Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $27,470
Woo hoo!! And the first 31% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Keyword: faithandphilosophy

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • World's Largest-ever Study Of Near-Death Experiences

    09/11/2008 7:45:51 AM PDT · by Publius804 · 16 replies · 229+ views ^ | Sep. 10, 2008 | N/A
    World's Largest-ever Study Of Near-Death Experiences ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2008) — The University of Southampton is launching the world's largest-ever study of near-death experiences this week. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is to be launched by the Human Consciousness Project of the University of Southampton - an international collaboration of scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the human brain, consciousness and clinical death. The study is led by Dr Sam Parnia, an expert in the field of consciousness during clinical death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler of the University...
  • Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research

    09/17/2011 3:16:55 PM PDT · by NYer · 95 replies
    Epoch Times ^ | September 13, 2011 | Stephanie Lam
    Bruce Greyson thinks that research has only scratched the surface of the near-death experience phenomenon, and that there is a great prospect for future studies. (Stephanie Lam/The Epoch Times) DURHAM, N.C.—Grandma was just resuscitated. She wakes up and tells you a bizarre story of coming out of her body and going to heaven. Has she developed psychosis? Was her brain damaged from the lack of oxygen? After over 30 years of research, scientists have concluded that this is not the case. Instead, they think that this phenomenon is something today’s science is yet to understand, and that it is an...
  • Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research - A neurosurgeon’s perspective

    10/16/2011 1:19:00 PM PDT · by NYer · 113 replies
    The Epoch Times ^ | October 16, 2011 | Stephanie Lam
    DURHAM, N.C.—Eben Alexander was your typical neurosurgeon. A firm believer of scientific reductionism, he thought that all thoughts originate from the brain. But this changed in 2008 when he encountered a case of near-death experience (NDE). As much as it was the complete opposite of his previous views, he couldn’t dismiss or avoid the case—it was none other than his own experience, and he had to face it and search for an explanation. Having contracted acute bacterial meningitis, which damages the neocortex—the part of the brain that is thought to involve complex cognitive functions like conscious thought—Alexander went into a...
  • Franky Schaeffer Derides Christianity as “Stupid”

    10/07/2011 1:10:41 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 100 replies
    Institute on Religion and Democracy ^ | 10/07/2011 | Kristin Rudolph
    Once a self-identified founding member of the American “religious right,” Franky Schaeffer now says that “religion is dumb” and “man made.” Although Schaeffer grew up among some of the most influential evangelicals of the twentieth century, and worked as one of them during much of his adult life, he now believes the Bible is a fraud and that Christianity teaches “misogynistic” practices. Schaeffer, the son of the late evangelical theologian, philosopher, and founder of the L’Abri Fellowship, Francis Schaeffer, discussed his newest book at the Kansas City Public Library on September 27, 2011. His recent book, Sex, Mom, and God:...
  • Quantum life: The weirdness inside us

    10/08/2011 11:36:11 AM PDT · by Reeses · 30 replies
    NewScientist ^ | October 6, 2011 | Michael Brooks
    Ever felt a little incoherent? Or maybe you've been in two minds about something, or even in a bit of delicate state. Well, here's your excuse: perhaps you are in thrall to the strange rules of quantum mechanics. We tend to think that the interaction between quantum physics and biology stops with Schrödinger's cat. Not that Erwin Schrödinger intended his unfortunate feline - suspended thanks to quantum rules in a simultaneous state of being both dead and alive - to be anything more than a metaphor. Indeed, when he wrote his 1944 book What is Life?, he speculated that living...
  • Vatican asks bishops to create ministry roles for priests who left to marry (Catholic Caucus)

    10/08/2011 2:09:08 PM PDT · by NYer · 41 replies
    Beliefnet ^ | October 7, 2011 | Rob Kerby
    Facing a growing shortage of priests, the Roman Catholic Church is turning to former priests who left their callings to get married.While the “dispensed” priests won’t be allowed to take confessions or celebrate mass — they will be asked to serve as teachers and lay workers in such roles as helping serve communion to the congregation, roles already filled by lay members of local congregations.“The Vatican has appealed to diocesan bishops to encourage priests who have left ministry in order to get married to play a more active role in parish life,” reports Catholic Herald magazine, which reports that Cardinal...
  • The End of Evil? Neuroscientists suggest there is no such thing. Are they right?

