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 Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Ask Your (Male) Colleagues What They Earn
Samira Ahmed’s case against her employer, the BBC, illustrates the value of transparency in closing the gender pay gap.
The Atlantic5 min readSociety
Google’s Totally Creepy, Totally Legal Health-Data Harvesting
The summer after college, I moved back home to take care of my widower grandfather. Part of my job was to manage his medications; at 80, he was becoming a fall risk and often complained that his prescriptions made him light-headed. But getting someon
The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
Just How Far Will Republicans Go for Trump?
Lawmakers won’t face facts about Ukraine because they’re scared of the base. Yet one reason the president’s support remains so indivisible is that few lawmakers have condemned him.