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

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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Was the Sikh martyr Mati Das sawed in half on the orders of Aurangzeb?

The wikipedia page on Mati Das mentions that he was sawed into two on the express orders of Aurangzeb (he was asked to convert to Islam). Is it true ? I have doubts because I haven't seen this in ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
11
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4answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
775 views

How did Islam and Hinduism thrive together in Medieval India?

In countries in the Middle East, Indonesia and many North African countries, the onset of Islamic rulers spread Islam in a rapid manner, eventually wiping off the local religion. However in spite of ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

Are there any written records of Norse mythology dated prior to Christianization?

As I understand it, most of what we know about Norse mythology is based on texts written in sagas by Christians in the late Middle Ages. Do we have any contemporary accounts of Norse mythology from ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the books of Moses [closed]

On Wikipedia, I read that the texts from Exodus in the Dead Sea scrolls contain some differences from the canonical version. However, I couldn't find them online. Can someone give me a few examples?
-3
votes
2answers
117 views

The crusades against the Moors [closed]

It seems to me that recent history portrays the Christian crusaders as evil and brutal for taking back Spain from the Islamic Moors who conquered them and toppled the Spanish government and ruled over ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Is there any record of the Ebionites outside of the antiheretical polemics of the church fathers?

The Ebionites were a sect of Jewish Christians in the early centuries of Christianity. Little is known about them, and it appears that most or all of their texts were destroyed or lost, possibly as a ...
4
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2answers
321 views

Ancient Christianity

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
12
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6answers
5k 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?
3
votes
0answers
32 views

What exactly were the religious beliefs of Gemistus Plethon?

According to wikipedia: [Gemistus Plethon] was a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Diaries or writings of Cathar Perfecti in 12th Century France

The Cathars were a Gnostic sect of southern (Languedoc) France in the 12th Century. "Perfecti" were individuals in the sect who followed the most extremely austere lives, renouncing worldly pleasures ...
4
votes
4answers
218 views

Why was the spread of Christianity scattered compared to other major religions?

This video of the spread of world religions makes Christianity look like an anomaly. Every other religion spreads out smoothly from a central point, growing at the edges. Christianity begins as a ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

What's the relationship between Solomon's Temple and Christians? [closed]

An Evangelical-Pentecostal church has built a huge replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil. But why Solomon's Temple? What does it have to do with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? It's very odd to ...
2
votes
5answers
260 views

Are there any good examples in earth history of two religions co-existing?

Specifically I am looking at a situation where: Religion A is: Monotheistic Hierarchical (single leader atop the organization) At least slightly expansionist though not necessarily by force of arms ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

How did religions interpret rainbows before science explained it? [closed]

A rainbow this morning to work made me think of how religions used to interpret these colorful appearances. Signs from the gods? Repent for your sins? A gift? I want to know how different ...
7
votes
2answers
165 views

Did contemporary scholars draw a connection between Great Schism and Crab Nebula Supernova (1054 A.D.)?

Did any contemporary scholars draw a connection between the occurrence of the Great Schism and the Crab Nebula Supernova, which both occurred around the middle of 1054 A.D.? I already asked at ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Orthodox traveller in Catholic lands [closed]

What would the options have been for a member of the Orthodox church have been for religious observations while travelling in Catholic countries during the middle-ages? Presumably someone travelling ...
7
votes
2answers
142 views

Origin of the Subdivisons of Hell/Heaven

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
44
votes
10answers
19k views

Why were Indians not mass converted to Islam/Christianity?

India was ruled by Muslims from around 12 century to 1857 and then by British till 1947 but India still have a large number of Hindus. Countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia now have Islam as ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
80 views

What are the major religious 'families' which formed independently of other families?

This question may need some work, but I'll do my best.. I remember hearing a while back that much of the history of India occurred in isolation. Without knowing whether this is strictly true, it got ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

How did the Catholic Pope manage to become more powerful than Kings in old Europe?

In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Pope seemed to hold more power than the European kings. This is strange because monarchs can raise armies. Pope and their bishops are not exactly military men. ...
3
votes
5answers
486 views

Why was East Asia more religiously tolerant than Europe in medieval time?

In medieval time, different religions coexisted in China, Japan and Korea, but only Christianity was allowed in Europe. What factors made medieval East Asia more religiously tolerant than medieval ...
6
votes
2answers
907 views

What happened to the Polish Calvinists?

