A term to describe an organized belief system which revolves around supernatural elements and entities.

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2answers
491 views

Why was Jesus crucified (historically?) [closed]

Some said that He was crucified because he punched and kicked things around in the temple. Would that be plausible? Some said that He was crucified because the religious leaders were jealous of his ...
12
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5answers
566 views

Was there ever any organization of thieves or pickpockets?

Can anyone suggest any historical examples of an established group specifically dedicated to organized thievery (any combination of property based crimes such as pick-pocketing, lock-picking, fencing, ...
24
votes
3answers
741 views

Why were there no religious wars in Poland?

During the 16th and 17th centuries, there were many religious wars in Europe. In countries, were it was very close to Rome (like Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italian states), they did not occur. In ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

What is “Mary's Part”?

The poem on this gravestone in RI refers to "Mary's part." What does this phrase mean?
7
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2answers
481 views

What sort of Cardinals were Richelieu and Mazarin?

Cardinals can belong to one of three orders: Cardinal-deacon Cardinal-bishop Cardinal-priest. What were the ranks of Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin?
2
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1answer
68 views

Are there any reasonable sources of data on numbers of religious adherents, for different religions, throughout history?

I'm interested in historical trends in religion and wondered if anyone knows of any reasonable sources of data on the number of adherents, for any/all different religions, throughout human history. ...
6
votes
2answers
278 views

When were the different stories of Hindu gods written?

I'm a Hindu by religion. And I really respect my religion like I respect others. But from my childhood, I'm listening a lot of stories about Hindu Gods and Goddess which are interrelated to each ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the first known organized religion in the world?

Which were the first religions to be created with well known scriptures, ceremonies and traditions? Was it that of the ancient Egyptians or the old kingdoms of the Middle East? What about Africa or ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a civilization that never believed in God in the ancient times?

I'm not obviously talking about small groups or individuals but about an actual civilization that never believed about the existence of a supreme essence. Is atheism just a modern concept?
4
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5answers
526 views

How did ancient mystery religions impact Christianity?

I recently learned about the existence of mystery religions while listening to lectures by Robert Garland about Daily Life in the Ancient World. Wikipedia seems to imply that the mystery religions ...
2
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0answers
107 views

Is there a timeline showing the various (known) religions and their birthdates? [closed]

I'm trying to establish origins for the worlds major religions, but eager to research some minor ones as well. I am hoping to find a correlation between several religions based on the timetable of ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Why, during the Spanish reconquista, did King Ferdinand not take over Portugal?

After unifying Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon through marriage, Ferdinand I proceeded to conquer Grenada, and almost unify the Iberian peninsula, but left Portugal alone. Is there any satisfying ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a symbol associated with Loki from the Norse pantheon?

I've been looking around for any kind of sign, symbol, sigil, or such that can be said to have anything to do with the deity Loki, of the Norse pantheon. There doesn't seem to be anything as obvious ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

What are the historical reasons for religious and political negative attitudes towards homosexuality?

First of all, let me say that I know this is a very delicate issue. In no way should my question be seen as an attempt to endorse negative attitudes towards the LGTB community. I am seeking objective, ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

When did ancient religions start to experience dropping numbers of adherents in Europe?

I am talking about ancient Greek, Roman and Norwegian religions. When did ancient religions start to lose ground to modern religions such as Catholicism in Europe?
2
votes
4answers
221 views

Was there a single ancient religion that all others sprang from?

Many religions share same stories, Christianity, Judaism and Islam for example (the ones I know of at least). Some of those stories could even be traced to earlier civilizations in the Middle East ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Subjects of sermons in the Middle Ages

Were they more often devoted to New Testament subjects or to Old Testament subjects?
6
votes
6answers
273 views

Has scholarship shown that persecuted religious minorities have tended to be financially successful?

In this interview with Neal Stephenson, talking about the historical basis for his Baroque Cycle series of novels, he makes the remark that ... persecuted religious minorities, if they’re not ...
18
votes
2answers
472 views

What was the structure of religious beliefs among the Arabic peoples before conversion to Islam?

Other questions on this topic has addressed the pre-Islamic religious beliefs in broad detail, including the conversion of near-Arab cultures. What was the specific nature of the pre-Islamic ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

St. George's Monastery in the West Bank

I was fascinated to learn about St. George's Monastery, a Greek Orthodox site that was first built in the 5th century CE. It's obviously neither Jewish nor Islamic, and is located in a disputed ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

What were the major objections that Augustine had with Jerome's translation of the Septuagint?

I was having a discussion with someone who insisted that one of the major reasons I thought that Augustine objected to Jerome's translation of the Septuagint was completely not true. He argued that ...
-2
votes
3answers
195 views

Hitler's Religion or Atheism [closed]

There seems to be even amongst some Historians and even this forum an unclear approach to Hitler and his Religion or the lack there of is there any clear history that establishes Hitler's religious ...
3
votes
3answers
361 views

Was any pope imprisoned during his service to Catholic Church?

