Reading his "Explaining Hitler" a while back, Ron Rosenbaum briefly mentioned reading various explorations of Hitler's personality, one of which touched on the possibility that Hitler was not actually Hitler, but was merely 'acting like Hitler' and was very aware of the gap between real man and created monster. And I just thought he was nuts. While not overly concerned with Hitler himself, I am extremely interested in that idea: that people can be themselves, or other than themselves, or intentionally act like themselves on a long-term and global scale. I feel that way once in a while myself. It is a very hard topic to google, though (or explain, clearly), and my skills are thin. Does anyone know of this literature he referred to or anything similar? Or even what such a thing might be called? [more inside] posted by umberto at 3:59 PM - 17 answers
I have a family member who is interested in Islam and wants to read the Quran. I want to get him a devotional study companion. He's not a convert (yet?) but wants to learn more, explore a little, and maybe start up a discussion group with others. Assuming my friend is totally new to Islam and wants a non-technical, relatively easy read, can you suggest a good one, ideally with a Kindle edition? I am open to other suggestions if you have a better Quran companion in mind. posted by blnkfrnk at 10:56 PM - 5 answers
My sister is interested in attending an unprogrammed Quaker meeting in the Boston area, and she'd like some suggestions about which ones might be best for her. The friendlier, the better, as she is new to Quakerism and somewhat shy. She is in her mid-thirties, but seems younger. Bonus points for materials that are helpful for introducing newcomers to Quakerism. She lives in Watertown but has a car and could attend anywhere in the Boston. posted by stinker at 2:14 AM - 6 answers
I’m trying to find a short story I read a long time ago, but google is coming up short. The story is about two strangers who meet on the road and begin talking. Through a series of questions and answers, they discover that they are both Christians, both Protestants, both from the same denomination, both from the same branch of that particular denomination, etc etc.
It keeps going on this way, with the strangers discovering that they belong to the same increasingly obscure religious sect. With each new discovery, they become more friendly and excited.
At the end of the story, they realize there is one small difference between them (something like one belongs to the parish across the street from the other), at which point the strangers hate each other and nearly come to blows.
What is this story, and where does it come from? posted by helloimjohnnycash at 7:46 PM - 10 answers
I am interested in Wicca. Always have been. Despite a conventional Christian ubpringing, my inner belief has always been that 'god' is part mother nature and part earth/environment. That's just the way my mind has always imagined 'god', and it's worked for me for over 40 years. Now I need to take it further. [more inside] posted by anonymous at 12:47 PM - 20 answers
I recall that there was a famous Christian Saint who had some type of mystical experience towards the end of his life, said something to the effect that all his previous work had been worthless and did not speak again until his death. Does anyone know who this was? posted by nickji at 2:45 AM - 3 answers
I know that Islam requires followers to perform the Hajj at least once in their lives if able... but what determines that ability? I presume it's a matter of health and financial concerns, but even so, I imagine many Muslims make great sacrifices and take significant risks for this. Are there generally-accepted measures of when it's understandable for someone not to make the Hajj, or is it all a matter of personal faith & judgment? I also know there was a time when one could send someone to more or less take their place... is that still an accepted practice? [more inside] posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:34 AM - 5 answers
I'm writing an update of a very old and very funny short book. In the original, the author rails against God; in my modernisation it will rail against the free market — replacing one invisible hand with another. I need someone who is very well-versed with economic theory, who still has their finger on the pulse, who has a sense of humour, and who is willing to brainstorm with me for an hour or two a week. More info inside. [more inside] posted by omnigut at 9:58 AM - 19 answers
I'm using this cross symbol in a brochure design. Cross designs are laden with meaning and symbolism, and I want to make sure this is not something with adverse associations. Anyone have any thoughts? posted by ecorrocio at 11:05 AM - 21 answers
In a religious studies course I took eight or nine years ago, the professor mentioned a Jewish congregation in NYC whose services looked almost identical to high-church Anglican services, just with the liturgies changed out. Now that I live in the New York City area (and am dating someone who is Episcopalian-Jewish), I'm quite interested in checking this out, but nothing I can think to search for on Google is turning up the right results. Any MeFi-ites have any idea which congregation this might be? posted by naturalog at 11:35 AM - 4 answers
I've been practicing with a Karma Kagyu group, but I know Shambhala was started by Trungpa Rinpoche, a lineage holder of Kagyu.
What are the differences between the teachings? posted by swizzle_stik at 10:07 AM - 2 answers
Is there evidence of either Orphism or the Eleusinian Mysteries in archaic Lydia? Do we have knowledge of the religion practiced by, say, Croesus, and whether or not the Lydian kings of that time were especially pious? I read somewhere that Dionysus had Anatolian roots, and I am wondering where I can learn more. posted by jwhite1979 at 10:45 AM - 1 answers
I'm a nurse. Recently, a police officer approached me at work to ask me some questions about a patient. I discussed the issue with my supervisor who clarified my hospital policy on talking to the police, but how do I figure out my personal legal and moral obligations around this? [more inside] posted by latkes at 4:59 PM - 21 answers
Young and modern Muslims of MeFi, what are the best resources out there - blogs, Web sites, podcasts - for someone who finds himself considering a deeper connection with the faith? [more inside] posted by mykescipark at 7:08 PM - 9 answers