So I'm trying to find examples of cultures/peoples/ethnicities/religions that are significantly dissimilar to the main city/culture/groups that surround them. Like finding a group of Amish people in Detroit. Or the one someone gave me of the significant Hasidic population in the scantily clad nightlife world of South Beach. What other current examples are there in the USA and Canada of unexpected groups in unexpected places?
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution? [more inside]
What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic? [more inside]
My father unexpectedly passed away last weekend from a heart attack. I am not religious. Part of my family, and most of our community of friends & extended family, are. Help me navigate the religious talk without either going on the defensive, or being complacent. [more inside]
Turkey/Istanbul/Constantinople/19th Century History question. I need some help discovering some basic cultural info - naming conventions, religious practices and beliefs, headwear details. All specific to Istanbul/Constantinople between 1790s and 1820s. Specific questions inside. [more inside]
I’m looking for holiday and cultural traditions from any and all cultures that an agnostic American can easily and festively incorporate into the year. [more inside]
A question about feet! Are they considered lowly by any cultures or religions? [more inside]
A couple years ago, I read a really intriguing essay that compared the American cultural ideal of "effortless cool" to the theological debate over the importance of grace vs. good acts. I believe that the writer identified the Puritans as coming down on the side of grace, and made a connection between their influence on early America and our cultural preference for grace (i.e. "effortless cool") over good acts (i.e. "trying too hard"). I would really love to cite this essay, but unfortunately, my Google-Fu is failing me. I remember that I read it online, and it was probably linked from a comment on The Blue. Any idea what I read or who wrote it?
Nazar Boncuks on my stoop, a Mezuzah on my door frame, prayer flags outside... help me represent all faiths!
Help me decorate a multi-faith home! [more inside]
Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
As a student of international relations, I'm trying to acquire a broad understanding of Islam and Middle-Eastern culture. I'm looking for a few books to read in my spare time that touch on these subjects. [more inside]
I am searching for examples of The Infinite, or the immeasurably large, in our mythologies and archetypes. I am also interested in the categories of Truth which came out of the emergence of Western, ontological thought. Does the trust in a rationally conceivable reality deny us the infinity of the mythological realm? By rooting ourselves in the present, and denying atemporal mythologies, do we also deny the infinite origins from where we came? [more inside]
How can I find out the dates of the upcoming 2007 Yuba City Sikh parade/festival? As some of you may know, this is the largest gathering of Sikh people outside of India/Pakistan, and many tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of people come from all over the US to eat the amazing free food, see the floats, and generally have a great time. Non-Sikhs are invited, and I want to go, but can't find the date anywhere.
An op-ed piece argued that it feels right to avoid blasphemy in general conversation even while agreeing that our old blasphemy laws are a bad idea and unconstitutional. This was several years ago, in a secular publication, not written by clergy, and not specifically sectarian. It definitely did not focus on Islam. Any recollection of this? Thanks.
In the past few years, I have read--over and over--that many American Christians feel that "Christianity is under attack," and that there is an "assault on people of faith." [more inside]
1. Are there maps anywhere that show the geographical distribution of ethnicities and religions accross different regions? 2. Or, does a program exist where I could plug in preference for different feilds (example: religion, climate, geography) and it would spit out the closest region to such specifications? [more inside]
When do the 12 days of Christmas actually begin?