661 posts tagged with Religion.
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Do you live near a camp-meeting town?

I have an ongoing research project to document and map locations of camp meetings, which originate in 19th century religious revivals. I've mapped more than 50 (listed inside), including some famous ones like Oak Bluffs, MA, Bay View, MI, and Indian Springs, GA, and am now looking for others. I'm interested in three kinds of sites: current active camp-meetings that still operate as a religious camp or revival; "legacy" sites where the camp meeting evolved into a town or incorporated secular association; and defunct sites where a camp once was before being abandoned. Any and all links, vague memories, and coordinates welcome! [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jun 19, 2016 - 36 answers

Contrarian belief systems?

Are there organized belief systems that espouse contrarian ideals of human behavior, for example, that encourage harboring resentments or that prescribe retaliation as a moral imperative? [more inside]
posted by ionnin on May 31, 2016 - 20 answers

"Voodoo" is maybe not the right word

I'm presently reading a (post?)cyberpunk novel, Richard K Morgan's Broken Angels. Like William Gibson's Count Zero and others in the genre, voodoo, its practitioners, and its beliefs are an element of the plot and setting. I haven't got the faintest idea about the religion, not even what its proper name is. What should I read / watch to remedy this? [more inside]
posted by 4th number on May 20, 2016 - 10 answers

My therapist just mentioned God. Should I dump her?

At our last session my therapist alluded to God in an entirely benign way but it still leaves me wondering whether I -- as an irreligious gay man -- should start shopping elsewhere. [more inside]
posted by lecorbeau on May 11, 2016 - 68 answers

What should I add to my Scientology-inspired reading list?

Looking for good books about cults, new religious movements, charismatic leaders and the groups they lead, "brainwashing" / "mind control" (I realize that these are controversial terms and concepts), pathological personalities in positions of power, belief systems (successfully) promulgated by the mentally ill, and the social and psychological dynamics of the aforementioned. [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on May 6, 2016 - 21 answers

Why are spiritual mediators characterized by self-denial?

Brahmins, shamans, priests, ascetics, monks, holy kings - all of them have some kind of taboo or another that prohibits sex or the tastiest food items. Jesus, Buddha, and Moses all had intense experiences of deprivation and self-denial before spiritual zeniths. My question is - why is that those individuals considered the most spiritually powerful are also taxed with the most prohibitions or expected to have undergone difficult and costly experiences? [more inside]
posted by mrmanvir on May 4, 2016 - 17 answers

book recommendations

In Wade Davis' book Into The Silence, he mentions the Tibetan plateau as the meeting place of various religions of the world. Can you recommend books that cover or relate to this subject? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 22, 2016 - 4 answers

Respecting religious differences in emotionally charged conversations?

I'm an atheist. I don't wear this fact on my sleeve. Most of the time, I actively avoid religion as a conversational topic. There are some conversations, however, where you can't duck the topic, because you're providing support to someone who has experienced a personal tragedy, such as the death of a loved one, and in the course of that conversation, they will invoke their religious beliefs. The question I am posing is: how can I provide emotional support and maintain proper boundaries while respecting their beliefs and my own as well?
posted by the hot hot side of randy on Apr 9, 2016 - 31 answers

Fast-track Catholic First communion and confirmation

I was baptized Catholic, but never got my first communion or was confirmed. Circumstances have me searching for a way to achieve both as soon as possible. Is there somewhere online to do this or a way to get this done in the next three weeks? [more inside]
posted by Fuego on Apr 4, 2016 - 60 answers

What is this play?

I'm looking for a play I read years ago, about a girl (a maid in a household?) experiencing religious visions. It's probably but not definitely Irish. [more inside]
posted by Adridne on Apr 2, 2016 - 2 answers

Books on reading premodern texts from a modern perspective

How literally should I be interpreting ancient and medieval stories and texts? I gather this is an open question among modern scholars, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any books that deal with it. [more inside]
posted by teponaztli on Mar 21, 2016 - 7 answers

Screaming in Religion or Philosophy

I'm reading about different manifestations of screaming. I'm familiar with Janov and the primal scream, and I'm familiar with speaking in tongues as well as keening. I would like to find examples in religion or philosophy of screaming, either as spiritual practice/theology or metaphor. Both "religion" and "philosophy" can be interpreted with some leeway.
posted by mermaidcafe on Mar 16, 2016 - 7 answers

What was the name of this movie?