According to the Wikipedia article on Calvinism: Although much of Calvin's work was in Geneva, his publications spread his ideas of a "correctly" reformed church to many parts of Europe. [...] It ...
15
votes
3answers
851 views

Why did the French nobility adopt Calvinism?

The Wikipedia article on the French Wars of Religion says that the Calvinist form of Protestantism, in particular, spread into the nobility. Now, I'd like to know why is that, and not Lutheranism for ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

What is the status of Weber's protestant ethic thesis? [closed]

Max Weber in his famous book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism elaborates a thesis that relates the development of the capitalistic system is a result of the work ethic that emerged ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the earliest reference to “space aliens”?

If we go back sufficiently far in human history we will most likely see that any descriptions of (supposed) "aliens" are described solely in religious terms. So in the distant past, any weird or ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

The decline of Buddhism in India around the 12th century

How can we explain the fall of Buddhism in India, which is the geographic origin of Buddhism? Were there ever any direct conflicts between Hinduism and Buddhism? From what I understand, the rise ...
2
votes
5answers
365 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

When and why did single deity religions become more popular than multi deity religions? [closed]

In the world at the moment, the most popular religions seem to mostly be religions that worship only one "God", such as Christianity and Islam. However, in the past there were many religions that ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

What was Muhammad's religion before becoming a Muslim prophet?

According to this question, the predominant religion in Arabia before Islam was some kind of polytheism. While according to Muhammad's Wikipedia page, According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

What were Aurangzeb Alamgir's motives for reversing much of the religious tolerance in the Mughal Empire?

Aurangzeb Alamgir's great-grandfather Akbar the Great (1556-1606) was famous for being religious tolerant, for abolishing the jizya tax, and attempting to end the ritual of Sati (where a wife must ...
19
votes
7answers
5k views

Why were Albanians the only nation in the Balkans who converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation?

The Ottoman Empire conquered the Balkans and occupied it for half a millennium. They managed to convert most of the Albanians to Islam, however, all the other nations in the area remained Christian. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Akhenaten's religion influence early Judaism?

There were some claims, for example in the 1st 2 chapters of Moses and Monotheism by Freud, that early Judaism was basically a spin-off of Akhenaten's religion. There are indeed some remarkable ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What happened to those ethnic Greeks who converted to Islam during the Ottoman empire?

I got a little inspiration from a previous post on the History part: "Why were Albanians the only nation in the Balkans who converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation?" Does anyone know ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

After the fall of Constantinople was there a re-evaluation of the basis of Russia's religion?

According to the Primary Chronicle, Vladimir the Great rejected Judaism in 987 with the rationale that they lost Jerusalem. When Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by the Ottomans, was there any ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

The act of Settlement 1701 and succession

If the Act of Settlement 1701 did not pass, who then would have been next of kin after the death of Anne of Great Britain?
6
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3answers
945 views

How “religious” was the average person in the Middle Ages?

During Europe in the Middle Ages, how religious was the "average Joe"? Looking at the large scale politics of the time it seems religion was a major part of the elites' lives, with treaties with the ...
11
votes
4answers
420 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Did the Delphic oracle speak gibberish?

Wikipedia's article on the Delphic oracle says: The usual theory has been that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she ...
11
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
5
votes
2answers
592 views

Was Buddhism the dominant religion of India for 1 thousand years?

I read in the book 'The Argumentative Indian' by Amartya Sen, that Buddhism was the dominant religion of India for about a 1000 years, and that foreigners referred to India as a Buddhist kingdom. ...
7
votes
3answers
642 views

Were Puritans Prudes or Progressive?

I have recently encountered two independent assertions that Puritans were not prudes like I and most of society think they were. Either society's view of Puritans is revisionist, or the two sources I ...
2
votes
0answers
117 views

Christian hangmen in Islamic countries?

In an interview a senior researcher at Amnesty International explained that as far as I know certainly in Punjab and Sind provinces, the two largest provinces by population, the hangmen ...
13
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3answers
409 views

Was the concept of religious freedom in the early United States applied to native American faiths?

When the nascent United States was drafting and adopting its supreme laws, some references to religions were made. For example, in the Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an ...
2
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0answers
56 views

What was the justification of morality in Puritan antinomianism? [closed]

As far as I know, Puritans were devout Calvinists. According to Theopedia, it is associated with disobedience to the established authority, so it may be connected with the idea of lawlessness, ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

What was the role of the Russian Orthodox church in Soviet Russia?

Considering that Soviet Union was officially atheistic and Bibles and most "Christian" denominations were banned, it is interesting to me that the government left the Russian Orthodox churches ...