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Was the Virgin Birth REALLY A “Virgin” Birth?

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous blog, I clarified the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth (they’re by no means the same thing at all, despite widespread misconception and misuse of the two terms as if they were synonymous). The […]

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No, the Immaculate Conception is NOT the Virgin Birth

posted by Reed Hall

Yesterday was Christmas. Christmas is, of course, the Christian religious holiday that commemorates the birth of Christ, which may have to do with why this particular religious misunderstanding just happened to pop into my mind. Or it might have popped […]

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Christmas 2012

posted by Reed Hall

As I write, tomorrow (December 25) is Christmas, one of the most important holidays on the Christian religious calendar; the term itself derives from the phrase “Christ’s Mass.” The holiday (or “holy day”) is widely celebrated, even among non-Christians, as […]

Yule/Litha 2012

posted by Reed Hall

Today (Friday, December 21, 2012) is the date of the winter solstice within the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, by contrast, today is the date of the summer solstice. Solstices have long been observed as important seasonal festivals in […]

12/21/2012: End of the World? (Again?)

posted by Reed Hall

The Internet has been abuzz for quite some time now regarding the infamous Mayan calendar, and its notorious terminal date of December 21, 2012. Since that ominous date is now (as I write) looming before us as the day after […]

The Connecticut Shooter & The Problem of Evil

posted by Reed Hall

Back in July of this year, I posted a rather lengthy blog entry entitled “The Colorado Shooter & The Problem of Evil.” It reflected upon how a gunman who had opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, killing 12 […]

Buddhist Demographics & Denominations (Part Four)

posted by Reed Hall

The Buddhist world subdivides into three major branches: Theravada, Mayahana, and Vajrayana. In my previous post, I provided a short thumbnail sketch of what Theravada Buddhists believe and practice. Now, we’ll finish painting the broad Buddhist picture with brief portraits of the other […]

Buddhist Demographics & Denominations (Part Three)

posted by Reed Hall

The Buddhist world subdivides into three major branches: Theravada, Mayahana, and Vajrayana. For reasons explained previously, estimates on the total world Buddhist population vary (by large margins). Some sources would put the total at well over a billion, but many […]

Hanukkah 2012

posted by Reed Hall

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. […]

Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) 2012

posted by Reed Hall

(Note: Part Three of my series on Buddhist Demographics & Denominations will appear in a subsequent entry.) Today (Saturday, December 8, 2012) is Rohatsu, a Japanese Buddhist holiday celebrating the occasion of the attainment of mystical enlightenment and the perfect […]

Buddhist Demographics & Denominations (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

Buddhism, like the other major religions of the world (such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism), is by no means universally homogeneous and uniform in content, but is instead heterogeneous, highly variegated, and internally diverse. In other words, not all […]

Buddhist Demographics & Denominations (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

Having previously looked at the demographics and “denominations” (major branches, movements, divisions) of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, we turn now to Buddhism. And, just as the other four of the “Big Five” among the world’s major religions are by […]

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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