A good while back I watched a movie on Netflix about a man returning to his recently deceased mother's home to sort out her affairs despite her devotion to a strange angel cult having driven them apart many years ago. Meanwhile, his mother's ghost observes, fears for his safety, and hopes for reunion. What was the title? Spoiler for the ending after the jump. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 14, 2016 - 3 answers

Romans 9 and the responsibility for sin

In the recent book by Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy, I stumbled at the following in chapter VI: "None of us should speak of injustice without thinking of all the injustice we have committed before God. We must never forget our origins, the mud of which we were made." If God made us out of mud (i.e. something base and, literally, dirty), why is it the Christian view that God is upset when we act according to our base and dirty nature, and that we must seek forgiveness for our actions and our nature? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 9, 2016 - 11 answers

Am I preaching to the choir? A question about the journey into faith.

To those who converted into a religion or identify as a "born again" Christian (going from no faith/not sure -> faith) what was that journey like? [more inside]
posted by Dressed to Kill on Mar 3, 2016 - 18 answers

Intelligent spiritual and religious podcasts

I'm interested in religious and spiritual matters - both from an intellectual point of view and as a way toward living a better life. I'm looking for interesting podcasts. No limits on specific religion (Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Hinduism, spritual-not-religious), but a few special snowflakes inside. Also, please no answers about religion being stupid, flying spaghetti monsters, and whatnot. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal on Feb 25, 2016 - 20 answers

Why do some cultures develop prejudice toward LGBT individuals?

Some cultures foster majority-held, strongly anti-LGBT beliefs, and some do not, and religion doesn't seem to be the source of these attitudes, just a justification for them. Considering all this, what cultural forces account for anti-LGBT attitudes? What are the origins of these beliefs? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes on Feb 15, 2016 - 18 answers

Converting to Judaism: Your Experiences

I'm strongly considering converting to Judaism. I've heard about the process during a class that I'm taking, but I'd like more insight into what actually goes on. I would be converting through a Reform synagogue. If anyone has experiences or tips to share, please do so. Thanks for your help!
posted by Fister Roboto on Feb 2, 2016 - 10 answers

Looking for people who sold their soul to the Devil

So I'm starting research on a new project that involves people who supposedly sold their soul to the Devil for something Robert Johnson style. Unfortunately all the searching I'm doing is pointing to him. Help me find the early deals, the famous ones besides RJ and the most recent soul sales attributed to old Scratch.
posted by rileyray3000 on Jan 15, 2016 - 29 answers

What to do with Santeria-related items found?

I've been finding the occasional Santeria-related object in a public location and would like to dispose of them respectfully. How can I do this? [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Jan 11, 2016 - 14 answers

Recommend a Book on Law, Religion and Rule in Ancient Society?

I'm looking for a somewhat academic book on the inter-relations in ancient societies between the functions (or functionaries) of religion, law, and the "state" (or rule). Particularly something covering Sumer (and Cuneiform Law) and delving into Judaic Law and Christian law would be good. [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Jan 7, 2016 - 2 answers

Practical Tips for Time Travelers

There appear to be a lot of versions of the Lord's Prayer out there. In Europe, between 1400 and 1700, how much did it vary over time and between locations? Did every place/ time have a canonical version or did it vary by sect? Is there a map or resources that show how translations shifted between times and locations? [more inside]
posted by oryelle on Jan 5, 2016 - 5 answers

Need good book on physical world of the Bible that isn't for children

For a project I'm doing, I'd like an illustrated book with lots of information on the physical world of the Bible - particularly animals, plants, and insects. I can look up what's mentioned in the Bible on Wikipedia, but I want more than that. I want to be able to page through an illustrated work (color) - bonus points if there are commentaries from scholars - and to learn a lot about all of the creatures mentioned without having to turn to my computer for complete information. More below. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal on Dec 31, 2015 - 9 answers

