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Finally, what about something like religious sacrificial offerings? The practice is common enough among indigenous religions; but what role, if any, might such a practice play within major religions of the modern Western world, like Judaism or Christianity? Well, the […]

So, what about such matters as religious taboos, or religious sacrificial offerings? What role, if any, might such things play within major contemporary religions of the modern Western world — like, say, Judaism or Christianity? In our own contemporary culture, […]

In my previous blog entry, we looked at some of the similarities and parallels that seem to exist between the shamans of many indigenous religions, and the prophets, priests, and faith-healers of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. But what about some […]

Many of the students in my community college world religions courses (who may be completely new to the academic study of religion) often find some of the seeming similarities and peculiar parallels that exist between indigenous religions on the one […]

The eight-day Jewish holiday known as Hanukkah (or Chanukah) began this year at sunset on Saturday, December 8, and will end at sunset on Sunday, December 16. Like all Jewish holidays (literally “holy days”), Hanukkah begins and ends at sundown. […]

Today (October 1, 2012), Jews worldwide are observing the first day of a joyous, seven-day-long holiday (a holy week, actually, rather than a literal “holy day”) known as Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles (or the Festival of Booths). For the first two […]

In my last blog entry, I presented some statistics and some graphic “pie charts” to illustrate (for the benefit of those for whom religious demographics may be unfamiliar territory) the actual size of both the total world Jewish population, as […]

In several of my most recent blog posts, I’ve been talking about Judaism — the High Holy Days in general, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in particular. But many people who are new (or relatively new) to the study […]

Tonight (September 25, 2012), Jews worldwide will begin observing Judaism’s most sacred holiday of the year: Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement. Coming ten days after Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), on the tenth day of the month of […]

For many people, and in many societies, the start of a new year is a festive, joyous occasion. But most of us regard New Year’s Day (January 1) as a purely secular holiday, with little or no real religious meaning. […]

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