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Patheos Logo.png
Web address
Slogan Balanced Views of Religion and Spirituality
Type of site
Registration Optional
Available in English
Owner Patheos, Inc.
Created by Leo and Cathie Brunnick
Editor Patton Dodd[1]
Launched September 2008
Alexa rank
positive decrease 3,789 (June 2014)[2]
Current status Active

Patheos is a website providing information about various religions.


Patheos was founded in 2008 by Leo and Cathie Brunnick, both web technology professionals and residents of Denver, Colorado. Leo, a non-practicing Catholic, and Cathie, a Lutheran-turned-Evangelical, started the project the week they were married as they tried to blend their families.[3][4]

Having lived among various faiths they amassed hundreds of essays and works from around 200 scholars into a "religion library" that they wanted to become the "WebMD of religion and spirituality". As a start-up, early employees included religious-studies scholars.[5]

The name Patheos is a portmanteau of "path" and "theos", the Greek word for god.[6][7]


Patheos attempts to strike a middle ground between academia, popular media, and faith sites.[5][8] Beliefnet founder Steven Waldman observed that Patheos is used for learning about other religions, while people use Beliefnet to explain their own religion.[7]

The site features portals with material on over 50 belief systems, including atheism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, mainline Protestantism, Mormonism, and Paganism.[5][7] Each portal has its own editor; for instance, the managing editor of the Catholic portal is Elizabeth Scalia. The online library is intended to provide "accurate, balanced and peer-reviewed information; side-by-side comparisons of religious traditions; directory of worship houses and other religion-related activities; a forum for discussion and debate called the Public Square; and a series of portals to online faith communities and more forums."[3] In addition, Patheos publishes articles of interest to religious historians and people of faith.

The site also features nonsectarian histories, maps, videos of religious services, and weekly debates.[7]


Time magazine called Patheos's materials "streamlined" and "reader-friendly".[7] Religion News Service described it as "a more cerebral approach to what Beliefnet's been doing for nearly a decade". Though some technical kinks existed in 2009, it was still "a pretty impressive product".[9]

The site is listed as 10th out of the 50 best spirituality blogs ranked by Online Christian Colleges.[10] It was also ranked by a writer for the Buxton Initiative, a nonprofit supporter of interfaith dialogue, as the seventh top website on Islam, calling it "very objective" and "sort of a Wikipedia just on religion".[11]

In mid-2010, Patheos invited many religious figures and scholars to contribute to a series on the future of religions. This has attracted much attention and increased web-traffic from 100,000 visitors per month to 250,000.[5]

On January 3, 2011, Newsweek listed Patheos as one of "21 Ways To Be Smarter in 2011".[12]


  1. ^ Home About Patheos Patton Dodd
  2. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b Electa Draper (May 10, 2009). "Couple's site invites others on spiritual quest". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  4. ^ David Ian Miller (May 18, 2009). "Not all who wander are lost". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d Peggy Fletcher Stack (August 19, 2010). "LDS apostle blogs — along with other Mormons — about faith's future". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Patheos Q and A". Patheos. Retrieved 2010-08-19. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e Jeninne Lee-St. John (May 5, 2009). "What Do Religions Believe? A Website with Answers". Time. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  8. ^ Emily W. Jensen (June 9, 2009). "Bloggernacle Back Bench:, He Said/She Said". Mormon Times (Deseret News). Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  9. ^ "Finding your own spiritual path(eos)". Religion News Service. May 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  10. ^ "50 Best Spirituality Bloggers". Online Christian Colleges. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  11. ^ Rizwaan Akhtar (January 28, 2010). "Rizwaan's top 10 websites on Islam". The Buxton Initiative. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  12. ^ "21 Ways To Be Smarter in 2011". The Daily Beast. January 3, 2011

External links[edit]