    10/07/2011 8:13:12 PM PDT · by Jacob Kell · 44 replies
    Slate ^ | Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, | Ron Rosenbaum
    Is evil over? Has science finally driven a stake through its dark heart? Or at least emptied the word of useful meaning, reduced the notion of a numinous nonmaterial malevolent force to a glitch in a tangled cluster of neurons, the brain? Yes, according to many neuroscientists, who are emerging as the new high priests of the secrets of the psyche, explainers of human behavior in general. A phenomenon attested to by a recent torrent of pop-sci brain books with titles like Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. Not secret in most of these works is the disdain for...
  • Not Madonna's Kabbalah

    09/04/2011 9:41:44 AM PDT · by Phinneous · 37 replies ^ | 9/4/2011 | Tzvi Frieeman
    Inside your body breathes a person—a soul. Inside the body of Jewish practice breathes an inner wisdom—the soul of Judaism. We often call it “Kabbalah”, meaning “receiving.” Just as Jewish practice is received through an unbroken, ancient tradition from the revelation at Sinai, so is its soul. Kabbalah, then, is the received wisdom, the native theology and cosmology of Judaism.
  • Legendary flower of Buddhist yore blooms at a Mapo convenience store

    09/01/2011 2:30:03 PM PDT · by Winstons Julia · 33 replies
    CNN ^ | 09/01/11 | Staff
    Korean news outlets are reporting that an udumbara -- a legendary flower in Buddhist literature believed to bloom once every 3,000 years -- has sprouted at a humble Family Mart. Store manager Kim Jong-woo was cleaning when he spotted the 17 tiny flowers growing on the window. He recognized the flowers, he said, from images on television.
  • The Major Religions of the World ....Revisited: The Significance of Mecca

    08/29/2011 5:03:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 66 replies
    Major Religions dot com ^ | 2008 | Robert Fawcett
    It needs to be noted that Arabs had been making the pilgrimage to Mecca-to the enormous granite Ka'aba, the old shrine at the center of the city-for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, before Islam to pay tribute to these 360 gods represented inside the Ka'aba's walls. Muhammad destroyed all but two -- that of the Virgin Mary, and that of Christ. However, even those representations would eventually be banned under Islam's subsequent prohibition of images. This prohibition was not endorsed by the Prophet. Controversies have exploded over images depicting the Prophet Muhammad, namely his depiction as a turbaned terrorist in...
  • Mahavira (“The Great Hero”) is largely Unknown in the West

    08/24/2011 10:29:16 PM PDT · by Brian_Baldwin · 10 replies · 3+ views
    opinion | 08/24/2011 | brianbaldwin
    The “founder” of the Jains religion which is primarily in India is called Mahavira, which mean “The Great Hero” (maha – great, vira – hero). He lived thousands of years ago, and there is ample evidence that not only was he a near contemporary of the “Buddha”, the Buddha or “Intellectual” (buddhi – mind, Budd – intellect, Buddha – the Intellectual) who was a Prince of Nepal called Siddhartha, there is evidence and I personally believe that Mahavira had taught or strongly influenced the “Buddha” in religion and yoga. Mahavira is largely unknown in the West, but that is not...
  • Chinese Jews Face Existential Questions (Diminished: In Eyes of Judaism as Well as Beijing)

    08/21/2011 11:42:31 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 21 replies · 3+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 08/19/2011 | Bob Davis
    KAIFENG, China—Zhang Xinwang, a moon-faced Chinese man with a spiky beard, calls himself "Moishe." "So do you think I look Jewish?" he asks. For much of the past millennium, Jews in Kaifeng— descendants of merchants who arrived here from Persia, probably around the 11th century—have been struggling with an existential question: What does it mean to be Jewish? The handful of Kaifengers who go to Israel are sometimes floored to discover they need to go through a rabbi-certified conversion to be accepted as Jews, while the ones staying home squabble over which of them are really Jewish. The question has...
  • Scholars Seek to Correct 'Mistakes' in Bible

