The Times retraces Barack Obama's peripatetic path to the Christianity he embraced 20 years ago and now invokes as he presents his presidential campaign in nothing short of biblical terms. Obama's mother was an anthropologist who schooled her son in the variety of religious experiences; his father's family in Kenya is Muslim.
Initially a skeptic, Obama was deeply influenced by the much-scrutinized Trinity Church in Chicago, and its radical but charismatic pastor Jeremiah Wright, who preaches an Afrocentric gospel. Obama's speeches often resemble sermons, and he's been less cautious than fellow Democrats on religion; recently, to a megachurch crowd, he even attributed the spread of AIDS to a breakdown in morality. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)