The Sacred and the Dead

Jerry Garcia said once that he didn’t care much for the Western God—but that didn’t stop him from creating a religion of his own, complete with “tie dye, skulls, and swirling skirts.”

But just how does the Grateful Dead do “the work of the sacred” for its followers?

In the series below, inspired in conversation with Varun Soni of USC’s Office of Religious Life, RD editor Cathleen Falsani has collected a set of reminiscences—intimate, philosophical, devotional—that engage this question.

Deadhead or civilian, believer or skeptic, we hope you’ll join us as we mark the conclusion of this singular American pilgrimage.