    08/17/2011 6:40:36 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 41 replies
    MSNBC ^ | 8/12/11 | Matti Friedeman
    Experts say they're looking to publish the authoritative edition of the Old TestamentBible Project, center, Dr. Rafael Zer, editorial coordinator, left, and Efrat Leibowitz, graduate research assistant, confer in their office at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The ongoing work of these academic detectives shows that this foundation text of Western civilization has always been more fluid than many people's strongly held beliefs would suggest.JERUSALEM — A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in...
  • Life's Big Questions: Penn Jillette, 'God, No!,' at Lisner Auditorium

    08/17/2011 11:20:58 AM PDT · by smokingfrog · 22 replies ^ | 16 Aug 2011 | Christopher Porter
    Penn Jillette is fond of Christians. Despite the title of his new book, "God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales," the talky half of the magic-comedy duo Penn & Teller finds those who follow Jesus to have compassion. "If you say bad things about them, they won't kill you — which is all I require out of people I share the planet with," Jillette says. "The fact that I attack Christians is, in a lot of ways, showing how much I trust them." "God, No!" is filled with hilarious stories from Jillette's life, each...
  • ‘Kerala Vault Opening Will Unleash Wrath of the Gods’ (Deadly Cobra Curse)

    08/15/2011 1:38:26 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | AUGUST 12, 2011 | Margherita Stancati
    We saw it coming when rumors of the cobra curse started spreading. Officials at Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple – where a treasure estimated to be worth $22 billion was found last month – had warned against opening the last of its sealed vaults, citing the image of a cobra that ominously guarded its entrance. The vault – Chamber “B” – is still sealed. But now a group of astrologers say they are sure tragedy will befall those who upset the temple’s deity further. The god, they say, is already angry about outsiders rummaging through the other five vaults, the contents...
  • Pagans fight for divine rights of old Greek gods

    09/24/2003 6:28:19 AM PDT · by NYer · 50 replies · 2,930+ views
    Scotsman ^ | September 21, 2003 | MATTHEW BRUNWASSER
    IN THE shadow of Mount Olympus the toga-clad worshippers sway to the beating of a drum as the bearded man leading the ceremony throws a pinch of grain into a torch, then circles his hand above the flames. While the group, dressed in yellow, red and blue robes, may appear to be taking part in some bewildering historical re-enactment, they are members a growing pagan movement dedicated to resurrecting the religion and way of life of ancient Greece. The pagans have gathered in a meadow near the sacred mountain where their ancestors believed the gods lived and held court to...
  • Bit By Bit, Afghanistan Rebuilds Buddhist Statues

    07/27/2011 3:47:58 PM PDT · by Pan_Yan · 12 replies
    NPR ^ | July 27, 2011 | Joanna Kakissis
    When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan a decade ago, they were fanatical about eliminating everything they considered un-Islamic. Their biggest targets — literally and figuratively — were the two monumental Buddha statues carved out of the sandstone cliffs in central Afghanistan. One stood nearly 180 feet tall and the other about 120 feet high, and together they had watched over the dusty Bamiyan Valley since the sixth century, several centuries before Islam reached the region. Despite international opposition, the Taliban destroyed the statues with massive explosions in 2001. At the time they were blown up, the statues were the largest Buddha...
  • Heaven For 21 Minutes: Local Couple Tells of Afterlife Experience [Protestant Sees Purgatory]

    07/26/2011 6:38:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 125 replies
    Lancaster Eagle Gazette | 7/9/11
    Article can not be posted due to copyright issues but if you clink on this link you can read all about it.
  • In Israel, rich and famous flock to wonder rabbi

    07/26/2011 3:06:30 PM PDT · by NYer · 18 replies · 1+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | July 26, 2011 | MATTI FRIEDMAN
    ASHDOD, Israel (AP) — A few evenings every month, some of Israel's wealthiest and most powerful people can be found in a living room in this seaside city, waiting to have a few minutes with a rabbi they see as an advisor, guru or miracle worker.Yoshiyahu Pinto is slightly stooped, his long beard and hair unkempt. He looks older than his 38 years, and speaks so softly you have to lean in to hear him. His remarkable rise in recent years has turned this living room of floral-patterned chairs and gilt sofas into an intersection of influence extending to Israel's...
  • Italy: Ancient sarcophagus unearthed near Rome

