|Slogan||Balanced Views of Religion and Spirituality|
Type of site
|Created by||Leo and Cathie Brunnick|
|3,789 (June 2014[update])|
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.
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.
Patheos attempts to strike a middle ground between academia, popular media, and faith sites. Beliefnet founder Steven Waldman observed that Patheos is used for learning about other religions, while people use Beliefnet to explain their own religion.
The site features portals with material on over 50 belief systems, including atheism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, mainline Protestantism, Mormonism, and Paganism. 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." 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.
Time magazine called Patheos's materials "streamlined" and "reader-friendly". 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".
The site is listed as 10th out of the 50 best spirituality blogs ranked by Online Christian Colleges. 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".
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.
- Home About Patheos Patton Dodd
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