Salt Lake Temple

How September 1993, When LDS Leaders Disciplined Six Dissidents, Continues to Trouble the Church

Many faiths face conflicts over institutional control. In Latter-day Saints history, the episode around the ‘September Six’ is particularly memorable.
Betty and Barney Hill praying.

From Civil Rights Liberals to New Age Conspiracy Theorists

What Betty and Barney Hill's alien abduction story reveals about America.
Betty and Barney Hill holding "The Interrupted Journey" by John G. Fuller.

The UFO Story of Betty and Barney Hill: Why Their Fight To Be Believed Was An American Tragedy

Betty and Barney Hill lost three hours on a New Hampshire highway in 1961. They spent years trying to understand it.
Engraving of Christopher Columbus and a friar on their knees in prayer on the shore of the New World

The Roots of Christian Nationalism Go Back Further Than You Think

To fully understand the deep roots of today’s white Christian nationalism, we need to go back at least to 1493.
The Jewish Catalog

When Judaism Went à la Carte

On the 50th anniversary of "The Jewish Catalog."
W.E.B. DuBois

How W. E. B. Du Bois Helped Pioneer African American Humanist Thought

On the complex relationship between Black Americans and the Black church.
Woman in yoga pose

Religion of the Devil, Philosophy of the Coiled Serpent

In yoga’s early days in the United States, skeptics warned it would lead people (e.g., women) of good faith and standing into paganism and ill repute.
Historic marker for the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.

175 Years Ago, the Seneca Falls Convention Kicked Off the Fight for Women's Suffrage

An iconic moment deeply shaped by Quaker beliefs on gender and equality.
Jacob Duché delivers the first prayer in the Continental Congress, 1774.

The Traitor Chaplain Who Gave Government Prayer to America — A 4th of July Corrective

When drafting the Constitution, our founders had no need of prayer.
Illustration, The Burning of the Convent in 1834.

The Banality of Conspiracy Theories

Moral panics repeat, again and again.
Georgetown University building.

Confronting Georgetown’s History of Enslavement

In “The 272,” Rachel L. Swarns sets out how the country’s first Catholic university profited from the sale of enslaved people.

Doing the Work

The Protestant ethic and the spirit of wokeness.
Illustration of a church against the backdrop of slave records.

My Church Was Part of the Slave Trade. This Has Not Shaken My Faith.

Enslaved people have been largely left out of the origin story traditionally told about the emergence of Catholicism in the United States.
Zoomed in picture of Pat Robertson's face.

Pat Robertson’s Genocidal God Has Called Him Home

The political preacher who made the religion look bad.
Photo of Marion "Pat" Robertson

How Pat Robertson Shepherded His Flock Into Politics

Farewell to the senator's son who pioneered a TV genre, helped create the Christian right, ran for president, and earned the grudging respect of Abbie Hoffman.
Abraham Lincoln.

Abe’s Ambitious Religious Creed

Through the tragedies and uncertainties of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln may have found a deepened connection to his religious faith.
Horseddrawn carts and shoppers in a bustling Haymarket Square in 1893.

The Chicago Evangelist Who Held a Gospel Revival To Stop a Strike

Dwight L. Moody and the 1884 Haymarket Affair offer a look at what happens when Christians side with the wealthy instead of working class.
Sam Yudin of the Jewish American Military Historical Society, left, and Joseph Golden of Temple Beth El in Beckley, W.Va., unveil a sign Monday near Fayetteville marking the 1862 Passover Seder by Union soldiers.

Jewish Soldiers Held a Makeshift Seder in the Middle of the Civil War

Union soldiers improvised a Passover celebration near what's now Fayetteville, W.Va. They're being honored with a sign at the approximate site.
A sign in Alabama reading "Thank God We Are Deplorable", 2018.

Christianity's Place in the Left and the Right

A conversation with historian David Hollinger about the rise of evangelicalism, the decline of mainline Protestantism, and the nature of America's secularism.
Cesar Chavez salutes the crowd on the steps of the California State Capitol. AP Photo.

Pilgrimage and Revolution

How Cesar Chavez married faith and ideology in his landmark farmworkers' march.
The American flag on a black background; underneath the flag the outline of the Christian cross is visible

How Christian Is Christian Nationalism?

Many Americans who advocate it have little interest in religion and an aversion to American culture as it currently exists. What really defines the movement?
Painting of "The County Election" by George Caleb Bingham.

The Myth of American Individualism

How the utopian notion of the U.S. as a meritocracy became so ingrained in the American psyche.

The Fight for the Sabbath

The partnership between rabbis and labor that delivered the two-day weekend.
Emblem an eye looking down on a winged globe above an ancient Egyptian landscape and the word "try".

The Emancipatory Visions of a Sex Magician: Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Occult Politics

How dreams of other worlds, above and below our own, reflect the unfulfilled promises of Emancipation.
Members of the notorious John Humphrey Noyes’s utopian Oneida community playing on the lawn outside a mansion.

The 19th-Century Cult That Gave Rise to an Incel Assassin

A new book links President Garfield’s killer to the free love and religious fervor that gripped Oneida, N.Y., in the late 1800s.
Swami Vivekananda (centre right) at the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893.

Against Boiled Cabbage

The story of Swami Vivekananda and his time in America.
Billy Graham leading a prayer at the Republican National Convention, Miami, Florida, August 1968; Richard Nixon is at right.

Victimhood and Vengeance

The contemporary rise of Christian nationalism in the US is a reactionary response to the country’s liberalization over the past half-century.
A glimmering white Mormon church has two towering spires on each side, and is strikingly symmetrical. It is flanked by rows of palm trees.

Building Mormonism

History and controversy in the architecture of the Latter-day Saints.
Hamaas Abdul Khaalis

Two Days of Terror in Washington, D.C.

A new book recounts the complex story of a largely forgotten episode from 1977, when an armed Muslim group held dozens of people hostage.
Photograph of Donald Trump smiling and giving a thumbs up, with Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. behind him.

A New Documentary Exposes the Truth About the Religious Right

It’s a political movement willing to align with anyone to win.