Where Be Monsters? The Daedalus Sea Serpent and the War for Credibility

Just what was it that the crew of the HMS Daedalus saw? By Matthew Willis On 6 August 1848, Midshipman Sartoris of the Royal Navy corvette HMS Daedalus alerted the officers on the ship’s quarterdeck to an unusual sight. The captain, first lieutenant, and sailing master were all present to see the approach of a large creature[…]

Warriors of the Rainbow: The Birth of an Environmental Mythology

How did Greenpeace develop this affinity with Native Americans? The German branch of Greenpeace announced itself to the world in June 1981 when two activists climbed a smokestack in Hamburg and festooned it with a banner which read: Erst wenn der letzte Baum gefällt, der letzte Fluss vergiftet und der letzte Fisch gefangen ist, werdet[…]

The Most Popular Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China

There were over 200 gods and goddesses worshipped throughout ancient China, but if one were to count every deity or spirit, the number would be over 1,000. By Emily MarkHistorian Introduction There were over 200 gods and goddesses worshipped throughout ancient China, but if one were to count every deity or spirit, the number would be[…]

A Psychological Perspective on the Source and Function of Religion

Exploring the dominant influence of religious notions in people’s worldview, providing meaning and powerfully influencing their cognitions, emotions and behaviour. By Dr. Karen van der MerweSchool of Psychosocial Behavioural SciencesNorth West University South Africa Abstract This article explored psychological perspectives on the following: the reasons for humans’ religiousness, the influence of religion on people’s perspective[…]

Ritual and Religion in Cultural Anthropology

Not all religions follow the same practices but there are some similarities between most, if not all, religions. Introduction Religion changes across the globe. Different parts of the world have different beliefs and rules that maintain their religion. Not all religions follow the same practices but there are some similarities between most, if not all,[…]

Exorcism Has Been Part of Christianity for Centuries

Forty-five years ago, ‘The Exorcist’ terrified viewers with its portrayal of a practice that goes back several centuries and continues today in Christianity. “The Exorcist,” a horror film released 45 years ago, is a terrifying depiction of supernatural evil. The film tells the story of a young American girl who is possessed by a demon and eventually exorcised by a[…]

An Overview of the History of Mythology Involving Virgin Mothers and Miracle Babies

Virgin birth was not a new story in the ancient world. At the centre of the annual Christian festival of Christmas, particularly among those of the Catholic faith, is the sacred narrative of the Virgin Birth. In the New Testament Gospels of Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke (1:26-38), Mary, The Mother of God, is described as[…]

The Surprising Historical Significance of Fortune-Telling

The possible futures predicted by fortune-telling happen just often enough to tantalize, preying on our deepest aspirations of catching a “big break.” By Cody Delistraty / 10.26.2016 In 1786, 14-year-old Marie Anne Lenormand ran away from the convent school where she was raised. Lenormand set off to Paris on her own, where she learned the[…]

The Origin and Development of the Dragon in Ancient Chinese Mythology

Unlike the Western dragon of Europe that is representative of evil, the many eastern versions of the dragon are powerful spiritual symbol. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.07.2018Public HistorianBrewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Chinese dragon (spelled Long,Loong, or Lung in transliteration), is a Chinese mythical creature that also appears in other East Asian cultures, and thus is also sometimes called the Oriental (or Eastern)[…]