    07/22/2011 3:18:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    adnkronos ^ | July 5, 2011 | AKI
    Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman sarcophagus in the central Italian Lazio region surrounding Rome. It is the second sarcophagus discovered during a dig being coordinated by the University of Michigan. The sarcophagus was uncovered in the area of Lazio believed to the site of the ancient Roman city of Gabii, located 18 kilometres east of Rome. Both sarcophagi -- coffins typically adorned with sculptures or inscriptions -- are made of lead and are believed to date from the 1st or 2nd century AD. The first sarcophagus was unearthed in 2009 by archaelogists working on the same dig, the 'Gabii...
  • Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras | Mithraism | Ancient Religion

    10/31/2003 6:19:29 PM PST · by ckilmer · 10 replies · 528+ views
    Biblical Archaeology Review vol. 20, #5 ^ | September/October 1994 | David Ulansey
    MITHRAISM The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras by David Ulansey Author of THE ORIGINS OF THE MITHRAIC MYSTERIES (Oxford University Press, 1991) The following essay is adapted from my article,"Solving the Mithraic Mysteries" Biblical Archaeology Review (vol. 20, #5 [September/October 1994] pp. 40-53) This article is a summary of my book on Mithraism, THE ORIGINS OF THE MITHRAIC MYSTERIES(Oxford University Press, revised paperback, 1991) [To order this book (for $13.95), click here.]   The Encyclopedia Britannica has given this page its "Web's Best Sites" award. The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras (Note: complete documentation for the following essay can be found...
  • Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

    07/10/2011 7:04:06 PM PDT · by Palter · 160 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 10 July 2011 | DOREEN CARVAJAL
    Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews. The opinion focused narrowly on the Majorcan community of about 20,000 people known as chuetas and did not apply to descendants of Sephardic Jewish converts in mainland Spain or the broader diaspora of thousands of others who scattered to the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish colonies in South and North America. The island, isolated until a tourist boom that began in the late 1960s,...
  • Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Mufti Says Iranians are Zoroastrian

    05/10/2011 3:03:04 AM PDT · by Cronos · 59 replies
    AhulBayt News Agency ^ | 9 May 2011 | (Ahlul Bayt News Agency)
    Over a phone conversation with one of the Saudi Arabian newspapers, he said: “there were not many Zoroastrians in history, but they have been well-known (so what! who has assigned you to be historian without documentation and authenticity, let's see what you have to say and what are your proves to the lies this time!!!). History knows them as a nation full of hate and oppression (lie, if you meant history of Iran, for you ignorant mind, it is good to say and let you know that Iran has been known as cradle of civilization, just check this link, if...
  • Forgeries in the Bible's New Testament?

    05/19/2011 11:50:25 AM PDT · by Renfield · 73 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 5-18-2011 | Rosella Lorenzi
    Nearly half of the New Testament is a forgery, according to a provocative new book which charges that the Apostle Paul authored only a fraction of letters attributed to him, and the Apostle Peter just wrote nothing. Written by Bart Ehrman, a former evangelical Christian and now agnostic professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the book claims to unveil "one of the most unsettling ironies of the early Christian tradition:" the use of deception to promote the truth. "The Bible not only contains untruths of accidental mistakes. It also contains what almost anyone today...
  • An Israeli algorithm sheds light on the Bible

    06/30/2011 7:44:16 PM PDT · by decimon · 29 replies
    Associated Press ^ | June 29, 2011 | MATTI FRIEDMAN
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Software developed by an Israeli team is giving intriguing new hints about what researchers believe to be the multiple hands that wrote the Bible. The new software analyzes style and word choices to distinguish parts of a single text written by different authors, and when applied to the Bible its algorithm teased out distinct writerly voices in the holy book. The program, part of a sub-field of artificial intelligence studies known as authorship attribution, has a range of potential applications — from helping law enforcement to developing new computer programs for writers. But the Bible provided a...
  • In Search of Zarathustra [Pre-Islamic Iran once again making a strong come back]

