Usenet: Religion-Related Newsgroups
Note: You might not be able to get all of these groups - it depends on
your local news server. Two non-UK groups available at Oxford are aus.religion and fj.life.religion.
There are four main sections: alt, soc, talk, and uk. The last of
these will probably be available only if your server is in the UK;
otherwise there may be a Usenet hierarchy for your own country.
Generally speaking, there's no discrenible difference between the alt,
soc, and talk groups. The alt (alternative) groups are less official than
the others, though this doesn't usually show up in the content.
The best advice I can give if you've never sampled the delights of
Usenet groups is this: don't allow yourself to put off immediately,
however chaotic and/or repellent things seem. You'll soon find that 95%
of most of the groups is noise, and you'll learn to spot it and ignore
it. The remaining 5% can offer interesting and sometimes
informative discussion; it's worth persevering.
You should be aware of copyright as it affects
For details of non-Usenet discussion, see here.
- ***alt groups***
- Discussion of atheism. In theory. In practice, it's more like a
honeypot around which Christian Fundamentalists swarm, buzzing
- More like the real thing, though not entirely free from the odd
- Pretty much what it says.
- Messianic traditions.
- alt.religion.all-worlds (FAQ)
- Grokking the Church of All Worlds from Heinlein's book.
- alt.religion.eckankar (FAQ)
- Eckankar, the religion of the Light and Sound of God.
- alt.religion.gnostic (FAQ)
- History and philosophies of the Gnostic sects.
- alt.religion.islam (FAQ)
- Discussion of Islamic Faith & Soc.Religion.Islam.
- L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology.
- Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny!
- Use soc.religion.shamanism instead.
- Universal Life Church.
- Discussion of the Vaisnava spiritual tradition.
- alt.religion.wicca (FAQ)
- Zoraster's/Zarathustra's religion, mazdaism.
- ***soc groups***
- Despite its name, the discussion here is largely centred on religious
- soc.religion.bahai (FAQ)
- Discussion of the Baha'i Faith. (Moderated)
- Discussions of Eastern religions. (Moderated)
- soc.religion.gnosis (FAQ)
- Gnosis, marifat, jnana & direct sacred experience. (Moderated)
- Discussion about the Hindu dharma, philosophy, culture. (Moderated)
- soc.religion.islam (FAQ)
- Discussions of the Islamic faith. (Moderated)
- soc.religion.quaker (FAQ)
- The Religious Society of Friends.
- soc.religion.shamanism (FAQ)
- Discussion of the full range of shamanic experience. (Moderated)
- Sikh Religion and Sikhs all over the world. (Moderated)
- Unitarian-Universalism & non-creedal religions. (Moderated)
- ***talk groups***
- talk.origins (FAQ)
- Evolution versus creationism (sometimes hot!).
- Discussion of Buddhism.
- General religious discussion. Warning: this one's immense -
and contains a good deal of preaching and other non-discussion material.
Don't bother writing to the perpetrators to point this out; however polite
you are you won't get anywhere (one person flashed his Cambridge M.A.(!)
at me, another tried to pull rank as an ex-civil servant... most are just
- talk.religion.newage (FAQ)
- Esoteric and minority religions & philosophies.
- Humanism in the modern world.
- Not always very philosophical, and often indistinguishable from
- ***uk groups***
- uk.religion.islam (FAQ)
to the Religion index