Religion 101

At sunset today (Sunday, April 7), Jews worldwide will begin observing Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. A relatively recent modern addition to the Jewish calendar (having been established in 1953), this is a solemn memorial day commemorating the approximately six million Jews who fell victim to the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. Why…

As mentioned in my previous blog, a fair percentage of my community college world religions students (and also of the general public, whom my students probably represent a fairly representative sample of) often exhibits some confusion or uncertainty over the precise meaning of such terms as atheism and agnosticism. Atheism can actually mean a couple…

Many of the students who enter my community college world religions courses each semester (and much, for that matter, of the general American public, of whom such students probably represent a fairly representative sampling), sometimes seem to exhibit varying degrees of confusion over the exact meaning of terms such as atheism and agnosticism. Some simply…

Today (as I write, March 31, 2013) is Easter Sunday. Worldwide, Christians today are commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (traditionally believed to have occurred on a Sunday). On the calendar, Easter Sunday falls in close proximity each year to the Jewish holiday of Pesach or Passover (the Last Supper may have been a Passover…

Today (as I write, Friday, March 29, 2013), Christians worldwide are observing Good Friday — the Friday immediately prior to Easter Sunday. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ (traditionally believed to have occurred on a Friday), just as Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection which Christians believe subsequently occurred (on the following…

Today (as I write, Wednesday, March 27, 2013), Hindus worldwide are observing the spring religious festival known as Holi, or the “festival of colors.” Holi always begins on the final full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna on the Hindu calendar. However, that fixed starting date on the Hindu religious calendar does not always…

At sunset today (Monday, March 25), Jews worldwide will begin observing the eight-day festival known in Hebrew as Pesach, and in English as Passover. Why at sunset? Because Judaism traditionally reckons a “day” as beginning not at 12:00 midnight, nor even at dawn, but instead at sunset. Pesach or Passover will therefore technically begin tonight…

When encountering Hinduism for the first time, Westerners (including many of the students in my community college Eastern religions classes) find themselves faced with a major world faith which in many ways differs drastically from the major Western faiths with which most of them are familiar. For one thing, unlike Judaism or Christianity or Islam…

In sharp contrast to Christianity, which has long maintained that there is but one single, unique path to salvation (via Christ alone), the Hindu view has long been that there are actually a multiplicity of equally valid spiritual paths which can ultimately lead one to “salvation” (or, in the Hindu context, to “liberation,” or final…

When encountering Hinduism for the first time, Westerners (including many of the students in my community college Eastern religions classes) find themselves faced with a major world faith which in many ways differs drastically from the major Western faiths with which most of them are familiar. For one thing, unlike Judaism or Christianity or Islam…

Reed Hall
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Reed Hall

Reed Hall teaches community college credit courses on world religions. (Check out his supernatural thriller novel "MAGIC" at http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Occult-Thriller-Reed-Hall/dp/1453874836.)

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