    09/05/2004 8:09:50 PM PDT · by freedom44 · 152 replies · 6,718+ views
    Boston Review ^ | 9/5/04 | Jehangir Pocha
    Despite the tendency to see Iran as an Islamic monolith and the attempts of the ruling clerics in Tehran to cast it as such, the full complexity of Iranian identity is little understood and almost never discussed—even by Iranians themselves. Long before it was absorbed into the Islamic empire by Arab armies under Caliphs Umar and Uthman in the mid-seventh century, Persia had been the birthplace of Zarathustianism, or Zoroastrianism, the world’s first monotheistic religion.The religion was forged some 3,500 years ago around the philosopher-prophet Zarathustra’s teachings, which emphasized personal morality and a conscious choice between good and evil. From...
  • Ancient Buddhist Temple Uncovered In West Afghanistan

    11/19/2003 3:25:04 PM PST · by blam · 17 replies · 637+ views
    Ancient Buddhist temple uncovered in west Afghanistan A team of Japanese researchers has confirmed the existence of an ancient Buddhist temple 120 kilometers west of the Afghanistan town of Bamiyan. Courtesy of Atsushi Naka A view of the temple remains from the northeast, photographed in October. The remains of the temple, which is thought to have been built before the 8th century, when Islam spread throughout the region, are in an area largely untouched by world research teams. Researchers say the remains suggest the existence of a new Silk Road path that extended west from Bamiyan. It is hoped that...
  • Buddhist scripture found engraved in Chinese cave

    06/14/2011 4:11:28 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Yahoo India ^ | Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Indo Asian News Service
    An unfinished Buddhist scripture dating to around 386 A.D. has been found engraved on a cave wall in China. Archaeological workers discovered the scripture in northern China's Hebei province, Xinhua reported. The scripture - named the Lotus Sutra - was found in a cave in Xiangtangshan region, an official said. It is believed to have been created during the Northern Dynasties (386 to 581 A.D.), but was not finished, the official said. 'We'll probe into the reason why the work was halted,' he added. The Xiangtangshan area includes 16 caves and over 450 cliffside sculptures. It came under state protection...
  • Sharia compliance correlates with violent attitudes among American Muslims

    06/08/2011 9:13:41 PM PDT · by ventanax5 · 8 replies · 1+ views
    National Review ^ | Andrew C. McCarthy
    JUNE 8, 2011 4:00 A.M. The Coordinates of Radicalism Sharia compliance correlates with violent attitudes among American Muslims. What is it that radicalizes Muslims, including American Muslims? Is it American foreign policy? Israeli “occupation” of the ancient Jewish territories of Judea and Samaria? Cartoons depicting the warrior-prophet as a warrior? Korans torched by obscure Florida pastors? The life of Osama bin Laden, or, perhaps, his death? Any of a thousand claimed slights, real or imagined, that purportedly provoke young Muslims to “conflagrate” — if we may borrow from the forgiving rationalizations of Faisal Rauf, would-be imam of the would-be Ground...
  • Gay groups want Southern Baptists to apologize

    06/09/2011 3:02:36 AM PDT · by Cronos · 81 replies · 1+ views
    Go Q notes ^ | 8 Jun 2011 | Matt Comer
    A new coalition announced that it was starting a petition today on the GetEQUAL website (, calling on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to apologize for the harm its teachings are causing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Pointing to current teachings and ministries of the SBC, the coalition is attempting to shed light on harmful teachings and actions that individual congregations, pastors, and SBC leadership have embraced, targeting the LGBT community — particularly LGBT youth. These words and actions include everything from counseling parents to kick gay youth out of their homes to the horrifying practices of...
  • GOP field reveals a growing religious tolerance in U.S. politics {Ecumenical}

    06/09/2011 3:11:57 AM PDT · by Cronos · 18 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | 8 Jun 2011 | Doyle McManus
    Of the 44 U.S. presidents, all but a handful have been affiliated with a relatively narrow list of traditional Protestant denominations... Obama attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation with traditional Protestant roots despite its untraditional pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In Washington, Mr. Obama has attended services at mostly black Protestant churches.The only chief executive whose roots were clearly outside that mainstream tradition was John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic.But among the leading candidates for this year's Republican presidential nomination, not one is a member of the Protestant denominations that for so long have...
  • BBC marks anniversary of King James Bible by claiming King David was gay

    01/20/2011 1:05:56 PM PST · by NYer · 52 replies
    Life Site News ^ | January 20, 2010 | HILARY WHITE
    LONDON, January 19, 2011 ( – BBC Radio 4 has marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible by claiming that King David, the Jewish king of the Old Testament who slew the giant Philistine Goliath, was in the Bible’s “only gay relationship.” On a literary program, one of a series on the historic Bible translation, aired on Sunday, January 9th, playwright Howard Brenton claimed that David had been in love with Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Brenton said, “To a secular reader the story of David and Jonathan’s love is obviously homosexual, the only...
  • Ancient temple guarded by ugly statuettes.

