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The ABC's of Theology

Atonement, Baptism, Christology, Deconstruction
The ABC's of Theology, an ongoing blog series from the folks at Homebrewed Christianity. (previously) [more inside]
posted by womprat78 on Jul 15, 2014 - 6 comments

Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples?

A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.
Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on May 13, 2014 - 154 comments

The Myth of the Medieval Repression of Science

In the academic sphere, at least, the "Conflict Thesis" of a historical war between science and theology has been long since overturned. It is very odd that so many of my fellow atheists cling so desperately to a long-dead position that was only ever upheld by amateur Nineteenth Century polemicists and not the careful research of recent, objective, peer-reviewed historians. This is strange behavior for people who like to label themselves "rationalists".-- The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
posted by Pater Aletheias on Dec 29, 2013 - 95 comments

The rise of the religious left

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute [PDF], 1 in 5 Americans can now be defined as "religious progressives". These people, who eschew the current Republican agenda of religious social conservatism, have Republican leaders caught in the middle between an aging religious conservative majority and young religious progressives.
posted by reenum on Jul 24, 2013 - 183 comments

An image of a soundless voice

Only two works of Nonnus of Panopolis (fl. AD 400), arguably the last great poet of the Homeric tradition, survive complete. The first is his Dionysiaca, ostensibly an account of the adventures of Dionysus but embracing everything that touches chaos and fire and sound, "the longest surviving poem from classical antiquity and one of the most entertaining, outrageous and vivid epics ever conceived west of the Ganges." The second is the Metabole kata Ioannou [PDF]. It's a paraphrase of the Gospel of John into the idiom of Homer.
posted by Iridic on Feb 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Sea. Common Night. Forest. City. Mountain. Private Light. Desert.

"From symbols and notions to literary and religious allusions, this chart contains [W.H.] Auden's view of the world (and of worlds beyond), at least as he envisioned it in the 1940s." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 1, 2013 - 17 comments

Homebrewed Christianity Podcast

For those tired of watered-down, light-beer theology...Check out the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast, started by process-theologians Trip Fuller and Chad Crawford. Today's podcast interviews Old-Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann. The highlight is the lightning round finale (starts at ~61 min) where Walter gives rapid thoughts on such topics such as religious pluralism, ecological crises, immigration, homosexuality, economics, empire, and his favorite Bible story for his grandchildren. Also this week, a conversation with Barry Taylor (ACDC Sound Engineer, Episcopal Priest, and philosopher).
posted by womprat78 on Nov 13, 2012 - 12 comments

The generation game

"the most embarrassing verse in the Bible" - C.S. Lewis "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" - 2000 years of arguments over the central verse in all prophecy. The meaning of Christianity, and hence much of our culture, hangs on the disputed meaning of a single word, "genea" or "generation." [more inside]
posted by EnterTheStory on Nov 9, 2012 - 103 comments

I mean, it's gotta end sometime, right?

"Eschatology" is, generally speaking, the study of the end of the world, but when most people in the US hear the term, they generally think of Christian eschatology.

Specifically, they tend to think of the barrels of ink and that one movie (previously) which have been devoted to the subject over the past couple of decades. Neither seems to have contributed to a wider understanding of the actual theology involved. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Oct 12, 2010 - 94 comments

Navigating the Post-Secular

John Milbank and Katherine Pickstock are interviewed about Radical Orthodoxy [more inside]
posted by superiorchicken on Jul 4, 2010 - 32 comments

Man vs. God

Noted religious thinker Karen Armstrong and noted atheist thinker Richard Dawkins face off - sorta kinda - in the WSJ: We commissioned Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?" Neither knew what the other would say. Here are the results. Previously.
posted by fleetmouse on Sep 25, 2009 - 310 comments

Pope != American. News at 11.

Caritas in Veritate (summary here), Benedict XVI's third encyclical, hit the presses last week and made it into Obama's hands on Friday. Part of a large body of Catholic social thinking, Benedict called for a United Nations "with teeth" (maybe it could happen) and a focus on authentic human development, grounded on a focus on the whole person and an economics governed by love. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jul 12, 2009 - 44 comments

The Great Work

Thomas Berry passed away early on the morning of June 1st. He described himself as a cosmologist and "geologian," an Earth scholar. He was an advocate of deep ecology, and believed passionately in the power of the New Cosmology and the Great Story. Berry believed that "Our future destiny rests even more decisively on our capacity for intimacy in our human-Earth relations."
posted by diogenes on Jun 22, 2009 - 7 comments

