The Atlantic

The Church of CrossFit

Gyms and other secular communities are starting to fill spiritual and social needs for many nonreligious people.
Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty

“You always know if someone goes to Harvard or if they go to CrossFit—they’ll tell you,” said Casper ter Kuile, a ministry innovation fellow at Harvard Divinity School. “It’s really interesting that evangelical zeal they have. They want to recruit you.”

CrossFit is his favorite example of a trend he has noticed: how, in the midst of the decline of religious affiliation in America, and the rise of isolation and loneliness, many ostensibly non-religious communities are “functioning in ways that look a little bit

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Seven Questions That Need Answers Before Any Attack on Iran
President Trump’s threats of retaliation for strikes on Saudi oil facilities seem premature.
The Atlantic6 min readScience
When One Big Cat Is Almost Like the Other
India’s Supreme Court has to decide if African cheetahs could sub in for the country’s long-lost population of Asiatic cheetahs.
The Atlantic7 min readPsychology
The Price of Ascending America’s Class Ladder
Being upwardly mobile can come at a cost to people’s relationships with the family, friends, and community they grew up with.