On the face of it, the eponymous hero of The Great Lebowksi (1998) is an unlikely religious leader. According to the Cohen brothers film's tagline, the Dude is 'a lazy, time-wasting slacker'. And by his own admission, Dude struggles to stay on top of life's vicissitudes.
You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind limber.
At the centre of these 'what-have-you's' is the theft of a rug which - as every Dude admirer knows - 'really tied the room together'. And The Dude's quest to track it down forms the central narrative of what has become a sizable (online) religion.
Though it cannot claim much in terms of tradition (established 2005) Dudeism even has an earnest Wikipedia entry which claims Taoist origins and '150,000 Dudeist priests'.
A version of this post is included in English Language 100 FAQ -