Open Source Religion

Open to Revisions. "Some religious entrepreneurs have adopted an 'open source' model, where rituals and doctrines can be rewritten as easily as computer code."
posted by homunculus on Jun 11, 2009 - 54 comments

Iconodule website

The Temple Gallery in London has more than 200 items of Eastern Orthodox religious art, principally icons, on its website, both from the current exhibit as well as older pieces. Icons have been a part of Orthodox Christianity for centuries and they are loaded with meaning. The theology is elaborated upon in this essay on the history, principles and function of icons by iconographer Dr. George Kordis. One of the subjects of the essay is the Byzantine iconoclasm, a central event of which was the Seventh Ecumenical Council, depicted here in an icon. Here are some other icons I like: The Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia, St. Alypius the Stylite, Synaxis of the Archangels, Dormition of the Virgin and Presentation of Christ in the Temple. [Click on any image for a larger view]
posted by Kattullus on May 10, 2009 - 9 comments

Reinhold Niebuhr

What You Can Learn from Reinhold Niebuhr.
posted by homunculus on Mar 16, 2009 - 11 comments

The Spherical Wave Structure of Matter in Space

On Truth and Reality. Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) it is actually very simple to work out how matter exists and moves about in Space. The rules of Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) and Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) require that reality be described from only one single source existing, as Leibniz wrote: "because of the interconnection of all things with one another." [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 30, 2009 - 46 comments

Roger Williams

The First Founder: The American Revolution of Roger Williams. [Via 3quarksdaily]
posted by homunculus on Aug 31, 2008 - 8 comments

"Afterward, the locust with its execrable teeth"

The Speculum theologiae is a beautiful medieval manuscript. Its diagrams demonstrate visually various aspects of the medieval worldview. The diagrams are explained and translated and most of them are expounded upon in a short essay. My favorite diagrams are The Cherub with Six Wings, The 10 Commandments, Plagues of Egypt and Abuses of the Impious and The Tree of Virtue and The Tree of Vices.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 3, 2008 - 14 comments

A completely revised edition of the Masseian corpus with all the flaws taken out

Masseiana - Containing the three major works of Gerald Massey and his minor work commonly titled: The Lectures. Published here in their entirety, fully revised and amended, with additional material by the editor.
posted by tellurian on May 13, 2008 - 3 comments

Divine instruments for self learning

Mnemonic Arts of Blessed Raymond LULL
posted by generalist on Apr 7, 2008 - 19 comments

Jeremiah Wright in context.

Jeremiah Wright in context. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Mar 26, 2008 - 110 comments

Gloria in electronica

The University of South Carolina recently completed an ambitious survey of all medieval texts in the state for an exhibit at the university library. All the works were scanned and archived electronically. However, not only can you view the texts online, you can hear the university's chorus sing (MP3) the musical manuscripts. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 18, 2008 - 8 comments

Swimming upstream.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is a book released last month by Tim Keller. Its faired reasonably well (NYT, login req'd), which is interesting, considering the wide success of books preaching the opposite message, as of late (Dawkins, et. al.). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 5, 2008 - 155 comments

New peer-reviewed Creationist Research Journal

Answers Research Journal is a new "professional peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework." Current Volume. Call for Papers.
posted by Rumple on Feb 2, 2008 - 32 comments

The most important Evangelical you've never heard of

Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth -- Truth about all of reality. And the holding to that Truth intellectually... brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal results.
When the Religious Right cruised onto the cultural scene in the late 1970s, the road map was drawn by oddball Pennsylvanian Francis Schaeffer. Generally regarded as the first (perhaps only) Evangelical philosopher, Schaeffer's views on the fundamental clash between Christian and secular belief systems became the talking points for a generation of American Christians. The movement's trajectory, though, left many of Schaeffer's more nuanced beliefs by the wayside. His son's recent writings suggest that it didn't take long for the father of the Religious Right to regret what he'd birthed.
posted by verb on Oct 29, 2007 - 40 comments

Jesus Christ!

Jesus of Nazareth - a theological biography by Pope Benedict
posted by kyleg on May 13, 2007 - 63 comments

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

God vs. the Devil: a Death Toll Perspective So, who has killed more people throughout human history? In the blue corner, it's the Lord of Hosts, the Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all Things Seen and Unseen: God!!! In the red corner, it's Old Nick, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, the Sultan of Sulfur, the Bringer of Brimstone: Satan!!!
posted by Tommy Gnosis on Apr 5, 2007 - 127 comments

But wait for Lou...

