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.


In the search for a lost monastery in Scotland, archaeologists came across an unexpected find – an ancient stone game board.

That plump statue of a 'Laughing Buddha,' often seen in Chinese restaurants, has little to do with the ascetic founder of Buddhism. So how did the two get conflated?

Although Muslim-majority countries are often in the news, many people don't know that much about Islam. Here, we answer some often-asked questions about the world's second-largest religion.

Imaginary friends have nothing on tulpas. These are "entities" people believe will to life in their minds — complete with feelings, thoughts and experiences.

What moves a spiritual movement or religious sect to the big time is more predictable than you'd think.

The prosperity gospel is one of the most popular forms of Christianity in the entire world. But where did it come from and how did it get so big? And why do critics say it gives a false picture of Christianity?

Are Catholic priests more prone to becoming sexual predators because they take a vow of chastity? Or was the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the church not unique to the religious institution at all?

Megachurches and prosperity gospel teach parishioners if you pray for it ... it will come.

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?