of the life of dhimmi (non-Muslims) under Islam. How do other religions treat the 'infidels'? Judaism has the goy, but what's his rights? What about Christianity? Hinduism? Shinto? How has the legal view of the minorities developed in socio-political systems informed by different religions?...
posted by bokononito
on Dec 2, 2002 -
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!
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
, the Winged Hermes
, the Gospel of Thomas
and the Gospel of Mary
, among many other Apocrypha
, the Cathars
and Apollonious of Tyana
. Not to mention Philip K. Dick
posted by y2karl
on Nov 30, 2002 -
The JetSet Society
What if the passengers on any given plane actually lived there? One guy's musings, with sections on the Economy, Love and Death, and of course, Religion.
posted by amberglow
on Nov 18, 2002 -
God of the Month Club
- unsure of your belief system yet yearn for some spirituality? Why limit yourself to one - sample a different God or Goddess every month. Learn about the belief and worship systems surrounding White Buffalo Woman, the Horned God, Green Men, Morpheus, Hecate, Vulcan, Freya or the ever-popular Venus, just to name a few.
posted by madamjujujive
on Nov 17, 2002 -
The Five Percent Nation: A splinter group from the Nation of Islam, they have contributed quite a bit to the hip-hop scene -- and to the English language. Phrases like "Break it down", "word", and even "peace" (as a form of salutation) can be traced back to their teachings. The Wu-tang Clan
and Digable Planets
are among the artists greatly influenced by the unique, sometimes inspiring, and often unsettling, worldview of this religion. It ain't all smiles und sunshine, but whatever you think of it, one thing's for sure: This is one fit and fecund memeplex.
posted by condour75
on Nov 2, 2002 -
In the most bizarre collaboration between the American Christian Right and ultraorthodox Jewish Zionists in Israel, Pentecostal minister and Georgia cattle farmer Clyde Lott
has collaborated with the Temple Mount Institute
of Jerusalem to breed a red heifer
suitable for purifying the foundation of a rebuilt version of Solomon's Temple
, which ultraorthodox Jews hope will lead to the coming of the Messiah. The problem is that the proposed site for the rebuilt temple is on the same site as the al-Aqsa mosque
, the holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. Some Zionist extremists in Israel have attempted to "solve" this problem by plotting to blow up the mosque
, which doesn't exactly promote peace in the Middle East. And to think all of this could have been started by a cow that looks like it should have belonged in "the Horse of a Different Color" sequence in the Wizard of Oz!
posted by jonp72
on Oct 30, 2002 -
Boy Scouts tell
Atheist Eagle Scout he has one week to declare his belief or get out.
On membership applications, Boy Scouts
and adult leaders must say they recognize some higher power, not necessarily religious. "Mother Nature would be acceptable," said Brad Farmer, the Scout executive of the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts. Hmmmm...
posted by quirked
on Oct 30, 2002 -
Religion! What Is It Good For?
Absolutely nothing? Perhaps not. Michael Prowse
, a lifelong atheist (and Financial Times columnist even!) had this to say in an article for Prospect
: "Having accepted that meanings are always contestable, I have found myself more able to focus on what religious people do, and less on what they say. Are they "better" people than the irreligious? Of course not. Are they better people than they would be were they not religious? Probably, and this is what counts for me."
Meanwhile, another atheist, Jared Diamond
, writing (brilliantly, as the author of Guns, Germs and Steel
always does) in the current New York Review of Books
, addresses religion in a (let us say) more scientific
way and, though more sceptical, leaves a similar question mark hanging. So, in a nutshell: can there be something in (or about) religion for atheists too?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Oct 29, 2002 -
The Guardian isn't so good
at letting you link to their articles anymore. But if you use this link then click on "printable version" you might get to the site I want you to link to. My title being: If you're Jewish and American its hard to know whose side your on these days.
posted by donfactor
on Oct 28, 2002 -
"Religions potentially offer practical, social, and motivational benefits to their adherents.
But religions differ among themselves in the degree to which they motivate their adherents to have children, to rear those children to become productive members of society, and to convert or kill believers in competing religions. Those religions that are more successful in these respects will tend to spread, and gain and retain adherents, at the expense of other religions." So says Jared Diamond
in his review of David Sloan Wilson's book, Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
, which views religion from an evolutionary perspective. Another writer interested in the evolution of religions is Toby Lester, who examines how present-day religious movements are "mutating with Darwinian restlessness."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 23, 2002 -
Philosophy or religion? Some
people like it, some
hate it, some
have even annotated it. But however you choose to define it, The Book of Heresies
is an interesting approach to the idea of disorganized religion in the modern world.
posted by nick.a
on Oct 14, 2002 -
Hail Mary, full of....
um.... what was that, again? The only Pope many of us have known, John Paul II, has decided that a millenium is long enough to change a prayer. Odd that two millenia are not enough to revisit female and married priests.
