Beliefnet
Religion 101
February 2013 Archives

The community college classes I teach on Eastern religions begin each semester with a unit on Hinduism. Right away, most of my students find themselves in a very strange and unfamiliar new religious world altogether. Indeed, many Western newcomers to …Read More

At sunset yesterday (February 23, 2013), Jews worldwide began observing one of Judaism’s most joyous and celebratory annual holidays (or “holy days”): Purim, or the Feast of Lots. Purim runs throughout the following day (today), before concluding at nightfall this evening (February 24). I’ve …Read More

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 …Read More

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, …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

Once again, a new semester has begun at the community college system where I teach courses about the religions of the world. (And please note that I specifically said “about.” I don’t “teach religion”; rather, I teach about religion. There’s …Read More

On or about February 2, 2013 (there is some variation by region and by tradition), a significant holiday on the religious calendars of Wiccans and other Neopagans will begin. However, which particular Wiccan holiday it happens to be will vary, …Read More