Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

87 posts tagged with religion and history. (View popular tags)
Displaying 51 through 87 of 87. Subscribe:

The Pope with the Robotic Head

Gerbert D'Aurillac: mathemetician and engineer, Pope, ghost, and meddler with dark forces. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 1, 2007 - 17 comments

Science and Islam

Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement. "Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong."
posted by homunculus on Aug 7, 2007 - 19 comments

It Paines Me

Thomas Paine is sometimes forgotten, but dealt with some modern predicaments. Quotes, letters & essays, and an assortment of his writings.
posted by Gnostic Novelist on Mar 16, 2007 - 7 comments

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela. Currently under way in Allahabad, India, the three-yearly Kumbh Mela festival is the largest gathering of people on the planet, as up to 70 million Hindus converge to wash away their sins where droplets of the nectar of immortality are said to have been spilt when the gods & demons struggled over it. Of perennial interest to foreigners are the hordes of sadhus (often naked, ascetic holy men) who attend, not always without incident. Recently, however, an Australian historian has cast doubt on the supposedly ancient nature of the mass gathering, suggesting that it was largely invented as a way of circumventing British control following the unsuccessful Indian Mutiny of 1857. [reg for final link: mefi / mefi]
posted by UbuRoivas on Feb 7, 2007 - 16 comments

Book of Martyrs

John Foxe's Book of Martyrs offers complete, searchable transcriptions of the 1563, 1570, 1576, and 1583 editions of Foxe's Actes and Monuments... Readers can juxtapose two editions to see Foxe's alterations. The site includes images of the foldout woodcuts, along with the title pages. Other goodies include a raft of introductory essays and detailed commentaries on the illustrations to books 10-12. See also the Foxe Digital Library Project at Ohio State University, which includes woodcuts, images of selected pages, and an exhibition catalog. There are more woodcuts from the 1610 edition at Penn's Center for Electronic Text and Image and from the 1784 edition at Kansas State University.
posted by thomas j wise on Jan 24, 2007 - 10 comments

... the replacement of my secular education with a curriculum guided by God. ...

Through a Glass, Darkly How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 12, 2007 - 111 comments

History

THE SAINTLY SINNER. “Maudlin,” a derivative of Magdalene, in the English language, with the meaning of “mawkishly lachrymose.”
posted by semmi on Mar 1, 2006 - 10 comments

...plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before ...

President Jonah --an essay/history lesson/bible lesson/etc by Gore Vidal. ...We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 28, 2006 - 33 comments

It's the Demography, Stupid

It's the demography, stupid: "The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birth rate to sustain it. ... Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there’s an excellent chance they can drag things out until western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default."
posted by shivohum on Jan 10, 2006 - 72 comments

Acts of sacred violence

What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America? Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site. (Main link via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 9, 2006 - 35 comments

Will the real Thanksgiving please stand up?

Thanksgiving sucks. The English went on setting fire to wigwams of the village. They burned village after village to the ground. As one of the leading theologians of his day, Dr. Cotton Mather put it: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day." And Cotton Mather, clutching his bible, spurred the English to slaughter more Indians in the name of Christianity.
posted by j-urb on Nov 24, 2005 - 55 comments

Robert W. Funk, 1926-2005

We are going to inquire simply, rigorously after the voice of Jesus, after what he really said.
Robert Walter Funk, who died September 3, was the founder of the Jesus Seminar and one of the most influential New Testament scholars of his generation. The Jesus of Nazareth discovered by the Jesus Seminar was a wisdom teacher whose parables proclaimed the arrival of God's kingdom. He was not, in the judgment of the Seminar, the messiah of the end-times (.pdf file, go to page 5 and 6). Also: Funk's 21 theses.
posted by matteo on Sep 26, 2005 - 34 comments

dangerous radicals

A Brief History of Slime, or How The Current Wave Of Global Islamic Terrorism Was Precipitated By A B-Movie Actor.
posted by 31d1 on Aug 3, 2005 - 56 comments

Rebecca Protten and the origins of African American Christianity.

Rebecca's Revival. Rebecca Protten, born a slave in 1718, gained her freedom and joined a group of proselytizers from the Moravian Church. She embarked on an itinerant mission, preaching to hundreds of the enslaved Africans of St. Thomas, West Indies. Weathering persecution from hostile planters, Protten and other black preachers created the earliest African Protestant congregation in the Americas. University of Florida historian Jon Sensbach has written a book about Protten's life -- the interracial marriage, the trial on charges of blasphemy and inciting of slaves, the travels to Germany and West Africa. Later in her life, after she moved to Germany, Rebecca was ordained as a deaconess: "a former slave now administered Communion and practiced other claims to spiritual authority over white women, including European aristocrats." More inside.
posted by matteo on May 15, 2005 - 4 comments

Dude, be prepared. Be that Boy Scout they won't let you be anymore.