Mr. Deity!
posted by Cookiebastard on Feb 18, 2007 - 11 comments

'…makes Dick Cheney sound like Thomas Mann.'

He seems to imagine God, if not exactly with a white beard, then at least as some kind of chap, however supersized. He asks how this chap can speak to billions of people simultaneously, which is rather like wondering why, if Tony Blair is an octopus, he has only two arms. -- Terry Eagleton on Richard Dawkins' new book, The God Delusion.
posted by shakespeherian on Oct 25, 2006 - 205 comments

Suction is the female of movement and pressure is the male of movement.

"Lawsonomy is the knowledge of Life and everything pertaining thereto." The collected works of Alfred Lawson - professional baseball player, aviation pioneer, economist, scientist, theologist, and philosopher - are available to all. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids on Jul 6, 2006 - 6 comments

The Ultimate Internet Mashup

The Summa Theologica Of St Thomas Aquinas VERSUS St Augustine's City Of God .(you tube link)
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 3, 2006 - 51 comments

OMeGa

Interpreting Revelation's "Millenium." Outside of the all-too-virulent rapture-crazy pre-tribulational dispensationalist premillenialism permeating JesusLand, some Christians hold to other, more nuanced eschatological alternatives. You've got historic post-tribulational premillenialism, which places the transformation of the faithful at the final judgment rather than before it; amillenialism, which regards Christ's "millenial" reign as a symbolic spiritual reign culminating in the last judgment; and postmillenialism, which sees the millenium as a gradual progression towards goodness and light. Overlapping those, you have the "it's all been fulfilled" preterists, and their prophecy-party-pooping compatriots, the hyper-preterists. It's a debate just slightly more fun than the end of the universe. Meanwhile, the noncanonical apocalypses sit in a corner, sadly ignored, and sunny Megiddo is still waiting for some end times action.
posted by brownpau on Feb 1, 2006 - 76 comments

The Other SF Prophet Meat

How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later is a speech by Philip K. Dick which he never delivered. In it he details his theory of time and reality. A complimentary speech, which he did deliver, is If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others. According to one account "people left the auditorium, it was later reported, looking as though they'd been hit with a hammer." Other essays by him in that vein are Man, Android and Machine and Cosmogony and Cosmology.

Here are some excerpts from his exegesis. Also, a collection of interviews with Dick.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 1, 2005 - 119 comments

The Gorge

"... Giordano Bruno might have been a pantheist. A pantheist believes that God is everywhere, even in that speck of a fly you see there. You can imagine how satisfying that is—being everywhere is like being nowhere. Well, for Hegel it wasn’t God but the State that had to be everywhere; therefore, he was a Fascist.”
“But didn’t he live more than a hundred years ago?”
“So? Joan of Arc, also a Fascist of the highest order. Fascists have always existed. Since the age of . . . since the age of God. Take God—a Fascist.”
Umberto Eco in the New Yorker
posted by matteo on Feb 28, 2005 - 36 comments

Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life according to various rather famous people (Dennett, Fukuyama, etc). I'm watching the Dennett video at the moment and it starts rather weakly, but, by midway through, is rolling along nicely. With topics like "being good without god" and "the anthropic principle" it struck me as relevant to a couple of recent askmefi threads.
Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...

(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)
posted by andrew cooke on Oct 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Bill Moyers on democracy excrutiate.

"How do we nurture the healing side of religion over the killing side? How do we protect the soul of democracy against bad theology in service of an imperial state? OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out. And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, 'The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.' The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don't work, and punitive public policies."
Bill Moyers on democracy excruciate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Jul 15, 2004 - 91 comments

The Beecher Family

The Beecher Family. 'Families that have been influential in American life and culture are often recognizable by their signature names. The Beecher family is an example of one such family whose deep religious convictions and social conscience spanned the nineteenth century and made them prominent historical figures whose impact on religion, education, abolition, reform movements, literature and public life were exceptional. Biographer Milton Rugoff claims that in "two generations the Beechers emerged, along with many other Americans, from a God-centered, theology-ridden world concerned with the fate of man's eternal soul into a man-centered society occupied mainly with life on earth." ... '
posted by plep on Jun 25, 2004 - 8 comments

Pontius Pilate contracted his brows, and his hand rose to his forehead...