posted by dwivian
on Oct 14, 2002 -
How NOT to Start an Ancient Religion
Not so much a DIY guide for time-travellers as "a list of 16 factors to be considered -- places where Christianity 'did the wrong thing' in order to be a successful religion." Hopefully thought provoking...
posted by agentfresh
on Oct 11, 2002 -
'I am who I am'
A Florida man wanted to legally change his name to "God" but a judge denied his request. So he took a passage from the Bible where Moses asks God who he is and hears "I am who I am or I will be who I will be"
I'm suprised that a government official would be protecting a religion-based request. Is there anything you shouldn't be allowed to change your name to?
posted by stevis
on Oct 8, 2002 -
are containers built to hold objects of special religious significance, such as the foot
of a saint, or the skull
of a king. The art of European reliquary making reached it's zenith in the Middle Ages when craftsman created fantastic objets d'art
for cathedrals and monasteries in the form of caskets
, bodily appendages
, and freestanding holders built to visually display occasionally gruesome
bits of the venerated individual. The layperson had access to reliquaries as well, typically in the form of small lead crosses
worn around the neck, containing pieces of bone or one of the ubiquitous fragments of the True Cross
. Reliquaries are not unique to the Christianity, but can also be found in Buddhist
posted by MrBaliHai
on Oct 6, 2002 -
High school Satanism club prompts parental outrage
some kids in a high school start a club called Satanist Thought Society. As expected, everybody gets offended, especially the Christian Society. It can be argued, though, that the the Satanist Society has as much right to exist as the Christian Society. Is this just a 1st ammendment issue or is there a moral question to be thought out? (via Camworld
posted by falameufilho
on Oct 2, 2002 -
"I asked who was playing. A Moroccan group, said the cabbie. He told me its name. Did I want to know what it was singing? Certainly. It was a plea to Israel from the Arab people. The chorus was, 'We have the same father. Why do you treat us this way?' Who might the father be? I asked. 'Ibrahim
,' he said. 'The song is called Ismail and Isaac,' after his sons."
posted by artifex
on Sep 24, 2002 -
The Rapture Index
This rather bizarre site is the Dow Jones of the end of the world. From the site, "You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture. "
posted by Coop
on Sep 20, 2002 -
When patriotism wasn't religious (nytimes)
Last night in front of the Texas Capitol in Austin, the 9/11 memorial vigil featured singing of The Lord's Prayer; a Baptist reverend who talked mostly of caution against the "Islamic government of Sudan" and "Islamic mobs" who attacked Christians and Jews in Pakistan; and a Catholic bishop who addressed "our God" over 100 times. Am I wrong to think this amount of religiosity was inappropriate in front of a mixed public crowd at the statehouse? How can we be free when church and state are so intertwined?
posted by skyboy
on Sep 12, 2002 -
105 unconscious children temporarily buried alive in the name of religion.
In a horrible ritual witnessed by an Indian government official, who quit his position shortly afterward
, children were worked until exhausted, wrapped in cloth, and then buried for one entire minute. Sometimes it feels like that we will never shake off the need for ancient tradition, myth, and groundless faith, but there is a bright side. There are more non-religious people now than ever
. As the information age expands, education becomes more accessible and may be the most important factor in determining how religious one is.
Unsurprisingly, a follow-up article
on the mass-burial quotes, "Inquiries also revealed that no educational programme had been introduced anywhere near Perayur in the last six years."
posted by skallas
on Sep 6, 2002 -
If you missed the very powerful Frontline "Faith and Doubt"
on the spiritual implications of 9/11, check out the PBS site with the full script and interviews with priests, rabbis, an Islamic scholar, a professor of Middle East studies, an English professor, a
British novelist, a psychoanalyst, and the photographer who documented Ground Zero for the City of New York..
posted by semmi
on Sep 5, 2002 -
Yoga in the classroom? EGADS! That reeks of religious implications
, say parents in Aspen, Colorado. "For some families, the chanting that accompanies a selection of yoga techniques creates a challenge for separation of church and state." Aspen Elementary
says the pilot program "was proposed as a way to help kids cope with their return to school. Rowdy tots could be calmed and readied for class work after recess using a series of relaxing breathing and stretching techniques."
posted by msacheson
on Aug 28, 2002 -
Serial killer blog.
Well not really. More of a religious rant than true crime novel, but the case of the Son of Sam murders has been reviewed for the possibility of a second suspect. An article in Fortean Times
may have opened the floodgates, but I am unable to find an online source. Did anybody else see this story?
posted by destro
on Aug 12, 2002 -
holds the center of the stage, the role of the personalized Brahman is colored with death and destruction. Shiva's stern asceticism casts a blight over the fields of rebirth. His presence negates and transcends the kaleidoscope of sufferings and joys. Nevertheless, he bestows wisdom and peace and is not only terrible but profoundly benign. Shiva's nature at once transcends and includes all the polarities of the living world." "Shiva opens his third eye only in anger, and the offender is burnt to cinders.
posted by sudama
on Aug 10, 2002 -