The Uses of Canaries--and what canaries need to do --...Why go to all that trouble when we have reduced the homosexual, himself, to nothing more than a body part? Remove the homo -- he's just a diseased body part, after all -- and the problem is solved. Of course there will always be those so pathologically sex-panicked that they have to rely on their Think Pieces to get their pornography fix. Not worth worrying about, generally. But when United States Senators start in with the Depravity Fillip, and the DF starts showing up in the campaign literature of various groups... well, you want to keep your eye on that sort of thing. You maybe want to start thinking about that famous canary in the mine-shaft. ...
posted by amberglow on May 9, 2005 - 51 comments

Alexander the Corrector

The Man Who Unwrote the Bible. In the mid-1720s, Alexander Cruden took on a self-imposed task of Herculean proportions: he decided to compile the most thorough concordance of the King James Version of the Bible (777,746 words). The first edition of Cruden's Concordance was published in 1737. Every similar undertaking before or since has been the work of a vast team of people. Cruden worked alone in his lodgings, writing the whole thing out by hand. Cruden's day job was as a "Corrector of the Press" (proofreader). He would give hawk-eyed attention to prose all day long. Then he would come home at night to read the Bible—stopping at every single word to secure the right sheet from the tens of thousands of pieces of paper all around him and to record accurately the reference in its appropriate place. He had no patron, no publisher, no financial backers: his only commission was a divine one.
Cruden's Concordance has never been out of print. A new book tells the tale of Alexander the Corrector's bizarre, sad life (scroll down to about half page).
posted by matteo on Apr 3, 2005 - 10 comments

Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular

Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular Some people today assert that the United States government came from Christian foundations. They argue that our political system represents a Christian ideal form of government and that Jefferson, Madison, et al, had simply expressed Christian values while framing the Constitution. If this proved true, then we should have a wealth of evidence to support it, yet just the opposite proves the case. Although, indeed, many of America's colonial statesmen practiced Christianity, our most influential Founding Fathers broke away from traditional religious thinking. The ideas of the Great Enlightenment that began in Europe had begun to sever the chains of monarchical theocracy. These heretical European ideas spread throughout early America. Instead of relying on faith, people began to use reason and science as their guide. The humanistic philosophical writers of the Enlightenment, such as Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire, had greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and Isaac Newton's mechanical and mathematical foundations served as a grounding post for their scientific reasoning.
posted by Postroad on Jan 27, 2005 - 49 comments

7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico

7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico Archaeologists have traced the development of religion in one location over a 7,000-year period, reporting that as an early society changed from foraging to settlement to the formation of an archaic state, religion also evolved to match the changing social structure. This archaeological record, because of its length and completeness, sheds an unusually clear light on the origins of religion, a universal human behavior but one whose evolutionary and social roots are still not well understood.
posted by Postroad on Dec 21, 2004 - 33 comments

Christians and Muslims. eying each other with interest

The Truth About Muslims. William Dalrymple, one of those rare historians who can really write (his books From the Holy Mountain and White Mughals have gotten rave reviews), takes on Bernard Lewis and gives some fascinating information about the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims through the centuries:
Fletcher also stresses the degree to which the Muslim armies were welcomed as liberators by the Syriac and Coptic Christians, who had suffered discrimination under the strictly Orthodox Byzantines: "To the persecuted Monophysite Christians of Syria and Egypt, Muslims could be presented as deliverers. The same could be said of the persecuted Jews.... Released from the bondage of Constantinopolitan persecution they flourished as never before, generating in the process a rich spiritual literature in hymns, prayers, sermons and devotional work."

posted by languagehat on Dec 14, 2004 - 18 comments

Cartoon History of Iceland

Cartoon History of Iceland, chapter 1, for those of us who need a quick and painless (except for some of the puns) introduction to the history of one of the claimants to the title of Oldest Democracy. (other chapters inside).
posted by QIbHom on Dec 3, 2004 - 12 comments

Here be dragons

TERRIFYING DIAGRAMS!
posted by Pretty_Generic on Sep 26, 2004 - 37 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

Hey, hey LBJ! How many containers did you ship today?

Cargo cultists versus Christians. Two religions enter, one religion leaves! Differences have led to murder on an island near Oceania. Many of us learned about cargo cults from Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. However, it seems that there's more to the story, including a Lyndon Johnson connection.
posted by Mayor Curley on May 21, 2004 - 15 comments

Israel's founding war

What they didn't teach me about Israel's 1948 war in religious school.
posted by Tlogmer on Jan 13, 2004 - 95 comments

Stay between the lines.