    11/12/2001 9:38:13 AM PST · by janus · 37 replies · 284+ views
    Times of India ^ | 11/10/01 | Amit Mukherjee
    Man falls into ancient cellar AMIT MUKHERJEE TIMES NEWS NETWORK HMEDABAD: All Praveen Mehta, a retired bank employee of Ahmedabad, can think of these days is a dark underground chamber, guarded by three disfigured statues of dancing girls. The chamber, with six hidden air ducts, was discovered after the January 26 earthquake of Gujarat. Believed to be a secret cellar of a bygone era, the chamber could have been used for performing secret yagnas. It could even be the outer chamber of a secret treasure trove. The house, which was purchased by Mehta’s grandfather Giridharilal in 1898, suffered considerable ...
  • Kharijism: The earliest religious sect of Islam

    04/29/2011 7:20:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Princeton website ^ | prior to April 29, 2011 | Peter Batke (?)
    The Kharijites were originally supporters of the fourth caliph, Ali b. Abi Talib. However, his submission to an arbitration in 657 when confronted with the refusal of the governor of Syria, Muawiya, to pledge him allegience was considered proof of his forfeiture of the caliphate. They subsequently withdrew to Nahrawan, east of the Tigris, thus earning the name khariji, one who goes out. The Kharijites became increasing fanatical: they equally condemned both Uthman, the third caliph, and Ali, and branded all those who disagreed infidels and thus worthy of execution. The terror they caused in the local populations forced Ali...
  • Were Conquered Christians Really Liberated Muslims?

    04/24/2011 6:48:10 PM PDT · by forty_years · 22 replies
    netWMD ^ | April 24, 2011 | Raymond Ibrahim
    ... [Fadel Soliman's] new Arabic book, Copts: Muslims Before Muhammad, which he has been promoting all over the media, including al-Jazeera, asserts that, at the time of the Muslim conquest of Egypt (c. 640), the vast majority of Egyptians were not, as history has long taught, Christians, but rather prototypical Muslims, or muwahidin, who were actually being oppressed by Christians: hence, the Muslim conquest of Egypt was really about "liberating" fellow Muslims. Soliman's evidence is that the Arian sect, which rejected the claim that Jesus was coequal with God, was present in 4th century Egypt. Therefore, according to Soliman, the...
  • Did Neanderthals Believe in an Afterlife?

    04/21/2011 8:06:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Jennifer Viegas
    Evidence for a likely 50,000-year-old Neanderthal burial ground that includes the remains of at least three individuals has been unearthed in Spain... The deceased appear to have been intentionally buried, with each Neanderthal's arms folded such that the hands were close to the head. Remains of other Neanderthals have been found in this position, suggesting that it held meaning. Neanderthals therefore may have conducted burials and possessed symbolic thought before modern humans had these abilities... So far they have found buried articulated skeletons for a young adult female, a juvenile or child, and an adult -- possibly male -- Neanderthal......
  • Can Dogs Have Spiritual Experiences?

    04/07/2011 5:56:40 PM PDT · by Daffynition · 193 replies
    Fox.dogs ^ | Apr 7, 2011 | Jennifer Viegas for The Dog Daily
    Research suggests spiritual experiences originate deep within primitive areas of the human brain -- areas shared by other animals with brain structures like our own. Many scientists, therefore, believe it’s possible that dogs have moments that we may interpret as being spiritual. One such scientist is Kevin Nelson, a professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky. He thinks it is possible that dogs may go through near-death experiences, have mystical experiences, and feel the bliss that some people have associated with religious happenings. Says Nelson, author of the book The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: “In general, what serves...
  • Could lead codices prove ‘the major discovery of Christian history’?

