The St. Bernard Abbey in Hemiksem by Jan Wildens, 1616

The Complex Economics of Medieval Convents

Medieval convents were better funded than many scholars assume, thanks in part to royal patrons sympathetic to the holy women's mission.
George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton at at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Why Did Christianity Thrive in the U.S.?

Between 1870 and 1960, Christianity declined dramatically across much of Europe. Not in America. One historian explains why.
Based on a color lithograph of ca. 1826 by Anthony Imbert, entitled Shakers near Lebanon

The Rhythms of Shaker Dance Marked the Shakers as “Other”

The name Shaker originally comes from the insult “Shaking Quakers,” which mocked the sect’s use of their bodies in worship.
An advertisement for Ivory Soap from the Christian Herald, 1913

Using God to Sell Soap

Ivory Soap got its name from Psalm 45.
Benedictine nuns from Eibingen Abbey in Germany

Nuns Don’t Have Midlife Crises

Why Benedictine nuns report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction than their non-monastic counterparts -- and what we can learn from them.

Smells Like Divine Spirit

The 4th century was a turning point for the role of scent in the Christian church.
Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch, 1877

Understanding a Misunderstood Bible Verse

“Judge not, lest ye be judged” comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 of the King James Bible. How has it become a harmless aphorism?
Carol Coslett is collated as the new Archdeacon of Chesterfield

Women Clergy and the Stained-Glass Ceiling

Christian and Jewish women leaders transformed the U.S. religious landscape during the 1970s, but subtle discrimination has limited their opportunities.
The Confession by Giuseppe Moltini

An Unhealthy Obsession with Avoiding Sin

In the early 20th century, "scruples" meant a neurotic fixation on sin. It seemed to mostly affect Roman Catholics.
An illustration of Mormon leader James Strang speaking with a Mormon woman

When Adventists and Mormons Turned Sex-Positive

How the once sex-averse Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Seventh Day Adventism embraced (married, monogamous) sex as a positive ideal.