Teacher sues over limits on history curriculum. "A seventh-grade social studies teacher in Presque Isle [Maine] who said he was barred from teaching about non-Christian civilizations has sued his school district, claiming it violated his First Amendment right of free expression."
posted by sarajflemming on Dec 4, 2003 - 35 comments

I Saw the Light

As a historian, I am dismayed by the letters I see that proclaim that America was founded as a Christian nation. "America is not a Christian nation but rather a nation of mostly Christians. That was the intent of the Founders, to allow each of us the right under natural law, to decide matters of conscience for ourselves." A new form of revisionism?
posted by the fire you left me on Dec 2, 2003 - 57 comments

Who's the Patron Saint of Pancakes?

Patron Saints Index Topic List. Because you never know when you might need the Patron Saint of Haemorrhoids or Gravediggers. This actually is a very nice resource for the history of the Saints, their (known or presumed) backgrounds, and when and why they were beatified. Enjoy.
posted by Ufez Jones on May 19, 2003 - 12 comments

Into The Gnostic

Out of the mist of the beginning of our era there looms a pageant of mythical figures whose vast, superhuman contours might people the walls of another Sistine Chapel. Their countenances and gestures, the roles in which they are cast, the drama which they enact, would yield images different from the biblical ones on which the imagination of the beholder was reared, yet strangely familiar to him and disturbingly moving. The stage would be the same, the theme as transcending: the creation of the world, the destiny of man, fall and redemption, the first and the last things. But how much more numerous would be the cast, how much more bizarre the symbolism, how much more extravagant the emotions!
                                                                                                        Hans Jonas

Into the Gnostic.

Of magicians, miracle workers, saints and sinners of early Christianities and other mystery religions--including but not limited to Valentinus, Simon Magus, Mithras, Marcion, Manicheans, Mandeans, the Winged Hermes, the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary, among many other Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphica, the Cathars and Apollonious of Tyana. Not to mention Philip K. Dick.
posted by y2karl on Nov 30, 2002 - 11 comments

First there was the evolution in schools thing. Now, people are complaining about history books (in Texas no less), with such problems as "Margie Raborn said she wants all U.S. government books to describe the United States as a republic based on biblical beliefs."
posted by benjh on Jul 22, 2002 - 26 comments

Know-Nothings, Bible Riots and the Catholic Church

Know-Nothings, Bible Riots and the Catholic Church Take a break from priest abuse news with this detailed history of anti-Catholic bias in the United States. In 1834, an angry Boston mob burned down a convent after Harriet Beecher Stowe's father preached that Catholic immigrants were a threat to democracy. In Philadelphia, the 1844 Bible Riots lasted for days, destroying Irish-Catholic churches and neighborhoods. In 1855, Louisville Know-Nothings went on a "Bloody Monday" rampage that left dozens of Catholics dead. Even telegraph inventor Samuel Morse got into the act with a series of anonymous anti-Catholic letters. Fascinating stuff, but oops, break's over. We now return to our regularly scheduled program.
posted by mediareport on Jun 13, 2002 - 25 comments

The God Squad

The God Squad Christopher Hitchens gives (another) one to organized religion, and reminds us of the important role that the Islamic world played in preserving Western Civilization.
posted by Ty Webb on Apr 3, 2002 - 7 comments

A Brief History of the Apocalypse
posted by signal on Feb 26, 2002 - 15 comments

Was the Gospel of Mark a rewrite of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey? The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark is a book that sets out to show just that. Several scholars who reviewed or commented on it have said this book will revolutionize the field of Gospel studies and profoundly affect our understanding of the origins of Christianity. Will it?
posted by willnot on Feb 20, 2002 - 31 comments

"Saint's Lives" are some of the most important primary sources

"Saint's Lives" are some of the most important primary sources from the late ancient, Byzantine, and medieval periods. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook links to hundreds of these texts, translated for your benefit, as well as thousands of other documents. Celebrate All Saint's Day by reading about your favorite saint in a text written while your saint was still alive.
posted by ewagoner on Nov 1, 2001 - 12 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

The Scholars and the Godess

The Scholars and the Godess In "The scholars and the Godess" Charlotte Allen writes of the now debunked history of Wicca.

"Diotima Mantineia," age forty-eight, is the associate editor of The Witches' Voice summed up her feelings on the debunking of the official Wiccan narrative this way: "It doesn't matter to me how old Wicca is, because when I connect with Deity as Lady and Lord, I know that I am connecting with something much larger and vaster than I can fully comprehend. The Creator of this universe has been manifesting to us for all time, in the forms of gods and goddesses that we can relate to. This personal connection with Deity is what is meaningful. For me, Wicca works to facilitate that connection, and that is what really matters."

I agree. Simply that it works for the individual is all that matters. What works for you?
posted by revbrian on Mar 30, 2001 - 38 comments

Saint Chad

Saint Chad was the object of some controversy in his life. The title of Bishop in Lastingham was thought to be vacant and Chad was appointed. It was later discovered that the title was not actually vacant, and Chad was not the rightful holder. He politely stepped aside. On an interesting side note, this happened in the year 666.
posted by tomorama on Dec 2, 2000 - 2 comments

Page: 1 2