    03/30/2011 5:36:35 PM PDT · by Islander7 · 55 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | March 30, 2011 | By Chris Lehmann
    British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus' life. As UK Daily Mail reporter Fiona Macrae writes, some researchers are suggesting this could be the most significant find in Christian archeology since the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947. The codices turned up five years ago in a remote cave in eastern Jordan—a region where early Christian believers may have fled after the destruction...
  • Could this be the biggest find since the Dead Sea Scrolls? Seventy metal books found..

    03/30/2011 9:07:25 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 206 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 03/30/11 | Fiona Macrae
    Could this be the biggest find since the Dead Sea Scrolls? Seventy metal books found in cave in Jordan could change our view of Biblical history By Fiona Macrae Last updated at 11:35 AM on 30th March 2011 For scholars of faith and history, it is a treasure trove too precious for price. This ancient collection of 70 tiny books, their lead pages bound with wire, could unlock some of the secrets of the earliest days of Christianity. Academics are divided as to their authenticity but say that if verified, they could prove as pivotal as the discovery of the...
  • Vatican Affirms The Importance of Metaphysics

    03/23/2011 7:02:13 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 19 replies
    The Hermeneutic of Continuity ^ | 3/22/11 | Fr. Tim Finnigan
    There was a most interesting press conference today at the Vatican on a new decree that has been published by the Congregation for Catholic Education concerning the reform of philosophical studies. You can read an English summary at the Vatican Information Service. Cardinal Grocholewski said that the Decree was occasioned by the problems of philosophy in the secular world and within the Church where, as Pope Benedict said, "The crisis of the post-Vatican II theology is largely a crisis of its philosophical foundations." Essentially, the Decree tightens up on philosophical studies, adding a year to the requirements for the Bachelor...
  • Did God have a wife? Scholar says that he did

    03/19/2011 11:21:29 AM PDT · by caldera599 · 74 replies · 1+ views
    MSNBC ^ | Viegas | Jennifer
    God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshipped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar. In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshipped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence because of the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. Information presented in Stavrakopoulou's books, lectures and journal papers has become the basis of a three-part documentary series, now...
  • Before the Deluge Reflections on the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt

    03/17/2011 8:37:49 PM PDT · by ventanax5 · 6 replies
    The Weekly Standard ^ | CHARLOTTE ALLEN
    I was briefly a political prisoner of the regime of Tunisia’s now-deposed President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali—which I hope will convince my readers that I’m not carrying water for him, or for his similarly deposed Egyptian fellow dictator, Hosni Mubarak, when I say that the nearly eight weeks I spent last summer in the North African ummah (Tunisia and Egypt, to be specific) filled me with the opposite of the euphoric optimism that now seems to be the hallmark of both liberal and conservative commentary on the “jasmine revolution” uprisings in both countries. Granted, my “imprisonment” by Ben Ali heavies...
  • New book connects the Eucharist with its Jewish roots

    03/13/2011 2:30:49 PM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies
    cna ^ | March 12, 2011 | Marianne Medlin
    Dr. Brant Pitre and his new book "Jesus and The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist" New Orleans, La., Mar 12, 2011 / 05:43 pm (CNA).- Dr. Brant Pitre hopes his new book on the Jewish roots of the Eucharist will help Catholics understand the “great gift” of the sacrament, as well as their privileged role in the “divine drama” of salvation history.  In a recent interview with CNA, Dr. Pitre – a professor of Sacred Scripture at Louisiana's Notre Dame Seminary  – discussed his latest book, “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the...
  • Bamiyan Buddhas once glowed in red, white and blue

    02/25/2011 8:04:38 AM PST · by decimon · 11 replies · 1+ views
    Technische Universitaet Muenchen ^ | February 25, 2011 | Unknown
    TUM conservators research the ruins of the statues and offer an outlook on the prospect of restorationThe world watched in horror as Taliban fanatics ten years ago blew up the two gigantic Buddha statues that had since the 6th century looked out over the Bamiyan Valley in what is now Afghanistan. Located on the Silk Road, until the 10th century the 55 and 38 meter tall works of art formed the centerpiece of one of the world's largest Buddhist monastic complexes. Thousands of monks tended countless shrines in the niches and caves that pierced a kilometer-long cliff face. Since the...
  • Faith in the Creator God in Ancient China (Were the ancient Chinese Monotheistic ?)

