Girls' Beating the Bounds' at a fence near St Albans in Hertfordshire, 1913

“Beating the Bounds”

How did people find out where their local boundaries were before there were reliable maps?
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.
The location of the Earth encircled by the celestial circles, 1661

The Protestant Astrology of Early American Almanacs

The wildly popular books helped people understand farming and health through the movement of the planets, in a way compatible with Protestantism.
Anthony Benezet

The Undercover Abolitionists of the 18th Century

Since many people considered them an off-putting radical sect, some Quaker abolitionists worked behind the scenes to eradicate slavery.
A man looking at Reddit on a laptop

AITA for Being Obsessed with Ethics in Pop Culture?

Reddit's popular AITA forum lets readers post and weigh in on everyday ethical questions. But it isn't the first public venue for those discussions.
Tableau d'histoire naturelle Annelides, Crustaces, Arachnides, etc, 1834

Are Insects Capable of Moral Behavior?

Some 19th-century naturalists believed that bugs could think and should therefore definitely know that biting is out of line.
Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival in 2019

The Gospel According to Kanye West

On the making of gospel music, from Gospel Pearls to Jesus Is King.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shakyamuni_Buddha_with_Avadana_Legend_Scenes_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

How Comparative Religion Took Root in the 19th Century

Many Americans considered faiths outside Christianity and Judaism to be "pagan." Unitarian minister James Freeman Clarke argued otherwise.
Luther at the Diet of Worms by Anton von Werner

Ok papist

England faced a generational divide almost 500 years ago, as the Protestant Reformation split the nation apart.