I've read online that over the triple doorways of Milan Cathedral are three inscriptions spanning the arches. Above one is carved a wreath of roses, with the words, “All that pleases is but for a moment.” Over the second is a cross, with the words, “All that troubles is but for a moment.” Underneath the great central entrance to the main aisle is inscribed: “That only is important which is eternal.” I presume the inscriptions are in latin or something. Can someone confirm, and provide the exact wording in latin? [more inside]
Can you help me find an essay that has a paragraph about hugging someone in a parking lot in the hopes of taking their pain away? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
Someone close to me has converted to Sufi Islam, and I'd like to get a better understanding of the Sufi concept of God. Meanwhile, I'm trying to see what I think of God myself. [more inside]
I'm a jumble of emotions right now. [TLDR]: The question is, can you be good if you break an unbreakable vow? Is it really a choice between being good and being happy? Is there a way to reconcile the two? [more inside]
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]
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
Help me out, Hivemind. I'm looking for respectable, scholarly books, friendly to the layman, on the early beginnings of Christianity. More specifically, I'm interested in its first few centuries. I'm also hoping to attain a better understanding of Gnosticism and its place in Christianity's history. I am NOT looking for New Age-y neognostic inculcations.
I was really surprised by how much I liked the parts about Catholicism in the Mongoliad series. What other fiction is there involving the medieval Church's corruption, orders of knights (or monks or whatever) who are heretics or pagans who've drawn a thin veneer of Catholicism over themselves, gnosticism and mysticism, characters who may be god-touched, mad, or both and the people who have to keep them out of trouble? [more inside]
I've been an atheist for most of my life. I've never been to a formal church service outside of a wedding or a funeral. Recently I've realized that I politically agree with the leftist interpretation of the teachings of Christ. I still don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith. Would it be wrong for me to seek out a left leaning sect like Unitarians? I'm worried that this is, at the very least, intellectually dishonest to my own beliefs, and more likely, selfish for the church I'd pursue. I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. I apologize if I've offended the faithful with a misunderstanding of their beliefs. Part of my desire for this is that of community and connection with fellow left leaning folks.
I had a particularly useful version of this in a book some years ago while teaching a class on Chaucer's The Merchant's Tale. It was an (I think) early monochrome block-print of a tree with the peripheral twigs and branches taking one from multiple minor indiscretions to the core seven branches of the deadly sins. For example the twig of impatience might lead to the the branch of wrath. Google image search is not throwing up the detailed "mind-map" tree I recall. It may have been a more modern representation/interpretation of the idea.
I'm looking to collect as many specific examples as I can, of instances in which specific Republican/conservative behaviors and/or political moves have directly contradicted the teachings of Christ. Some specific examples within. [more inside]
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?
How have you gone about investigating your moments of childhood religious doubt as an adult? Interested in why I "gave up" Christianity but cannot remember my actual process of thoughts and feelings. Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I have heard rumor that the early Christian gnostics may have tolerated or even celebrated homosexuality. Does that seem probably to you? Is there any evidence for this in ancient sources? Does gay sex seem compatible with their thinking generally? Are there any books or articles on this topic?
What was my conservative Christian Facebook acquantaince talking about when he said that we were "grind[ing] towards the end of the first societal transition phase"? [more inside]
I've been a self-studied, involved Christian for most of my adolescence and early adulthood - first as a Catholic, now as an Episcopalian. Here's the thing: I'm pretty sure I don't believe in sin. So, what am I, exactly? [more inside]
I have two quotes about the Christian church from very disparate sources and I am trying to ascertain if either of the sources in question actually ever said or wrote what is attributed to them. [more inside]
I have heard a rumor that some people believe that Jesus traveled to India and learned Buddhist ideas. The theory is that perhaps this occurred during Jesus' early adulthood, before he started preaching during his 30s. But I am a bit skeptical. Do you know where this idea comes from? Do you think it is probable? Are there books or movies that I should watch about this theory? Any insight would be most appreciated.
I was born in a very, very devout Christian family. Went to Christian schools and church. For a long time my faith was the most important thing to me and then as I started getting older (18) I began to doubt. This doubt only increased to the point that by the time I was 25 or 26 (I'm 33 now) I became"atheist". Now, I see that faith played a very important role in emotionally stabilizing me and giving me hope and I want something like that back. My question is why did I lose my faith (when all my family still holds it dear)? And how do I find something equally as helpful in my life? Thank you so much!
