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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His theories about the mind's ability to affect the body influenced Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.

By Tara Yarlagadda

People often think agnostics and atheists believe the same things. Where do their positions overlap and where do they differ?

By Dave Roos

Christians often "give up something for Lent" but why? What is the real reason behind the season?

By Alia Hoyt

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An existential crisis is different from anxiety over a really difficult decision or even a case of major depression. It's having the thing that gives your life meaning and structure completely shattered.

By Dave Roos

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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.

By John Donovan

The famous 1954 letter in which Albert Einstein rejected the concept of God was sold at Christie's auction house for $2.9 million.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Stell Simonton

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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?

By Dave Roos

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?

By Diana Brown

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

By Diana Brown

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?

By Ed Grabianowski

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

By Oisin Curran

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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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.

By John Donovan

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.

By Ed Grabianowski

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

By Chris Opfer

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.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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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?

By Laurie L. Dove

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.

By Molly Edmonds

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?

By Molly Edmonds

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?

By Tom Scheve

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

By Josh Clark

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

By Alia Hoyt