Prodicus on the Rise of Civilization: Religion, Agriculture, and Culture Heroes

Karthea Temple ruins on the island of Keos (modern Kea) By Dr. Stavros Kouloumentas / 11.01.2016 Postdoctoral Classics Research Fellow University of Humboldt, Berlin CHS Research Bulletin 4:2 (2016) Introduction Three authors who were active in classical Athens seem to have been familiar with Prodicus’ doctrines.[1] Xenophon preserves a speech of Prodicus in which the[…]

Why Native Americans Consider Water Sacred

An activist at a protest rally at the White House against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque By Dr. Rosalyn LaPier / 03.21.2017 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion, Harvard Universtiy The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,”[…]

The History of Art in Judaism

Judaism: An Introduction   By Dr. Jessica Hammerman (left) and Dr. Shaina Hammerman (right) / 08.08.2015 Jessica Hammerman: Professor of History, Central Oregon Community College Shaina Hammerman: Professor of Jewish History and Culture, Lehrhaus Judaica Judaism is a monotheistic religion that emerged with the Israelites in the Eastern Mediterranean (Southern Levant) within the context of the[…]

Fragments of the Past: How to Study Old Norse Religion

Ardnamurchan boat site / Photo by Jon Haylett, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Britt-Mari Näsström Professor of Religious History University of Gothenurg, Sweden Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 17:2 (1999), 177-185 The Source Problem Ansgar made an unsuccessful attempt to Christianize the Vikings as early as in the 830s. / From Hamilton, Hugo. 1830. Teckningar ur Skandinaviens[…]

Making it Vernacular in Agra: The Practice of Translation by Seventeenth-Century Jains

Jain monks in Gujarat, India By Dr. John E. Cort / 10.01.2015 Professor of Asian and Comparative Religions Denison University From Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature, and Performance in North India[1] Language and Translation The 17th century Digambar Jain temple and the 18th century Gauri Shankar Hindu temple in Delhi / 123RF.com In one sense,[…]

Ancient Minoan Religion

The peak sanctuary at Petsofas: reconstruction with a tripartite building and medium horns of consecration. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College The Nature of the Evidence This consists of the following four broad classes, the last of which will[…]

Nero in the Vatican: A Brief Biography of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI

Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) from the Resurrection fresco, by Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto), c.1494 / Vatican Borgia Apartments, Rome By Samantha Morris / 08.11.2012 Archaeologist/Historian Early Church Career Rodrigo Borgia. More commonly known as Pope Alexander VI. Father of at least 8 children and a man who rather enjoyed his mistresses. Like his children,[…]

Tellings and Texts: Dadupanthi Homiletics in North India

Dadupanthi Saints / Photo from University of Oxford By Dr. Monika Horstmann / 10.01.2015 Professor of Linguistics University of Heidelberg “The Example in Dadupanthi Homiletics,”[1], from Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature, and Performance in North India Introduction India is rife with preaching. There is no city, no village where there are not on generous display[…]

Nothing to Lose: Medieval Castration, Clerical Celibacy, and a Strange Story from Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelation

By Dr. Karl T. Steel / 02.01.2017 Associate Professor of English Brooklyn College Fragment of a 11th century Liber Judiciorum translation to the old Catalan language. Guarded at Santa Maria of Montserrat Abbey on the Montserrat mountain, Catalonia (Spain). / Wikimedia Commons The seventh-century Visigothic Code called for sodomites to be castrated.[1] Norman nobles were[…]

The Survival of Shamanism in Post-Soviet Siberia

Buryat shaman Tash Ool Buuevich Kunga consecrating an ovoo. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Olle Sundström / 01.16.2014 Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and Theology Umeå University, Sweden Abstract In his exhaustive study of ‘shamanism’ among the Altaic peoples in Southern Siberia, the renowned Soviet ethnographer Leonid P. Potapov contends that ‘under the present conditions[…]

Goddesses in Celtic Religion: Water Goddesses

A mountain stream / Photo by Dilshad Roshan, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Noémie Beck / 12.04.2009 Professor of Irish Studies Concordia University Introduction This is devoted to goddesses linked to water, such as rivers, springs, fountains, lakes, etc. Water has always been regarded as a particular sacred element of the landscape, worshipped for its life-giving[…]

Similarity in Superstitions in Anatolian and Chinese Cultures

Anatolian nazar symbol / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Güliz Ulu / 05.24.2016 Professor of Linguistics Huazhong University of Science and Technology Abstract This article aims at exploring similarity between Anatolian and Chinese prevalent superstitions, the reasons behind them and contributing to literature concerning superstitions. In this compara-tive study, marriage, birth, and death superstitions and their[…]

19th-Century ‘New Thought’, Its Evolution to Prosperity Gospel, and Its Consequence in Donald Trump

The New Thought movement left behind an important legacy. Wesley Nitsckie By Dr. Christopher H. Evans / 02.15.2017 Professor of the History of Christianity Boston University President Donald Trump embraces several political stances important to his conservative evangelical base. This includes support for “religious liberty” legislation and exempting evangelicals from laws upholding lesbian, gay, transgender[…]

What Makes a Mountain, Hill, or Prairie a Sacred Place for Native Americans

A woman holds Pope Francis’ head during his meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples at the Vatican on Feb. 15, 2017. L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP By Dr. Rosalyn LaPier / 02.16.2017 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion, Harvard Universtiy For several[…]

Manifest Destiny and America’s Westward Expansion

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, 1862. Mural, United States Capitol. By Ethan R. Bennett / 08.01.2016 PhD Candidate in American History Washington University, St. Louis The American Yawp Introduction John Louis O’Sullivan, a popular editor and columnist, articulated the long-standing American belief in the God-given mission of the United States[…]

Goddesses in Celtic Religion: Territorial and War Goddesses

The Morrigan is the goddess of war, battle, strife, and fertility in Celtic mythology. Most notably in Ireland, but also in other parts of Europe. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Noémie Beck / 12.04.2009 Professor of Irish Studies Concordia University Introduction Nature definitely had a sacred dimension for the Celts, who revered it in the[…]

Goddesses in Celtic Religion: The Matres and Matronae

Terracotta relief of the Matres (the Vertault relief), three Celtic goddesses, from the Gallo-Roman settlement of Vertillum (Vertault) in Gaul (region of Burgundy, East France). / Museum of Celtic Civilization, Bibracte, France By Dr. Noémie Beck / 12.04.2009 Professor of Irish Studies Concordia University Introduction The Mother Goddess is an entity, whose cult is universal[…]

Songs of Worship: Singing to the Divine in Different Traditions

Image from A-1 Pictures & Satelight By Dr. David Stowe / 02.09.2017 Professor of English and Religious Studies Michigan State University The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Photo by George Frey/Reuters This Saturday, Feb. 11, many Jews will celebrate Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of Singing, which commemorates one of the most vivid musical performances in the Hebrew[…]

An Introduction to the Historical Background and Religious Customs of the Celts

Three water nymphs (stone bas relief of the “Triple Coventina”), found in Coventina’s Well, Carrawburgh, near Hadrian’s Wall in England. Coventina was a Romano-British goddess of wells and springs / Chester’s Museum on Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland By Dr. Noémie Beck / 12.04.2009 Professor of Irish Studies Concordia University Introduction This work consists of a comparative study[…]