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gwenpalpic.jpgWe know the convictions of Travolta and Tom, Madonna and Val Kilmer, but rank-and-file celebrities are so vague about their spiritual leanings it’s hard to know which faith we’d put them into, but comments by Gwyneth Paltrow to the British teen mag Heat last week convince us that we can make the call: Paltrow is a Transcendentalist. “What I believe is that Mohammed and Jesus and Buddha and Shiva are all the exact same thing: an energy, our link to something larger than ourselves,” she told Heat. “I do believe there is something out there and you can channel that energy.”


These comments put the star directly in the tradition of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his cohort who split from basic Massachusetts Unitarianism back in the mid-19th century, who believed that all religions were one and that we could best see the divine by examining nature. For the record, Paltrow was raised Jewish by her actor father Bruce Paltrow (who, according to Heat, “is descended from a Russian dynasty of rabbis”).

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