"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea, is the only historical figure named in the Nicene Creed -- Coptic saint or eternally damned, his role in the greatest story ever told has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine, Dante Alighieri, Tintoretto, John Ruskin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Monty Python. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence about him. His role in the death of a certain charismatic Galilean healer and apocalyptic preacher is still being debated today by theologians and historians alike. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator of Judea, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo on Jun 24, 2004 - 37 comments

Web Project Seeks to Digitize Religious Images for Theological Libraries

Web Project Seeks to Digitize Religious Images for Theological Libraries The American Theological Library Association's Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative aims to create a large database of religious images to spare research librarians the expense of digitizing documents that other institutions have already scanned
posted by turbanhead on Jul 16, 2003 - 4 comments

A Summary of Pythagorean Theology

A Summary of Pythagorean Theology
posted by oissubke on Mar 20, 2003 - 6 comments

A Remainder of Fear

If you have sex before marriage, you will die. Why is fear so often used to promote an agenda?
posted by The Jesse Helms on Nov 25, 2002 - 37 comments

Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of the Opus Dei movement, was canonized today. Opus Dei is a conservative movement within the catholic church, and counts many powerful people among its adherents - the current pope among them. However, it is not without its detractors and opponents. Some of the most important people in the Franco dictatorship were part of the group, as were several of the participants in the Venezuelan coup earlier this year. Should we keep an eye on these guys? They are certainly secretive and aggressive, but are they just a group of concerned, pious Catholics, or a power-hungry fraternity? I'm half-catholic myself, and certainly curious to hear if any Catholic MeFiers have thoughts on this subject. Even better, an Opus Dei member to clarify some of these misunderstandings...
posted by charlesv on Oct 6, 2002 - 24 comments

The World Politics Heavyweight Fight: Huntington vs. Fukuyama:

The World Politics Heavyweight Fight: Huntington vs. Fukuyama: Which of these two now classic approaches offers a more plausible vision of the world's future? Huntington's Culture Clash[Foreign Affairs, 1993] or Fukuyama's Pax Democratia[National Interest, 1989]? In an updating mode, Stanley Kurtz[Policy Review, 2002] measures their chances from a political viewpoint. On the same front,Jack Miles[Cross Currents, 2002] offers a refreshingly liberal and optimistic theological perspective. Yep, it's still all about East meeting West, the Muslims and the rest of the us. Or even increasingly...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 9, 2002 - 11 comments

Today is Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in 1517. He was largely criticizing the practice of selling indulgences (forgiveness for sins). He didn't intend to split with the church. He left room for the Pope to slip out of the indulgences corruption. But the Pope didn't, and the split eventually came.
posted by Sean Meade on Oct 31, 2001 - 12 comments

"Listen up: God isn't Santa"

"Listen up: God isn't Santa" says a retired bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church. The basis of prayer has always seemed like a paradox to me. I'm glad to see that John Shelby Spong agrees.
posted by UrbanFigaro on Oct 13, 2001 - 54 comments

Where Was God?

Where Was God? .......there is nothing else I can say about this.
posted by bunnyfire on Oct 7, 2001 - 147 comments

Christian Fundamentalism Inspiring Radical Muslim Theology?

Christian Fundamentalism Inspiring Radical Muslim Theology? Arab fundamentalists long ago woke up to the potential of European anti-Semitic literature such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Now, in a truly bizarre piece of cultural miscegenation, they are turning to the Bible belt for inspiration.
posted by tpoh.org on Oct 2, 2001 - 12 comments

I encourage all people to take a look at a few sites to learn what Satanism actually is. As a nominal Christian, I was suprised to learn that Satanism isn't anything like popular culture says it is. Actually, as a student of theology, I found it fascinating. It's based on Magick and the teachings of British poet and mystic Aleister Crowley. The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance has a great introduction to Satanism, among 70 other faiths. The prominent Satanist 'church' is the Temple of Set. The Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn is a notable Satanic order, but no Order compares to the Ordo Templi Orientis, an Order that Crowley himself ran. The Aleister Crowley Foundation and The Hermetic Library are two other interesting resources.
posted by tdecius on Nov 2, 1999 - 0 comments

I went to Catholic high school for two years, and being the incredibly geeky type, I wondered, given the Pope is the Bishop of Rome, how he ran the whole church and his provincial diocese. This site is a good snippet that answers the question, for those people like me who have academic interests in theology.
posted by tdecius on Oct 18, 1999 - 0 comments

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