is it all about, and what path are Scientologists following?

As more Chinese people become more religious, an environmental movement based on spiritual stewardship may grow stronger.

What's a Celiac or gluten-intolerant Christian supposed to do?

Yoga with cats, dogs and even baby goats is all the rage today. What is it about animals that makes the Zen process so much more profound?

Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that is now enjoying a renaissance. And practitioners aren't trying to be like Mr. Spock. Stoicism means far more than not showing emotion.

Rumors abound about Satanism. Its adherents are often portrayed as evil, bloodthirsty deviants in popular culture. But that's a mischaracterization of the philosophy of Satanists.

The uniquely American church-sponsored scarefests aim to present a frightening vision of a life without their brand of religious salvation.

More than 1,000 Catholic priests and monks are scattering around the globe, ready to forgive the kinds of sins normally only absolved by the pope or his bishops.

There are many rituals that surround the act of prayer, one of the most prevalent of which is closing one's eyes. Why do so many people close their eyes to pray?

The temple to Karni Mata in India is home to 20,000 rats. According to believers, these rats are reincarnated members of Karni Mata's clan ... and she herself was the reincarnation of the goddess Durga.

Yoga is big business in the U.S., and its bends and twists go by names like downward-facing dog, pigeon or camel while attracting practitioners from all walks of life. But what are the breathing exercises, meditation and poses of yoga all about?

If you only know about nuns through movies and television, then you might think that all nuns wield rulers while singing, dancing and flying. In reality, nuns have set themselves apart from the world to lead a more spiritual life, one with vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Religious worship can serious and somber, but it can also be joyous and celebratory -- in the correct context, of course. Here are 10 deities, like that infamous Dionysus, who command their followers to party.

When Pandora opened the box she wasn't supposed to open, all of the evils of the world flew out: hate, pain, destructiveness, starvation. When she saw what she'd done, she closed the box before the last thing in there could escape. What was it?

Snip, snip -- that's the sound of a baby losing his foreskin. Circumcision is a common medical practice in many parts of the world. Where did this tradition come from? And is it something we should stop?

Science hasn't yet explained how incorruptibles -- corpses that don't rot -- are preserved. What, if anything, do they have to do with sainthood?

In the 1960s, the Beatles joined Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his Himalayan ashram. Their interest in meditation undoubtedly influenced their music. But are they responsible for introducing yoga to the West?

Totem poles are, quite literally, family trees. They're massive tree trunks carved with symbols to commemorate family history and special occasions.

The Dalai Lama is known for his compassion, wisdom and patience. But how does the 14th Dalai Lama govern his people in exile?

Reincarnation is the concept that the soul, or some aspect of the soul, is reborn into new lives. Has Western science proven that it really occurs?

The principle behind karma is that people's actions affect their present and future lives. Is karma an idea or an actual substance that sticks to the soul?

Tai chi chuan, usually referred to as tai chi, is the almost meditative exercise derived from the philosophic principles of Tai Chi. Learn about this living philosophy expressed in a series of graceful, complementary and deeply contemplated movements.

Tai chi chuan means "perfect boxing," and it refers to a martial art based upon the philosophical principles of Taoism. At its highest levels, tai chi chuan is also part of a Taoist spiritual discipline that seeks to elevate the mind and purify the body.