Ceiling of Shah Mosque at Fatima Masumeh Shrine, Qom, Iran

Scientific Seances in Twentieth-Century Iran

Spiritism appealed to Iranian intellectuals who sought to reconcile their commitment to science with their pursuit of moral reform.
Sisters of the Holy Family, New Orleans

The Hidden History of Black Catholic Nuns

The lives and roles of African-descended women who joined predominantly white Catholic convents was deliberately hidden by congregational historians.

Muslim Women and the Politics of the Headscarf

For many women, wearing the hijab was—and is—an element of piety, but it's been coopted into a political symbol.
An image of Marshall Applewhite from the poster for the docuseries Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults

Behind the Curtain of the Heaven’s Gate Cult

On the 25th anniversary of UFO cult Heaven's Gate's mass suicide, a religion scholar examines its theology and doctrines in the context of the New Age Movement.
Lyman Stewart and his family

Lyman Stewart: Fundamentalist and Oligarch

American oilman Lyman Stewart embodied the uniquely American paradoxes of what would become capitalist Christian fundamentalism and the prosperity gospel.
Hindu devotees celebrate during Holi with colored powders at the Banke Bihari temple on March 26, 2013 in Vrindavan, India.

Gender and Caste at Holi

The Hindu festival of Holi celebrates love, colors, and the arrival of spring. How it's celebrated can vary significantly throughout India.
Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna’s Anarchic Psychedelic Religion

Terence McKenna was an evangelist for the use of psilocybin and other mind-altering drugs, as a way to transcend and escape “untrammeled rationalism.”

Whatever Happened to Evangelical Feminism?

From Christianity’s beginnings, the religion has been split between two visions of gender relations.
Adherents of Santeria celebrate Santa Barbara on December 4 , 2002 in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba.

Music and Spirit in the African Diaspora

The musical traditions found in contemporary Black U.S. and Caribbean Christian worship originated hundreds of years ago, continents away.
Women from various districts are seen near cut-outs of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally held by Modi on December 21, 2021 in Allahabad, India.

Why Narendra Modi Presents Himself as a Guru

Drawing on traditions of monastic power, Modi’s party is trying to promote the image of India as a vishwaguru, or teacher to the world.