Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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I'm doing research on fish taken out of the Sea of Galilee during biblical times. I was wondering: if Jesus' Feeding of the Multitude miracle happened as described in the Bible, what species were the "two fish" Jesus used? [more inside]
I am looking for scholarly commentaries on Bible stories, particularly the Old Testament. These can be Christian, Jewish, or Muslim (since there's a lot of overlap between the Bible and the Koran). [more inside]
Zen Masters, help me? What's a great introductory program for meditation? I need something that will give me daily assignments (ideal would be every day for a month, but I can adapt). It can be a book, an app, a website, whatever. And yes, I know there are many different types of meditation and I will be learning for the rest of my life. I just need something with a bit of structure to get myself and a friend into the habit and hold each other accountable. Thoughts? Thanks guys.
What should I pray every day. [more inside]
I missed services at my synagogue this morning and I need a place to say mourner's Kaddish for my Dad tonight. Does anyone have recommendations for a synagogue (preferably in downtown Manhattan) where there are evening or Havdallah services tonight? Open to any denomination. I am a woman and I don't mind divided seating but don't want to go somewhere where I wouldn't be allowed in with pants or prohibited from saying the Kaddish in my section. Any suggestions very much appreciated.
I remember seeing something on TV in the 90's like CPG Gray's "The Trouble with Transporters". Does anyone know where to find it? [more inside]
I would like to purchase a bible that is easy to read, is clear on intent and can educate me. I am not religious. I would like to read this historically. I want to understand why people think that their personal beliefs are more important that other peoples personal beliefs. The concept confuses me. I would like to read a bible that is just direct and specific. What should I read?
This seems like a rather frivolous question to ask, but, does anyone know if there are any US celebrities who practice Jodo Shinshu (aka "Shin") Buddhism? [more inside]
Theologically well versed of MeFi: can you please enlighten me about the place of fasting in different religions? For example, I recall some differences between islamic and christian practice but nothing properly explained. Moreover didn't really find a "definitive" handbook of the topic, and I usually feel safe learning about a subject if I have a couple of these books at hand. [more inside]
Hopefully, we will be closing on a house at the end of the month. On the front door, there is a door knocker in the shape of a treble clef. This has what looks to be Hebrew letters on it (the house was previously owned by a Rabbi), and when I showed it to a few friends, they said it was a Mezuzah. I think it's absolutely lovely and I would very much like to keep it, but as a religious object that I have little familiarity with, I have a few questions: [more inside]
Where can I find Lenten Fish Frys in the vicinity of Columbia, MD (metro Baltimore area)? [more inside]
Recommendations for good practical books and resources on spirituality from indigenous cultures such as Native Americans or Australian Aborigines? Something not academic, but also not light and fluffy - something "useful". Most likely something focusing on one specific culture rather than an overview. I am open to poetry and things if its well done.
Remember the Bible story of the Golden Calf? Moses left the Israelites unattended, and in his absence, they pooled their gold jewelry, melted it down, and made an idol, specifically in the shape of a calf. Moses returned to find them worshiping this Golden Calf. [more inside]
I'm lost during this prayer in shul. I know I'm supposed to do certain things, but not always sure when I'm supposed to do them. [more inside]
I have a couple of major stressors right now and probably for a while. Zen koans (specifically The Gateless Gate) have provided me a lot of happiness over the years in little doses for reasons I can't explain. Have other bite-sized pieces of orthogonal thinking or non-thinking given you comfort? [more inside]
In Gibbon's Decline and Fall, chapter 49, he mentions: And some credit may be due to the asseveration of Boethius, that he had reluctantly obeyed the divine Plato, who enjoins every virtuous citizen to rescue the state from the usurpation of vice and ignorance. Is there a specific quote from Plato on this topic, or is there just more of a broader discussion, with no particular reference Gibbon was thinking of?
Are there any cases of the use of electronic/computational prayer wheels, by way of computation? (In real life and/or in literature) [more inside]
I'm a non-Jew and will be part of the staff at a bar mitzvah event (it's outdoors and involves cooking) but I have almost zero cultural awareness of Judaism aside from what I've gleaned from movies. Please help me avoid any really obvious faux-pas. Answers from those with knowledge of British Judaism will be especially helpful, most of those movies I watched were American. [more inside]
I was raised in a very religious household, and, over time, came to realize that I did not believe in God or that if I believed in God he was not worthy of worship. I'd now describe myself as an atheist. Extracting myself from my religious community and my religion were some of the hardest things I had to deal with as a kid. It has led me to believe that, while a person can be religious and that's fine, I think practicing religion with your children is not fine, since it sets them up, if they ever want to leave the religion, for a very painful process, and possibly the loss of a relationship with their parents. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend good critiques of Buddhism as a religion, particularly in print form? (There are some online, but I am looking for something more comprehensive and deeper than a short-form article.)