Parable about man who creates a religion and is killed by his followers

I'm trying to remember a parable about a man who invents a religion (as a bet or as an experiment), then after he has built up a following, he reveals that it is false. However, his followers are so bought into the story that they call him out as an infidel, and kill him for blasphemy. I can't remember the origin, but it sounds like something from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Does anyone else remember this, and know where it's from?
posted by ccalgreen on Dec 31, 2015 - 22 answers

Introduction to Political Theology and Philosophy

I"m looking for an introductory historico-philosophical text on religion and politics, political-theology, or secularism and anti-secularism philosophically? Specifically, I'm interested in understanding, the context and surrounding works which would situate Carl Schmitt's claims regarding the persistence of theological concepts in 20thC political philosophy. [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Dec 29, 2015 - 6 answers

All it takes is two close friends and you'll never, ever leave.

I heard a speaker say that if members of a religious congregation have at least two friends in the group--close enough that they feel comfortable socializing within each other's homes--the odds of them leaving the congregation are really small. I can't locate this research and am not sure about which key terms to use. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Nov 24, 2015 - 1 answer

Are atheists, in fact, responsible for more mass murder than theists?

I'm an atheist trying to take the question of secular morality in society seriously. In debates about whether a secular society is better than a religious one, theists often allude to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc -- the mass murders of the 20th century who were motivated by secular beliefs. Are theists right that atheists killed more people in the 20th century than religious leaders did? What notable examples of this exist, besides the three mentioned above? [more inside]
posted by everythingyoudoisaballoon on Sep 21, 2015 - 27 answers

Help me not be a patronizing liberal

Please help me understand how to better engage with those who are close to me having an irrational fear of Muslims (especially with Syrian refugees who she believes are full of ISIS operatives) . I want to engage because I can't not say anything anymore. [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Sep 17, 2015 - 31 answers

I don't know what or how to teach my 5-year-old about god...

My daughter is starting kindergarten at Catholic school. We are atheists (although raised Catholic). She will be learning about god in school, learning prayers, etc. and I basically just realized that I have NO CLUE how to navigate this. Do I let her believe, or do I tell her it's all just pretend? Is there an in between? Please help. [more inside]
posted by kitcat on Sep 14, 2015 - 43 answers

What is the best scholarly edition of the Koran?

What is the best scholarly, annotated, edition of the Koran? I am trying to find something in English similar to the Oxford Annotated Bible. I am not a Muslim, and I have little background to date, so an edition that assumes very little in terms of prior knowledge would be ideal for me.
posted by mortaddams on Aug 28, 2015 - 5 answers

I am married and have left our shared religion. Can I make this work?

When my husband and I got married we were both practicing Muslims. We've been married almost 3 years and now I don't think I believe anymore. Can I make this work despite the religious differences? [more inside]
posted by deeba on Aug 22, 2015 - 17 answers

Thoughts about religion from former cult leaders?

A pretty thorough Google search doesn't turn up anything about former cult leaders who put out thoughts about religion of any kind in any way shape or form after they stopped being cult leaders. I am looking for some. [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Aug 11, 2015 - 7 answers

Appropriate response to religious greeting

I am currently living in Austria, where it is typical for people entering a semi-public space (e.g. doctor's office, barber shop) to greet the entire room and receive a greeting back. What is the appropriate response when greeted with "salaam alaikum" (selamün aleyküm)? [more inside]
posted by frimble on Jun 30, 2015 - 9 answers

How does one engage respectfully with a combative, dogmatic atheist?

How does one engage respectfully with a combative atheist who tries to convince you that most major religions are inherently anti-humanist / anti- enlightenment? I am an atheist myself, but I respect people who are religious. [more inside]
posted by jacobnayar on Jun 29, 2015 - 35 answers

Theosophy/like groups in Auckland NZ?

I've been interested in Theosophy and similar philosophies for a long time and have on several occasions considered joining up here in Auckland, New Zealand. However, I'm not entirely sure whether their activities will be of overall interest to me. [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Jun 8, 2015 - 2 answers

Cross-cultural relationship, family problems

We are planning a future together... If only my family would accept him in spite of his race and religion. Snowflakes entail. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 17, 2015 - 20 answers

Examples of taboos on holy or religiously influential people?

