Western Spirituality

Western Spirituality observes spiritual practices of the West. Find information on topics related to angels, sainthood or the Papacy.

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Lily Dale: Where the Living and Dead Reconnect

This tiny village in upstate New York has been channeling spirits since the 1800s.

Anti-Semitic Incidents in U.S. Surged 57 Percent in 2017

The Anti-Defamation League identified nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents throughout the U.S. in 2017 — an increase of nearly 60 percent over those in 2016. And for the first time since 2010, one occurred in every state.

What Is Einstein's 'God Letter'?

The famous 1954 letter in which Albert Einstein rejected the concept of God may soon be sold for $1 million or more at auction.

Early Scottish Monks Were Gamers

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

How New Religions Take Root

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

How the Prosperity Gospel Works

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?

Sex Abuse in Catholic Church Blamed on Money, Power Dynamics

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?

How Megachurches Blurred the Line Between Religion and Riches

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

How Faith Healing Works

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?

How Scientology Works

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

Why the Vatican Says No to Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

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

How Stoicism Works

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.

How Satanism Works

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.

Christian-themed 'Hell Houses' Still Going Strong

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

Committed a Super-serious Sin? Head for a Super-confessor!

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.

Why do people close their eyes to pray?

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?

How Nuns Work

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.

What is hope?

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?

How Circumcision Works

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?

How can a corpse be incorruptible?

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

How Totem Poles Work

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

9 Types of Angels

There are many types of angels that make up the spiritual world. Angels are divided into nine different types within three main groups, which are then called choirs. Find out more about these angelic intermediaries for God.

10 Little-Known Patron Saints

While Saint Peter and Saint Micheal are well-known, there are a number of little-known patron saints. Did you know that there is a patron saint for dentists, ice skaters, bachelors and difficult marriages? Find out more about obscure patron saints.

How Voodoo Works

If asked to describe Voodoo, many people would mention pin-filled dolls, zombies animal sacrifices and spirit possessions. Explore the Voodoo religion and find out if the stereotypes about it are true.


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