Update: Check out the best spiritual and religious blogs in Beliefnet's new feature, Blog Heaven.

The web can be an overwhelming place, especially when it comes to blogs. Blogs (short for weblogs) can be anything from personal diaries to daily screeds about current events. Most blogs are written by regular folks with strong opinions and a considerable amount of free time. While the most famous blogs (Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish, Slashdot, Gawker) tend to be in the political, technical, or media arenas, spiritual bloggers are increasingly carving out their own section of the blogosphere.

Like most blogs, faith-based blogs tend to be highly opinionated and often include funny personal anecdotes. But their content is also unique--many spiritual blogs are written by people seriously engaging with and struggling with their faith. Some bloggers write specifically about sacred texts (check out Dylan's Lectionary Blog or the Hadeeth blog). Others are more culturally oriented, covering the ways faith intersects with the arts and politics.

Not every spiritual blog is worth reading, of course. Many blogs aren't updated frequently; others are updated far too often with everyday minutiae. Some blogs function as the daily organs of established media outlets or institutes. Beliefnet has chosen to highlight some of the best spiritual blogs on the web. These blogs are all worth checking in with daily or weekly. The list is far from exhaustive--with seemingly endless numbers of blogs for every religion (for example, this list of Quaker blogs, My Scientology Blog, this Unitarian Universalist blog), we couldn't begin to try to accomplish that.

We'll keep updating this list with our favorite picks as we discover new blogs. And we encourage you to submit your own favorites by posting on the message board to the right.

General Religion Blogs

The Revealer
The Revealer, run out of New York University's Center for Religion and Media, describes itself as a "daily review of religion and the press." Though a big part of its mission is to review how religion is portrayed in the media, it's a great place to start for the latest--and often obscure--religion news, as well as excellent links to a wide range of religion news resources and other blogs.

Get Religion
This joint blog between conservative-leaning religion reporters Terry Mattingly and Douglas LeBlanc offers smart analysis of major religion stories and how they're reported in the mainstream press.

Also check out:

  • Holy Weblog
    This longtime Beliefnet favorite is currently down for maintenance, but well worth a look when it's back online.

    Christian Blogs
    Relapsed Catholic
    There are dozens of well-written and frequently updated Catholic blogs, but Relapsed Catholic seems to be a must-read for the Catholic community. It bills itself as one of the oldest and most popular blogs around. The blogger, Canadian journalist Kathy Shaidle, offers a conservative take on Catholicism, politics, and other religions (and often links to Beliefnet's Loose Canon).

    Evangelical Outpost
    This is a conservative blog from an "evangelical worldview." The posts are intelligent and cover a wide variety of topics, from science to the media to discussing "What's an Evangelical?" Evangelical Outpost includes a frequent series called "Know Your Evangelicals," a brief bio of important people in the evangelical community, like Chuck Colson, T.D. Jakes, and Jim Wallis.

    The Village Gate
    (Formerly The Right Christians)
    A progressive Christian blog, whose goal is to bring more attention to the role of liberal Christians in the public arena. The Village Gate is managed by a Lutheran pastor but functions as a gathering place for other progressives and relevant blogs.

    ChristDot describes itself as "News for Jesus Freaks." It offers short takes on Christian news and, unlike many Christian blogs, doesn't claim a political affiliation.

    Also check out:
  • Blogs4God
    A compilation of Christian weblogs
  • Amy Welborn's Open Book
    Another popular Catholic blog
  • Orson's Telescope
    A Mormon blog, with links to many others

    Jewish Blogs

    The Velveteen Rabbi
    Among the many personal Jewish blogs on the web, this is one of the best. The blog entries are beautiful musings on prayer, holidays, blessings, and Jewish spirituality. The writer, Rachel Barenblat, who is not actually a rabbi, also offers a Beliefnet-like mix of posts about other religions and traditions.