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🚨 URGENT: Mere Orthodoxy Needs YOUR Help

"Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World," with Dr. Tara Isabella Burton

June 23rd, 2020 | 2 min read

By Caleb Wait

While formal religious adherence has decreased in the modern age, spirituality has not. To answer why intuitions seem to be replacing institutions, Dr. Tara Isabella Burton joins Matt, Derek, and Alastair to discuss her new book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World. Listen in to hear how millennials and GenZers are finding their religions in fan-culture, occultism, wellness and self-care, and social justice activism.



Why should “normies” care about “Strange Rites” and weird internet cultures? [0:00 - 8:52]

If many of these views are attached to internet cultures, how do they relate to one’s physical life? [8:52 - 13:34]

How the internet is an accelerant to expressive individualism [13:34 - 21:39]

What is the difference between these “strange rites” being new religions and intense hobbies? [21:39 - 25:49]

What people do when their institutions are lost [25:49 - 29:03]

How institutions can navigate the terrain of a world full of “Strange Rites” [29:03 - 33:10]

Retaining the “weirdness” of orthodox doctrine while holding to traditional sexual ethics [33:10 - 35:55]

Are the new godless religions accommodating human sensibilities as the classic religions have? [33:55 - 38:29]

Is there a practice that helps us resist this pervasive expressive individualism? [38:29 - 40:41]


Resources mentioned:

Book: Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World

Article: "Christianity Gets Weird," by Tara Isabella Burton

If you’re interested in supporting the show financially, you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Caleb Wait

Caleb Wait (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is a writer and the producer of Mere Fidelity. He and his wife Kristin have two children and live in Northern California. You can follow him on Twitter @calebwait and he invites you to email him at