I was awakened at 6:30 am by around hundred people - some in robes carrying large banners - and a band with loud drums, all proceeding down my street and singing something in a foreign language. What was it all about? [more inside]
Please give me advice on finding a new church. [more inside]
Hi. I was wondering if anyone here could help to recommend resources for a complete beginner to better understand the history of Christianity, etc so I may have a deeper, more contextualised understanding of british history and politics. Some stuff I'd like to know better are: [more inside]
My wife (27) and I (30) are moving our small family (+2 year old son, -anything that won't fit in 6 suitcases) across the country to Portland, Oregon. In large part we're leaving all of our (supportive, loving) local family and friends looking for adventure and to consciously decide the sort of people we will be (Along with a serious upgrade of location from suburban Central Florida). Have others done a similar reset with themselves or their entire family? Any recommendations on how to be loving and charitable to family and friends while you are leaving and enjoying the next phase? Or pointers on how to meet and embrace a new set of friends and "family"? [more inside]
What one book should an atheist recommend to a fundamentalist that will open their mind to atheism but is not focused on the debate about whether god exists? [more inside]
I want to go to church. ALL the churches. Teach me the standard procedures for church attendance? Expanded overthinking inside. [more inside]
What denomination or affiliation of Christianism am I being gently introduced to? [more inside]
[Dewey Decimal Filter] Looking for information about the Dewey Decimal System and its history of revisions. In particular: When and why did Mormonism get moved from Dewey Decimal classification 290 (non-Christian religions) to 289 (other Christian denominations)? [more inside]
Can “modern” people actively believe in God? How do they integrate their believes with their “conservative” religion? How do they practice their believes? [more inside]
I am utterly enthralled with validation and praise, to an unhealthy extent. I want to change this. [more inside]
Is there a secret gallery at The Vatican of terrifying images of Christian idols? [more inside]
What is Gnostic Christianity? [more inside]
Looking for recommendations for books on Christian apologetics that take seriously the reality of evolution rather than denying it in favor of the argument from design. [more inside]
My somewhat newly religious friend told me that because of his spiritual beliefs he now believes that homosexuality is wrong because God planned men and women to procreate, and gay relationships don't follow that plan. He also said he is pro gay marriage because he views that as more of a political or practical issue and doesn't think that religion should be used as a justification for laws that also govern the non-religious. How should I take this? [more inside]
Reading about the Great Awakening (first or second) and history of American religion? [more inside]
Conversations with my Father-in-law have lead him to lose his faith in God. My mother-in-law is not coping well with this and blames me. What do I do? [more inside]
I need some advice about my relationship with my mom. I'm moving back close to home soon and I was wondering if you guys had any advice on how to deal with an illogical religious person. Or more specifically, how do I reason with her to foster a better relationship? [more inside]
I'm doing some shallow research on Christianity, its development and its place in popular life throughout time. Please help me find outstanding books on this subject! [more inside]
Secular, but socially sensitive, ways to teach five-year-old about Christianity? [more inside]
Philanthropy: Is anyone aware of a non-profit organization that specifically focuses on U.S evangelical or fundamentalist-christian education or extremist Islam education (even better, grade school focused) its mission recognizing that the Christianity or Islam, in its perverted form(s), e.g., creationism, intolerance, senseless violence etc, is logically, from an educated standpoint, harmful to society. E.g., A reputable NP organization in whatever form committed to advocate against fundamentalist schools that teach silliness and harm children, likely an idea tank or direct advocacy program.
How can I gracefully set boundaries with conservative/religious parents when I no longer share their beliefs?
I want to move in with my partner and move on with my life, but I'm stuck in needing approval from parents with beliefs I can't agree with. How can I handle this in a kind but firm manner? [more inside]
How do you write about religion historically? I'm writing my history honors thesis on evangelical Christians, but all of my drafts sound theological and not historical. When I try to fix the problem, I end up just reciting facts. [more inside]
I'm having a difficult time trying to mentally process an ex's recent wedding because I'm hung up on the sex/religion aspect of it all. I need advice on how to stop thinking about him. [more inside]
I'm looking for reputable (i.e. with citations/bibilographies) histories or studies about the evolution of sexuality within the Judeo-Christian religions. [more inside]
My parents are conservative Christians and I were brought up with Christian values. As I grew older, I began to question my faith and after years of searching, I finally discovered that Christianity; like other religions are based on ideas and concepts that are mostly outdated. I am an atheist now and I am happy with that. But the thing is... I have an animosity towards Christianity; I feel that years of my life wasted in believing lies... years that I can not ever claim back. And worse... some of the values taught to me seem to stick like chewed up gum sticking on shoe. I don't know how to get rid of these Christian values I want out. [more inside]
Why is the concept of evolution seen as contrary to Christian teaching? [more inside]
For the sake of this question, assume everything in the Bible is true/real. Do you have to be a practicing Christian to cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ? [more inside]
Just moved to Houston; my girlfriend is looking for a Catholic church with liberal leanings - is that even possible? [more inside]