Daisetsu Teitarō Suzuki photographed by Shigeru Tamura

D.T. Suzuki’s Very American Zen

Zen was a conservative form of Buddhism in Japan that eventually became a way for Americans to find inner peace.
An altar for Santa Muerte

Who Is Santa Muerte?

The folk saint Santa Muerte might seem mysterious, but her devotees embrace a wide variety of everyday practices.
Religious candles placed by religious devotees at a Catholic shrine in San Antonio, Texas.

In Defense of Kitsch

The denigration of kitsch betrays a latent anti-Catholicism, one born from centuries of class and ethnic divisions.
Orange Buddish Monks Robe tied around a tree.

Why Some Buddhist Monks Ordain Trees

Buddhist monks in Thailand began tying trees with their traditional colored robes in the 1980s, as threats to ecology increased.
A view of Salt Lake City, Utah from the August 1866 issue of Harper’s Weekly, accompanied by portraits of sixteen important early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Fans of Europe’s 1848 Revolutions

As the crowned heads of Europe shuddered at the unrest in the streets, members of the Latter-Day Saints movement cheered.
A priest holding up communion with beams of light emanating from the wafer

The Return of Ocular Communion

The idea of a virtual Eucharist may feel at odds with Catholic tradition, but it has deep roots in the church’s history.
Protesters march with three placards stating "BLACK Lives Matter" in the aftermath of widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Healing, Spirituality, and Black Lives Matter

Spirituality has long infused and inspired social justice movements. Activists today expand that heritage.

Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.
An abbey cellarer testing his wine. Illumination from a copy of Li livres dou santé by Aldobrandino of Siena, late 13th century

When Monks Went Undercover to Steal Relics

Because relics were understood to be capable of working miracles, any relic that was stolen must have wanted to be.
A personification of Acedia from between 1550 and 1625

Ancient Monks Got That Quarantine Feeling, Too

Listlessness, boredom, torpor, that "noonday demon" that tempts you away from spiritual connections—that's what was called acedia.