Monthly Archives: October 2013

My Approach to the Classroom

It should be the goal of the student to excel in two areas of study. The first is to know the traditions as they are understood by the faithful, and the second is to explore the historical, critical approach to the study of these traditions.

latinCosmedin

Equal effort on the part of the student must be applied to the knowledge of the traditional narrative of a religion, and understanding the historical approach to religion. Continue reading

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The Pope, The Emperor, and The Other Guy

In the fall of 2006, the Pope of the Catholic Church, in a public discourse, quoted a medieval Byzantine emperor who had declared (hundreds of years ago) that Islam had added nothing new to the world of religious thought.

cherubPlaque01 Implied in the statement was the idea that much of Islam is found in the beliefs of those who were assimilated into the Arab Empire and that Islam had added only the oppression of the new rulers.

This quotation caused an outpouring of indignation, with many voices claiming to have been sorely insulted. Of course, the original statement from the late 1300s can tell us quite a bit about the conflicts between empires, the nature of religious controversy and something of the Byzantine mind.  Continue reading

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The First Thing about the Religions of the World

Whatever your opinion of it, religion has dominated human history and still seems to have a controlling interest in our vision of ourselves. In my view, the study and understanding of the religions of the world and an honest pursuit of religious literacy is the antidote to much of the needless conflict and suffering that plagues modern life. Throughout this blog the diligent reader will find my approach to the study of our religious nature and the religions of the world. Continue reading

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Roaming around the Egyptian Desert

In the Christian traditions, the founders of Christian monasticism are often referred to as the Desert Fathers.

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