Religion 101
December 2012 Archives

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

(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 […]