Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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April 12

Biblical verses of comfort for the dying

As a hospice volunteer, I am often called to sit vigil with those that are dying, and many of them are life-long churchgoers. As I spend time with them, on occasion a friend or relative may stop in and read a verse or two (most often the 23rd Psalm) and it seems to immediately create a sense a peace for the person, especially if they have been agitated and in distress. [more inside]
posted by nanook at 11:27 AM - 10 answers

April 4

"For entertainment purposes only"

I want to get more familiar with the tarot — especially its use as a symbol system and personal religious/artistic/introspective tool, and to some extent also its (actual nonfiction real-world) history. What books or blogs should I read? Study tips for improving facility and speedy recall of card meanings would also be helpful. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:39 PM - 13 answers

April 2

Theory that the biblical holy land was not in present day Israel

I'm trying to find an article by some historians that posited that the places described in the Bible we not actually in present day Israel. The historians had done some theorizing that the mountains and valleys mentioned in the bible (can't remember which book) fit better with an area in Saudi Arabia off the coast of the Red Sea. I've searched the Google but can't find any mention of this theory. I would love to find it again. Thanks, MeFi!
posted by drinkmaildave at 7:20 PM - 5 answers

March 25

Things The Bible said would happen, but didn't

Outside my work today I got to talking with a Jehovah's Witness. When talk turned to the Bible, I said I didn't take any of it literally. None of it REALLY happened like that. [more inside]
posted by BadgerDoctor at 4:23 PM - 13 answers

March 24

Jesus was a mushroom by John Allegro - full version ???

Does anyone know where the full version of this interview is???? http://youtu.be/IN-bURgoxPY This is only 42 seconds !!! This interview is so fascinating I just have to see the full version !! I've Been asking this question for literally years, I think there is a global conspiracy to stop me from watching the whole interview! Please Help!
posted by flexiverse at 5:55 PM - 4 answers

WWJD: What [Boundaries] Would Jesus Designate?

Growing up Christian with a fundamentalist slant, I internalized Jesus's "turn the other cheek" teachings to mean, "don't ever set boundaries or express anger."** I'm no longer Christian, but I'm working on reclaiming my spiritual past and figuring out what to keep and what to set aside. Are there texts that interpret the teachings of Jesus through a lens of social justice/personal boundaries/feminism/activism? I'm interested in scholarly or theological texts rather than pop psychology books. [more inside]
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:37 PM - 10 answers

March 21

What is the most polite way to respond to a Christian evangelist?

I have a gig coming up where I will be spending a LOT of time with very, VERY religious Christians. I have been warned they may try to evangelize to me during this gig, and to politely keep my mouth closed. I assume that's the best advice; however, I was hoping to open this question up to believers and non-believers: If I am cornered into a conversation were it's impolite to not reply at all, what is the most polite way to get someone who's evangelizing to you to stop? Without saying things like "I'm an atheist" or "You're barking up the wrong tree, sorry". Ideally I'd find a careful, diplomatic way to respond without directly putting anyone off, as I have to build a relationship with these people as part of my job. The best response I can think of is "I'm actually very private with my religious beliefs, and don't tend to discuss them with people outside my family and close circle". Any additional suggestions and ideas are very welcome. Thank you!
posted by zettoo at 3:03 PM - 29 answers

February 25

Pronunciation of Moriah

Up until five minutes ago, I've always pronounced the word/name Moriah the same way you would say Mariah Carey's name. But Baby Name Voyager says the correct pronunciation is mo-RAY-uh. Am I in the wrong here? (Biblical experts, or just name experts, help me out!)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:10 PM - 14 answers

February 20

a quick one

In a sentence (or less), when it's late at night, you can't fall asleep, and your thoughts begin to spiral out of control, how do you comfort yourself?
posted by t(h)om(as) at 3:58 AM - 88 answers

February 18

Demographic Changes in the Eastern Orthodox Church in the USA?

When I was growing up, in the seventies and eighties, Eastern Orthodoxy was pretty much an ethno-faith. That is, to be Orthodox was to be Greek, or Ukrainian or Russian or any of the historically orthodox nationalities who had immigrated to this country, along with a few outsiders who had married into the faith. Nowadays, however, things have changed . . . [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 9:51 AM - 13 answers

February 17

What do we know about ancient religious faith?

Having studied Christian theology in college, I am aware that much of what we have reflecting ancient Greek and Roman religious belief survives because Christian apologists were refuting source materials drawn from that culture. But what else do we actually know? [more inside]
posted by jefficator at 10:50 AM - 18 answers

February 8

How do we tell his family that we are having a secular wedding?

My fiance and I are both atheists with strong antitheist views. We're getting married in November and want something that represents us. His family, however, is extremely religious (Baptist) and will have certain expectations of us; they don't easily take no for an answer. What is the best way to balance the two worlds? [more inside]
posted by DriftingLotus at 7:56 PM - 30 answers

February 7

Help me get started studying relationships.

I need to learn how to think about relationships that are "more than just" friendships. This needs to happen before I start to consider whether I want that kind of relationship, so I'm not looking for any kind of practical guide. Perhaps that means I need to read philosophy texts, in which case I'd like some recommendations for that; or maybe you have a better idea of what I need. [more inside]
posted by LogicalDash at 3:52 AM - 10 answers

January 27

Seeking comfort and grace, not depression and sorrow

The last of my grandparents just passed away (it was peaceful and expected) but I'm struggling to hold myself together. I think my grieving is normal since it just happened but I'd love to hear advice and techniques to think of his life and death in positive, comforting ways. [more inside]
posted by wannabecounselor at 1:16 PM - 10 answers

January 23

Religious figures thoughts on life as a process

Can you give me quotes from historical or mythical religious figures on the thought that life is process, that one is never "finished"?
posted by falsedmitri at 7:38 PM - 7 answers

January 14

Best way to start speaking about a new idea

What is the best way to start lecturing on a new self-help / philosophy type concept? Is it better to organize your own lectures first, or to join various existing conferences? If the former, does anyone have any tips or pointers to books on how best to organize and effectively publicize these lectures, and stories about how others have done it? If the latter, does anyone have any tips on how to successfully apply for a speaking slot at a conference? No blog-related tips, please.
posted by shivohum at 11:40 AM - 2 answers

December 23, 2014

Midnight Mass in Warwick, RI?

We are looking for a "midnight" mass Christmas service in Providence or Warwick, RI. We are not religious and don't live there, but nonetheless have very specific desires (after the break). [more inside]
posted by obliquicity at 10:38 AM - 9 answers

December 19, 2014

Scrabble Peeve Filter

Is there some kind of discernible justification for the allowance of the word "em" (meaning, the letter "m") in Scrabble, and not, say for example, the "word" "ee" (meaning, the letter "e")? I mean, who the heck decided "em" was a word, and if it is, why aren't all letters "words"?! [more inside]
posted by latkes at 7:32 PM - 20 answers

Help me find a Jewish fable about bluffing in a negotiation

When I was young, I remember reading a Jewish fable, or maybe even many different versions of a fable, about a wily trickster who outwits someone or something who is holding him or his community hostage. It might have been Herschel or Hillel, but whoever it is, he succeeds by bluffing that he is going to do something awful if he doesn't get what he wants. [more inside]
posted by boots at 5:57 AM - 4 answers

December 14, 2014

Ethics of downloading ebooks

Please help me decide how to ethically consume books now that I'm the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle. [more inside]
posted by Aizkolari at 8:19 PM - 28 answers

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