    03/02/2008 11:31:57 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 36 replies · 856+ views
    Provocations ^ | March 1,2008 | David Aikman
    Two and a half centuries ago a stormy dispute surged through the Christian world about the nature of China’s culture. In Rome, the Catholic Church was deeply divided over the nature of Chinese culture. Did the ancient Chinese, long before they encountered Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, have an understanding of God in a monotheistic sense as creator and sustainer of the universe? The Jesuits, who had an intellectually brilliant and profound impact on China in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thought they did. So, two centuries later, did Rev. James Legge, translator of the Chinese classics into English and a...
  • A Philosopher's Warning

    02/18/2011 5:04:59 PM PST · by ashukla · 51 replies ^ | February 18, 2011 | JR Nyquist
    This week I had the pleasure of interviewing the Brazilian philosopher, and president of the Inter-American Institute, Olavo de Carvalho. During the conversation I suggested that something is wrong with our thinking today; that we don’t worship in the same way, or obey the rules in the same way, or observe common courtesy as we once did. “To someone like me,” he began, “who visited this country in the 1980s, and came back to live here in 2005, the changes that the American mind has undergone in recent decades are really shocking.” Carvalho recommended that I read Tamar Frankel’s book,...
  • Taking Physicist Stephen Barr to Task for His Mischaracterizing Saint Augustine's Stance ...

    02/12/2011 2:14:52 PM PST · by SeanG200 · 20 replies
    Religio-Political Talk (RPT) ^ | 2-12-2011 | Papa Giorgio
    In this post I take Physicist Stephen Barr to task for his misquoting Saint Augustine's position on the dating of God's creation -- e.g., old or young earth" The problem with Dr. Barr’s summation is that he has failed to take into account that people’s views on matters change over time. For instance, R.C. Sproul (evangelical scholar, professor, and President of Ligonier Ministries) mentioned that through most of his teaching career he accepted the old-age position. However, late in his career he changed his position to that of the young earth creationists. For most of my teaching career, I considered...
  • Book Review: Opinion: The Christians as the Romans Saw Them

    02/06/2011 9:42:22 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 11 replies
    Associated Baptist Press ^ | Christmas Week 2009 | David Gushee
    My Christmas week reflections are inspired by a brilliant 25-year-old book by historian Robert L. Wilken. I picked up The Christians as the Romans Saw Them in hopes of finding resources for my research on the sanctity of life. I thought that Wilken might reveal the extent to which the Romans noticed the unique early Christian commitment to protecting human life. Instead, the book focuses on five pagan observers who offered a barrage of criticisms of the young religion. The five critics in chronological order were Pliny, Galen, Celsus, Porphyry and Julian, and each critic was more sophisticated and devastating...
  • Archaeologists May Have Found Tomb of Prophet Zechariah

    02/03/2011 6:58:03 PM PST · by SJackson · 61 replies
    AOL ^ | Feb 3, 2011
    Archaeologists in Israel believe they may have stumbled upon the tomb of the biblical Prophet Zechariah in a newly discovered church. The church, which is more than 1,300 years old, contains massive marble columns as well as exquisite mosaics, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement. Archaeologists believe that the church, uncovered in Hirbet Madras in central Israel, is the location marked on the Madaba Map as the tomb of Zechariah, according to Haaertz. "The researchers believe that in light of an analysis of the Christian sources, including the Madaba Map, the church at Hirbet Madras is a memorial...
  • Turkey: 'Seventh Church' of the Apocalypse is Found

    02/02/2011 5:58:00 AM PST · by 0beron · 21 replies
    The Eponymous Flower | 02/02/11 | Tancred
    Turkey: 'Seventh Church' of the Apocalypse is Found "Church in Laodicea" has been located with underground radar signals -- The structure is in its basic and original state. Ankara ( Archeologists have found the so-called "Seventh Church of Asia" from the biblical testimony of St. John. Turkish Minister of Culture, Ertugrul Gunay said for the Turkish press service [Tuesday] upon a visit to the excavation. The antique city Ladoicea [Laodikeia on Lykos today's Cürüksu Cayi] in the city of Phrygia mentioned in the cryptic Apocalypse at the end of the New Testament mentioned as the place of the seventh Christian...