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Religion 101

Religion 101

Religion 101 Archives

Jewish Demographics & “Denominations” (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

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 […]

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Jewish Demographics & “Denominations” (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

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 […]

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Yom Kippur 2012

posted by Reed Hall

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 […]

Autumnal Equinox (Mabon, Ostara) 2012

posted by Reed Hall

Today (September 22, 2012) is the autumnal equinox, a significant date on the religious calendars of Wiccans and other Neopagan groups. An equinox occurs when the Sun is precisely aligned with the plane of the Earth’s equator, such that our […]

Paryushana 2012

posted by Reed Hall

Today (September 19, 2012) is the first day of the multi-day festival of Paryushana (“Coming Together”), one of the two most important festivals in Jainism. Paryushana runs for either 8 or 10 days, depending upon the particular Jain sect, but […]

Rosh Hashanah 2012

posted by Reed Hall

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. […]

Jewish Holidays and the High Holy Days

posted by Reed Hall

All religions have their holidays (literally “holy days”) — certain special days of the year which are set aside and elevated as being especially sacred or holy. Judaism itself celebrates about ten major and many more minor holidays throughout the […]

World Religions: The U.S. Religious “Pie” (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

In my last post, I presented a visual pie chart graphically displaying the relative sizes of the major religions that are currently predominant within the United States. I also compared and contrasted that U.S. religious pie chart with a second […]

World Religions: The U.S. Religious “Pie” (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous two posts, I presented a global religious pie chart, graphically displaying and comparing the relative sizes of the major religions of the world, based upon their own total global populations. Now, I’d like to present a similar […]

World Religions: The Global Religious “Pie” (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

Out of a total world population currently close to seven billion people, the global religious “pie” slices up roughly as follows: The above raw data calls for at least a little bit of additional explanation and commentary. The clear winner, […]

World Religions: The Global Religious “Pie” (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

People engaged in a personal spiritual search, or on a private religious quest, often conduct it in a limited fashion, largely unaware of the immense variety of living religions and spiritual pathways that actually exist out there, in the wider […]

Religion & God: Inseparable?

posted by Reed Hall

In a previous blog, I asked the rhetorical question, “Can religions exist without scriptures?” (Answer: Yes. Religions can and do exist that lack any written scriptures. Many indigenous religions, for instance, are associated with non-literate cultures. They do just fine […]

Christianity: One Faith, Many Flavors

posted by Reed Hall

Question: What do Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists and “non-denominationals” all have in common? Answer: they’re all “Christians.” Christianity is the largest religion […]

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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