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Religion 101

Religion 101

August 2012 Archives

Ten Surprising Similarities Between Judaism & Islam (Part Five)

posted by Reed Hall

Concluding my five-part overview of ten striking similarities and prominent parallels between Judaism and Islam, which some who are unfamiliar with either faith might find rather surprising: 9.  Jews and Muslims both observe religiously mandated dietary rules and regulations.   […]

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Ten Surprising Similarities Between Judaism & Islam (Part Four)

posted by Reed Hall

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, a recent Pew Forum survey finds that 78.4% of the U.S. population self-identifies as Christian — clearly an overwhelming majority. By contrast, Jews account for only 1.7% and Muslims a mere 0.6% of […]

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Ten Surprising Similarities Between Judaism & Islam (Part Three)

posted by Reed Hall

According to a recent Pew Forum survey, 78.4% of the U.S. population self-identifies as Christian — clearly an overwhelming majority. By contrast, Jews account for only 1.7% and Muslims a mere 0.6% of the population. Overwhelming majorities (of whatever sort) […]

Ten Surprising Similarities Between Judaism & Islam (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

The U.S. population is overwhelmingly a Christian population (78% according to a recent Pew Forum survey), which of course means that all other religions also present within the U.S. are, by definition, “minority religions” (no matter how large they might […]

Ten Surprising Similarities Between Judaism & Islam (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous blog entries, I addressed poll results indicating that a surprisingly large percentage of Americans are unaware of the fact that Judaism is older than both Christianity and Islam, and are also unable to identify which Islamic countries […]

Eid al-Fitr 2012

posted by Reed Hall

The end of the Islamic month of Ramadan is fast approaching — and with it, the conclusion of the daylight fasting that Muslims worldwide have been faithfully observing throughout this holiest of months on the Islamic calendar. No food or […]

Religious Illiteracy Redux (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous blog post, I cited Newsweek magazine’s 2007 “What You Need to Know Poll,” which stated the following: “Roughly half (53 percent) are aware that Judaism is an older religion than both Christianity and Islam (41 percent aren’t […]

Religious Illiteracy Redux (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

Here’s a new statistic (well, it’s actually about five years old, now, but it’s a new one to me), which I only just happened to stumble upon the other day. This one surprises even me. Evidently back in 2007, Newsweek […]

Krishna Janmashtami 2012

posted by Reed Hall

Today is Krishna Janmashtami, the annual celebration in the Hindu calendar of the birthday of Lord Krishna. Because of the complex intricacies of the Indian calendar’s structure and workings, the precise date of this popular Hindu holy day and festival […]

What Is Sikhism?

posted by Reed Hall

Sadly, another mass shooting has been in the news recently — this one occurring not in a Colorado movie theater, but in a Wisconsin house of worship. A gunman identified as Wade Michael Page entered a Sikh temple (technically known […]

Universal Salvation? (Part Three)

posted by Reed Hall

Whereas many theologically conservative evangelical Christians, and most if not all fundamentalist Christians, believe both in a literal hell and that at least some poor souls are suffering there for all eternity, there are plenty of others — Christians and […]

Universal Salvation? (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

Many mainline Protestant denominations see Christianity as being less about obtaining a ticket out of hell through faith in Christ as one’s personal savior, and more about emulating Christ’s example of unconditional love — expressing and realizing their own faith […]

Universal Salvation? (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

In the wake of the tragic July 20 massacre at the Aurora, Colorado cinema where a lone gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others, one notable evangelical Christian public figure famously (or infamously) observed that any among the dead […]

Previous Posts

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Six)
Specifically Christian newcomers to the study of Judaism frequently puzzle over  why -- as they themselves often put it -- Jews "don't believe in Jesus." The reality is simply that the entire Jewish concept of who and what a Messiah actually is (or does) is just nothing like what Christians them

posted 4:45:00pm Jun. 29, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Five)
Aside from the several other frequent areas of confusion which sometimes puzzle newcomers to the study of Judaism (areas which I've been discussing in my last several blog entries), there is yet another hazy area that is often uniquely puzzling to specifically Christian newcomers: why, as they thems

posted 10:01:32pm Jun. 27, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Four)
As discussed in previous blog entries, a fairly sizable percentage of the American public seems to know surprisingly little about many of the basics of Judaism. In my own world religions courses, some students begin the semester with no real knowledge of the Jewish faith, and may even harbor some fa

posted 9:16:07pm Jun. 25, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Three)
As discussed in previous blog entries, a fairly sizable percentage of the American public seems to know surprisingly little about the basics of Judaism. In my own world religions courses, some students begin the semester with no real knowledge of the Jewish faith, and may even harbor some fairly com

posted 6:27:16pm Jun. 22, 2013 | read full post »

Midsummer (Litha)/Yule 2013
Tomorrow (Friday, June 21, 2013) is the date of the summer solstice within the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, by contrast, tomorrow will be the date of the winter solstice. Solstices have long been observed as important seasonal festivals in many traditional cultures. Accordingl

posted 5:05:38pm Jun. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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