The Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado.

How Columbine Brought Religion into Public Life

In the aftermath of 1999's Columbine massacre, American media and politicians focused on the secret world of delinquent youth and how they might be saved.
Chapel

The Uncertain Future of the Religious Left

The aftermath of the 2016 U.S. election has renewed calls for an empowered coalition of religious liberals. Is there a place for the religious left?
Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

The Unlikely Reason Why Mount Rushmore Exists

Mount Rushmore has been controversial since its inception. Its designer, Gutzon Borglum, wanted to communicate a particular vision of American history.
Waco compound in flames

How Religious Literacy Might Have Changed the Waco Tragedy

Religious scholars argue that the Waco raid was not justified and that with more understanding of theology, the loss of life could have been avoided.
Jim Jones

Drinking the Kool-Aid at Jonestown

Did you drink the Kool-Aid? The phrase has become such a part of the vocabulary that for many its origins have been obscured.
Helena Blavatsky

Spiritualism, Science, and the Mysterious Madame Blavatsky

Madame Helena Blavatsky was the 19th century's most famous and notorious occultist. She was also the godmother of the New Age movement. 

Surfing as Religion

Surfing is considered by some to constitute an aquatic nature religion.

Are Academics Afraid to Study Scientology?

For a religion that some experts estimate includes only 30,000 members worldwide, Scientology attracts a lot of attention. But not so much from scholars.