16 Stories

Dalai Lama Donates $1.5M to Charity

Wins Templeton Prize for linking science and 'compassion'

(Newser) - It's a big news day for the Dalai Lama, from the dangerous to the charitable. He will today be awarded $1.5 million for his services to human spirituality, and he's giving away all of the winnings. He'll donate some $1.45 million to India's Save... More »

Out-of-Body Experience? Nope, You're Just Confused

It's all a matter of a disoriented brain: scientists

(Newser) - Out-of-body experiences may feel spiritual—but scientists say they can explain them without reference to the supernatural: conflicting senses create the experience by addling the brain, they say. To explore the idea, researchers attached subjects to virtual-reality goggles that showed them a 3D-enhanced avatar of themselves. At one point, they... More »

Obama, the Christian, Prefers to Pray Privately

White House goes on the offensive

(Newser) - Unlike his predecessors, President Obama prefers to keep his expressions of religious faith private, Michael D. Shear writes in the Washington Post , recounting the president's unpublicized decision to have a prayer session with three Christian pastors on his 49th birthday. He often consults spiritual advisers but hasn't joined a church... More »

That Eat, Pray, Love Spiritual Retreat Will Not Save You

Many return broke, or at least bored

(Newser) - Just in case you read Eat, Pray, Love and now believe spending a month (and $19,795) at an ashram will change your life, the New York Post is here to tell you…it probably won’t. Thanks to the book, spiritual retreats are incredibly trendy, but many who take... More »

Ancient Rite Fades in Japan: Communing With the Dead

(Newser) - Far from Japan's hypermodern cities, a few old, blind women are among the last of a centuries-old tradition—they are mediums, or the "itako," calling forth the spirits of the dead for paying visitors. In medieval times, Japan was full of women communing with spirits, but now so... More »

Jittery Investors Seek Direction From Feng Shui Gurus

In Asia, when a feng shui master talks, people listen

(Newser) - Hong Kong investors are invoking feng shui—the ancient Chinese art associated in the Western mind with interior decorating—to guide their depleted portfolios, the Wall Street Journal reports. Two inauspicious lunar eclipses have already predicted a grim year, and masters are warning investors to beware of the land of... More »

Is Recession in the Cards? More Turn to Psychics

One clairvoyant's advice beat the market

(Newser) - Canadian Ray Pambrun sold many of his stocks in late October and managed to miss the market’s most recent downswing. His secret? Consulting a psychic, who beat out the financial advisers and economists predicting a bottom. It may not be the soundest investment strategy, but clairvoyants have seen business... More »

Candidates Bound for Spiritual Showdown

(Newser) - The presidential candidates will put their spiritual views on display tomorrow night, appearing with Rick Warren, the country's most popular pastor, at his megachurch in California. The back-to-back 1-hour interviews are clear signs of both the importance of religion in the campaign and the emergence of a new type of... More »

Obama's Unique Road to Faith

How the presumptive nominee found a religion, and now seeks a church

(Newser) - As a young man, Barack Obama experienced a lonely, drawn-out crisis of faith—and now finds himself churchless as the whole world watches, Newsweek reports. His father was an atheist Muslim, his mother a Christian who turned secular, and Obama eventually embraced Chicago's Trinity United after years of church-based activism.... More »

UK Psychics Foresee Trouble

Mediums fear EU rule could expose them to suits over poorly received advice

(Newser) - Britain’s mediums are consulting their crystal balls about a new EU law that might expose them to lawsuits, the Independent reports. A group of them marched up Downing Street today to deliver a 5,000-signature petition to No. 10, hoping to convince the government not to adopt the European... More »

'Geeky Hip' New Billy Graham Grabs Next Generation

Masses won over by Bell's 'Letterman' style

(Newser) - Bible-thumper Rob Bell wears geeky-hip glasses, once aspired to be David Letterman, and was momentarily poised for rock stardom, reports Time magazine. And he may be "one of the most important 21st Century Christian leaders," according to one biblical scholar. Nine years ago, Bell founded a nontraditional church... More »

Mother Teresa Tormented by Long, Dark Night of The Soul

Nun suffered shocking 50-year spiritual crisis

(Newser) - Even as she was selflessly ministering to the poor, Mother Teresa felt nothing of God’s presence, according to stunning personal letters published in a new book and this week’s TIME magazine. The nun wrote of a great “silence and emptiness” and the “pain and darkness” in... More »

Real Priest Urges Virtual Soul-Searching

Second Life fertile ground for new Catholic converts, Jesuit says

(Newser) - A Jesuit academic is encouraging fellow believers to take the word of God to a new world—virtual reality. In a Roman Jesuit journal, Father Antonio Spadaro urges missionaries to preach the good life in Second Life, describing the online simulation game as packed with real souls to save, Reuters... More »

The Simple Life in Jail: Bad Food, Fan Mail

'Let the time serve you,' advises celebucon

(Newser) - Still convinced she got a "raw deal," an almost Zen-like Paris Hilton spilled the beans yesterday about her 23-day stretch in stir, where the food "wasn't that tasty" and being strip-searched was the most humiliating experience of her life. Also especially tough: not being able to hug... More »

Solstice Shines at Stonehenge

Thousands gather to welcome longest day of the year

(Newser) - Spiritually inclined crowds converged on Stonehenge this morning to celebrate the summer solstice, greeting the dawn of the longest day of the year with dancing, drumming, and drinking. The mystical monument shone with floodlights and the glow of the rising sun as more than 20,000 druids, pagans, and other... More »

Hollywood Prays for Laughs from the Faithful

With 'Evan Almighty,' Universal skews pious in comedy division

(Newser) - God is returning to the big screen this Friday in Universal's Evan Almighty, a big-budget comedy aimed at the churchgoing. The LA TImes recalls that Hollywood used to balk at religiously-inflected films, but saw the light when Mel Gibson's spiritual blockbuster The Passion of the Christ raked in $370M in... More »

16 Stories