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novels of corrupt bishops and Popes, heretics, saint's bones, etc

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]
posted by NoraReed on Aug 26, 2014 - 27 answers

Seeking faith as an atheist.

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.
posted by anonymous on Jul 2, 2014 - 41 answers

Calling all medievalists! The Tree of the Seven Deadly Sins

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.
posted by Hugobaron on May 29, 2014 - 3 answers

Un-Christlike behavior by U.S. conservatives?

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]
posted by jbickers on Feb 16, 2014 - 21 answers

Which Christian Saint said his teachings had been worthless.

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 on Nov 16, 2013 - 3 answers

Remembering what you chose to forget

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]
posted by elephantsvanish on Aug 21, 2013 - 31 answers

Did gnostics tolerate or celebrate homosexuality?

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?
posted by mortaddams on Jul 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Does striking down DOMA involve immanentizing the eschaton?

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]
posted by sparklemotion on Jun 26, 2013 - 24 answers

All Carrots, No Sticks?

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]
posted by Apropos of Something on Jun 20, 2013 - 33 answers

Reliably sourcing a quote about the church

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]
posted by DWRoelands on Apr 30, 2013 - 10 answers

Did Jesus travel to India?

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.
posted by mortaddams on Apr 28, 2013 - 25 answers

Why did I lose my faith? How do I find something as equally helpful?

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!
posted by learninguntilidie on Apr 22, 2013 - 52 answers

Catholics singing in the street on Easter?

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]
posted by theraflu on Mar 31, 2013 - 9 answers

I can't be Catholic any more.

Please give me advice on finding a new church. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 19, 2013 - 57 answers

History of Christianity(focus on Britain) for law degree.Where to start?

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]
posted by ethelwulf on Jan 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Tips for a family-wide reset?

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]
posted by stickwithjosh on Jan 15, 2013 - 19 answers

What positive book about atheism to recommend to a Christian?

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]
posted by underwater on Dec 10, 2012 - 36 answers

Teach me how to be a better Christian!

I want to go to church. ALL the churches. Teach me the standard procedures for church attendance? Expanded overthinking inside. [more inside]
posted by Papagayo on Dec 8, 2012 - 13 answers

A belief system that denies itself.

What denomination or affiliation of Christianism am I being gently introduced to? [more inside]
posted by polymodus on Dec 6, 2012 - 12 answers

Peeking inside the Dewey Decimal System's history

[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]
posted by exphysicist345 on Sep 11, 2012 - 13 answers

Relationship of modern believers and conservative religion

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]
posted by arhammer on Sep 10, 2012 - 54 answers

addicted to praise

I am utterly enthralled with validation and praise, to an unhealthy extent. I want to change this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 28, 2012 - 25 answers

Terrifying Paintings at the Vatican?

Is there a secret gallery at The Vatican of terrifying images of Christian idols? [more inside]
posted by dargerpartridge on Jun 27, 2012 - 10 answers

I don't know absolutely knowing!

What is Gnostic Christianity? [more inside]
posted by Philipschall on Apr 23, 2012 - 22 answers

Christian apologetics book recommendations that accept the fact of evolution

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]
posted by huxham on Apr 3, 2012 - 12 answers

Just found out my religious friend is (sort of) anti-gay

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]
posted by anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 - 47 answers

Books about American Christian history

Reading about the Great Awakening (first or second) and history of American religion? [more inside]
posted by j1950 on Feb 3, 2012 - 11 answers

The way things are going, they're gonna ...

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]
posted by holdkris99 on Jan 5, 2012 - 26 answers

I need some advice about my relationship with my mom

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]
posted by graphitix on Dec 31, 2011 - 21 answers

Please point me toward some religious history lessons.

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]
posted by the liquid oxygen on Dec 29, 2011 - 19 answers

Atheist Christianity Instruction

Secular, but socially sensitive, ways to teach five-year-old about Christianity? [more inside]
posted by Eiwalker on Dec 19, 2011 - 28 answers

Opposition to Fundamentalist Education

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.
posted by gagglezoomer on Dec 17, 2011 - 6 answers

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]
posted by anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 - 28 answers

History and Religion Clashing?

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]
posted by kingfishers catch fire on Oct 8, 2011 - 15 answers

Schroedinger's ex: I'm over him. I'm not over him.

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]
posted by anonymous on Aug 21, 2011 - 33 answers

Jesus was a swinger?!

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]
posted by Doleful Creature on Aug 18, 2011 - 12 answers

How can I forget / remove values that were taught to me when I grew?

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]
posted by bbxx on Jul 31, 2011 - 37 answers

Why is the concept of evolution seen as contrary to Christian teaching?

Why is the concept of evolution seen as contrary to Christian teaching? [more inside]
posted by brownrd on Jul 27, 2011 - 43 answers

On the casting out of demons

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]
posted by IndigoRain on Jul 21, 2011 - 22 answers

Liberal Catholic Church In Houston? Is it possible?

Just moved to Houston; my girlfriend is looking for a Catholic church with liberal leanings - is that even possible? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 16, 2011 - 8 answers

Please save me from being saved

Halp. My sister is trying to save my soul. She is talking about some pretty heavy religious events that have happened to her recently. These include visions & "supernatural powers," and she believes they are direct signs from God that I am in danger of the Devil and that I need saving. I have a few questions... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 14, 2011 - 36 answers

The church in scripture.

ScriptureFilter: I recall there being a passage in one of the gospels which states quite clearly and unambiguously that building and attending physical churches was not the proper way to worship. I believe it also said something about the only true church being the one we build in our hearts. I have been looking for this passage for the past few days and have been unable to find it. Did I imagine it? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Jun 9, 2011 - 22 answers

What is the path to afterlife like (in the Christian religion) for pre-Jesus individuals?

What is the path to afterlife like (in the Christian religion) for pre-Jesus individuals? As in Homo gautengensis up through Julius Caesar. Does the resurrection of the dead factor in somehow?
posted by steinwald on May 31, 2011 - 26 answers

Looking for challenging books about the Christian faith

I'm looking for challenging, daring books about the Christian faith. [more inside]
posted by GilloD on May 30, 2011 - 38 answers

What is the fate of "nonbeleivers" in various religions?

Is there a reference document or scholarship somewhere that describes the fate of "nonbelievers" in various religions? [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on May 19, 2011 - 7 answers

A day in the life of an early Christian

What can you tell me about what life was like for early Christians in the first century AD in Jerusalem, specifically 33 AD to 70 AD? [more inside]
posted by np312 on May 6, 2011 - 9 answers

ISO Jesus for Dummies, Jr.

Is there a book (or books) that explains Christianity that's suitable for an atheist 10 year old? [more inside]
posted by vespabelle on Apr 26, 2011 - 26 answers

One nervous pagan versus a thousand christians

I am not Christian, and often feel seriously awkward and uncomfortable talking to faithful people on/around/about Christian holidays. How can I avoid or lessen this feeling? [more inside]
posted by Heretical on Apr 24, 2011 - 53 answers

Why was Jesus killed?

Why was Jesus of Nazarath (also called Jesus Christ) killed? What was going on in Roman occupied Jerusalem that lead up to his death? [more inside]
posted by garlic on Apr 24, 2011 - 13 answers

Stealth evangelicalism in "haunting" shows?

What's the deal with shows like Animal Planet's "The Haunting?" Is this just a front for evangelicalism or charismatic christianity? [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Apr 22, 2011 - 11 answers

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