Monthly Archives: May 2014

Religious Cult : No Such Thing

One of the best things you can do for yourself as an honest student of religion is to throw away the common concept of a ‘religious cult’.

cultOfAthens01

The porch of caryatids at the Erechtheum in Athens, the civic cult of Athena.

 

The student who has accepted my notion of  Modern Religion and has discarded the concept of religious cult (or ‘secte’ in French) as a rogue religion, will be able to explore these religions, whether or not these religions function within accepted laws or cultural norms and regardless of their modern expression, denomination, or relationship to the state.

The ‘cult of a god’ is a term that goes to the heart of all religion, both the living traditions and those that are extinct.

Continue reading

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Origins, Religious Controversy, Religious Literacy

Modern Religion

To help you remember the many and diverse religions of the world, my seven categories of all religions past and present offer you assistance and support.

takayamaMahakariShrine

The Mahikari-no-Waza Temple at Takayama, Japan.

 

Modern Religion – the last of my categories – allows you to easily isolate the more recent religions from their ancient inspiration. A modern religion is any and all religion that has a founder or foundation after the beginning of the nineteenth century. Modern religion contains at least one, but most often several, of the following: Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Easy Categories, Origins, Religious Literacy, Ways to Learn the World Religions

The Term ‘Abrahamic’

abraham_Chagall02

image above: detail of Abraham and Isaac on the way to the Place of Sacrifice Marc Chagall, 1931

It is endlessly troublesome to create helpful categories for the myriad religions of the world.

The centuries of hostility between the so-called Abrahamic religions originate from their competitive claims to the Hebrew prophetic tradition and from their mutually exclusive claims to the revelations attributed to Abraham and the canon of Israelite prophets. I’m not sure why this category title ever felt right to anyone, religious or otherwise. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Origins, Religious Controversy, Religious Literacy, Ways to Learn the World Religions