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Alternative Faiths

Christianity was a major part of Indigenous boarding schools – a historian whose family survived them explains

By Brenda J. Child — August 2, 2022
(The Conversation) — A historian of the residential schools explains how religion played a key role in assimilationist systems for Indigenous children in Canada and the United States.
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Ex-Scientologist Mike Rinder has memoir out in September

By Associated Press — July 12, 2022
NEW YORK (AP) — He has previously alleged that while a Scientologist he was subjected to repeated physical abuse, an allegation the church has denied.

Hawaii museum revisits history of gender-fluid healers

By Audrey Mcavoy — July 8, 2022
HONOLULU (AP) — The Bishop Museum exhibit, on display through Oct. 16, displays artifacts like massage sticks and a medicine pounder that healers would have used centuries ago.

Georgia Guidestones, long treasured and feared, demolished after attack

By Heather Greene — July 7, 2022
(RNS) — ‘The stones would probably have survived a nuclear war,’ said a local historian, ‘but they could not survive Southern culture.’

What’s behind the enduring popularity of crystals?

By Joseph P. Laycock — July 6, 2022
(The Conversation) — Crystals are part of a larger tradition of metaphysical religions that have a long history in the U.S.

Buying into conspiracy theories can be exciting – that’s what makes them dangerous

By Donovan Schaefer — July 5, 2022
(The Conversation) — Overcoming conspiracy theories isn’t just about information. A scholar of religion explains that the emotions they inspire are part of their appeal.

The ‘sonnenrad’ used in shooters’ manifestos: a spiritual symbol of hate

By Helen A. Berger — June 30, 2022
(The Conversation) — The far-right today shares more than just ideas with white supremacists of yesterday – they also share some pagan-inspired symbols.

The Martinican bèlè dance – a celebration of land, spirit and liberation

By Camee Maddox-Wingfield — June 27, 2022
(The Conversation) — After years of marginalization, the bèlè dance has been embraced by a growing community who see it as a form of social and spiritual healing.

At LA’s DisclosureFest, a milieu of New Age mysticism, capitalism and conspiracy talk

By Sam Kestenbaum — June 23, 2022
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The annual event is equal parts musical carnival, mystic be-in and merchandise swap meet.

Wiccan celebration of summer solstice is a reminder that change, as expressed in nature, is inevitable

By Helen A. Berger — June 17, 2022
(The Conversation) — For Wiccans, midsummer, with the maximum hours of sunlight, is the time for celebrating new life.

Where the witches were men: A historian explains what magic looked like in early modern Russia

By Valerie Kivelson — June 15, 2022
(The Conversation) — The idea of a ‘witch’ was usually female in Western Europe, but not so in Orthodox Russia – partly because of the period’s rigid social hierarchies.

Tallying the dead is one thing, giving them names would take an ‘inexhaustible voice,’ as the ancient Greeks knew

By Joel Christensen — June 7, 2022
(The Conversation) — A scholar of Greek classics revisits the texts to bring lessons on how to honor the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to make a thousand witches with one Supreme Court decision

By Heather Greene — June 6, 2022
(RNS) — Magic has always been, in lore and in life, a tool of the oppressed.
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