On 11 February 2013, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would resign on 28 February, due to infirmity from advanced age. Earlier in the history, few popes resigned similar way, probably the ...
15
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1answer
447 views

Was there any theological opposition to the lightning rod?

Apparently, there was some opposition to the lightning rod at the time of its invention because lightning was seen as "the wrath of God" and should not be controlled. I'd like to find some citations ...
4
votes
4answers
267 views

Monotheism/Atheism in Polytheistic societies

I would like to know if there are any documents telling us how common (or if it even existed) among people in polytheistic societies (like ancient Greece, Rome, etc.) it was to believe that there is ...
7
votes
2answers
184 views

Which days in the Mayan calendar were most auspicious for performing sacrifices?

In Classic Mayan civilization, human sacrifices were performed. I've read that there were days that were more and less auspicious for sacrifices, but I haven't been able to find out which days those ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

Orphism's alleged influence on Christianity

I've read in Nils Johan Ringdal's delightful but ill-footnoted Love For Sale: A World History of Prostitution that the apostle Paul was influenced by Orphism when he set out to weaken women's roles in ...
7
votes
2answers
740 views

When was “diablo” first used to refer to the Devil?

I'd curious to know how and when the word diablo came to mean the Devil. In Luc Ferry's A Brief History of Thought, he states: The devil is rather one who, spiritually speaking, does everything ...
5
votes
2answers
494 views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
16
votes
2answers
287 views

How does Göbekli Tepe fit into the current picture of society development?

Göbekli Tepe is a huge archaeological site in Eastern Turkey, currently under excavation (make sure you click on "Pictures"). It is one of the oldest architectural complexes in the world, possibly the ...
3
votes
2answers
675 views

What was the ancient Jewish pantheon?

I have read that before the invention of monotheism, the Jews worshipped multiple gods of which traces remain in various texts. So I wonder whether it is possible to reconstruct it and what the gods ...
16
votes
6answers
601 views

What factors permitted Buddhism to be successful in Japan but Christianity less so?

From reading The Samurai and the Sacred, it looks like Buddhism achieved acceptance into Japanese culture due to its willingness to assimilate with the (already present) Shinto religion. Conversely, ...
2
votes
2answers
609 views

Is the Bible considered a reliable historical resource? [closed]

I realize there is probably a large spectrum of opinions on this matter. Nevertheless, what is the general consensus among academics on the historical reliability of the Bible? Is it a sound ...
7
votes
1answer
351 views

How far into the past was significance ascribed to the Golden Ratio?

I think everyone knows about the golden ratio or the divine proportion (I got to know more about it after reading the wikipedia article on it). It's present everywhere in nature and also in the human ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Have atheists ever been persecuted in India?

Have atheists ever been persecuted in India? Wikipedia article on persecution of atheist has nothing about India, and google did not throw up anything useful.
12
votes
5answers
838 views

Is there any evidence that the catholic church reduced innovation during the middle ages?

I often hear that the rate of innovation was very high during ancient times in Greece and the Roman empire. I've also heard that the rate of innovation was reduced once the Catholic Church gained ...
1
vote
1answer
448 views

How effective have Shariah-based Islamic Laws been at keeping the crime rate low in modern Saudi Arabia?

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one of the strongest proponent of Shariah-based Islamic Laws. Did it have any effect on the crime statistics of the country? How effective have the criminal laws in ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

Was residual animism partially responsible for Hitler's rise?

Although Miller had never bothered to think about it, it was once out of these and other oceans of pine and beech that the old Germanic tribes had swarmed to be checked by Caesar at the Rhine. ...
1
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0answers
95 views

Gylfaginning a redacted worldview of Norse beliefs?

Intro Gylfaginning - a part of the Younger Edda, is one of the most important scriptural sources in defining the Norse worldview. Background Gylfe, a mythical king of Sweden, wondered how the ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Did the Mayans view the gods as antagonistic to humanity?

How did the precolonial Maya view their gods' relationship to mankind, specifically: were they considered benevolent, neutral, or antagonistic? I've seen a number of hints that they may have ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Please provide me an example of a religious violence that was rooted at ethnic conflict [closed]

Please provide me an example of a religious violence that was rooted at ethnic conflict. Did Armenian and Turkish conflict have religious reasons or ethnic reasons? Did Tamil and Sinhalese conflict ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the Moors invade the Iberian peninsula?

Almost all of the information that I can find with regards to the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula simply states when the Moors invaded. There seems to be very little on what the motivation ...
8
votes
1answer
122 views

What are other obvious samples in history where political/religious leaders try to shape religion to their need

This question is inspired by What were Hitler's religious beliefs? So they have well documented records on how Hitler actually tried to change/replace christianity. What other similar records ...
14
votes
4answers
275 views

Were there any well known royal dynasties that did not in some way cite religious mandate for their rule?

Most of the royal rulers in the last 2000 years seemed to be strongly relying - as one of the sources of their power - on the notion that they hold "divine rule"/"sanction of god"/"mandate of heaven" ...