Maori chiefs were taboo'd from eating inside their houses, the Jewish Kohen (priests) couldn't handle dead bodies, and clerical classes across religious traditions have required celibacy -- does anyone know of any other examples of taboos on holy or religiously influential people? The cultures can range from contemporary big religions (e.g. Abrahamic) to the animism of small-scale societies - all examples are welcome!! THANKS!
posted by mrmanvir on Mar 1, 2015 - 9 answers

Religious Syncretism for Beginners.

Turns out – there is a word for what I’ve been fascinated by for some time! It even seems that it has been studied in some detail. Please suggest some readings for me so I explore this phenomenon in more depth. [more inside]
posted by Dotty on Feb 23, 2015 - 9 answers

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 on Feb 18, 2015 - 13 answers

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 on Feb 17, 2015 - 18 answers

Is it legal for a college to "lead us all in prayer" before a meeting?

I attended an adjunct faculty meeting at a public two-year college in Texas. Before the meeting, the campus vice president asked an instructor to lead us all in prayer. So we prayed. I was under the impression that public colleges weren't permitted anything more than a "moment of silence." Or does that apply only to elementary and secondary schools?
posted by jackypaper on Jan 28, 2015 - 7 answers

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 on Jan 23, 2015 - 7 answers

Wearing The Rosary As Jewelry

Years ago, I had a male coworker who wore a plastic rosary as a necklace. Just recently, I met another man who does the same thing. Is this part of some kind of movement or subculture? Fashion trend? Fringe religious group? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 21, 2015 - 37 answers

Perfect storm of familial dysfunctionality--need solutions for sanity

Family dynamics are slowly driving me up the wall, but I can't bear to let things wind destructively. How can I cope without being caught in the storm? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 2, 2015 - 13 answers

No Dogs Go To Heaven Under Any Circumstances

There are widespread reports that the Pope now claims that animals go to heaven, based on this article from the illustrious Daily Express newspaper, and in particular this line: “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ’, Francis quoted Paul as saying. Is this a real quote attributed to Paul, or is the Express making shit up, or is Francis making shit up, or what is happening
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 12, 2014 - 18 answers

World religion for kids

What are some good books of mythology/stories from world religion for kids? [more inside]
posted by lieberschnitzel on Nov 29, 2014 - 12 answers

The Case For Or Against "The Case For God"

Two points in the early chapters of Karen Armstrong's "The Case for God" are really bothering me, almost to the point of putting the book down in frustration; can the hivemind put my doubts to rest by answering two questions about religious history: First about the validity of Armstrong's "logos/mythos" distinction, and second, about the current thinking on the documentary hypothesis? [more inside]
posted by mittens on Nov 26, 2014 - 4 answers

Hephaistos - historical study

Hi! I'm interested in finding some information about the way that Hephaistos is guessed to have come to be worshipped in ancient Greece. Please note that I am not looking for psychological theories (for example: "he represents the creative drive, and functions as a symbol of social exclusion and early technology"), but historical ones (for example: "he is found on an Athenian vase in 500 BCE, but no earlier, so that may have been when they began worshipping him" or, for example: "the philosopher Anaxamagazine tells us that the Thracians worshipped Hephaistos above all other gods, so it is possible Thrace was the initial origin of his cult"). Book recommendations or well-sourced websites would both be welcome! If you're dropping by the thread to merely mention a fact you know regarding Mister Hammer's origin point, that's great, but please link to a primary source. Thank you!
posted by Greg Nog on Nov 18, 2014 - 11 answers

Converting from atheism to religion

I've been basically a lifelong atheist, but a small part of me is extremely tempted by some of the more comforting aspects of various religions (such as the idea of an afterlife). But the logical part of me just can't bring myself to seriously believe in things for which there is no evidence. I am interested in hearing stories of people who have gone from being firmly atheist to accepting religion later in life, and how they were able to do so without cognitive dissonance. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Nov 13, 2014 - 34 answers

Peasants and the Eucharist

Did English peasants in the Late Middle Ages--say, 14th c.--take Communion? If so, how often? How about the other sacraments?
posted by jwhite1979 on Oct 18, 2014 - 16 answers

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