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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

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