Religion has always been associated with commercial aspects of life. People purchase religious things for use outside of formal worship—scriptures and other religious books, religious artifacts like statues or jewelry, candles and incense, etc.—and institutional religious organizations both buy and sell merchandise.
Many businesses, including religious bookstores and gift shops, cater to both religious organizations and individual people. But there are a wide range of other commercial enterprises that also address the religious and spiritual interests of ordinary people. Spas, gyms, yoga studios, and other businesses focused on personal health and wellness often have names inspired by religious or spiritual traditions. Such businesses are often decorated with religious or spiritual iconography—angels, Buddhas, gods or goddesses—and actively cultivate a spiritual vibe through lighting, music, or ritual practices. So, too, an increasing number of cafés and restaurants evoke religion and spirituality. Even within businesses that are not religiously themed, an extensive array of products and services are aimed at nurturing the religious and spiritual interests of customers. These sites make up an important part of the religious landscape of many communities, serving as sites of calm and tranquility where people find resources to enrich their lives and engage with others with similar interests.