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

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15
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749 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
42 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 ...
15
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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 ...
8
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
327 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
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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
3k 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
745 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
140 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 ...
8
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3answers
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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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
votes
3answers
869 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
381 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, ...
9
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
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3answers
6k 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
84 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
524 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
581 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 ...
3
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0answers
87 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
372 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
votes
0answers
54 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
124 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
6k views

When did worshiping of ancient Greek gods come to an end?

The ancient Greeks had their pantheon of gods whose signficance vanished with the civilization. Some individual gods entered the belief systems of later cultures, but such mutations are not what I am ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Were the Puritans for a State Church?

In a book titled America's Providential History it states on page 84 that The major Puritan weakness was their holding to the idea of a State Church. They saw nothing wrong with a National ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

When were the first mosques established in Constantinople?

In his book The Man of Numbers about Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci), Keith Devlin quotes a problem from the Liber Abbaci (Devlin's spelling, I know most others spell it Liber Abici) which is titled "A ...
28
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5answers
5k views

What was the religion of the Arabic people before conversion to Islam?

What was the dominant religion of the Arabic people when Prophet Muhammed started the Islamic religion?
3
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3answers
272 views

Did Franco consider Hitler a “son of the Catholic Church” who “died while defending Christianity”?

Did Francisco Franco, who established Catholicism as the State religion of Spain, consider Hitler a "son of the Catholic Church" who "died while defending Christianity"? If so, why? Hitler acted ...
8
votes
4answers
6k 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. ...
19
votes
2answers
624 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Which cultures considered dual-gender sacred

Which cultures have historically considered the manifestation of two or more genders by one individual to be either a divine trait (being a deity) or to be an indication of divine favor or association ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Has any culture primarily worshipped an evil deity? [closed]

I was recently re-watching the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Masks, (because I'm not a nerd even a little bit), and an interesting thought struck me: the culture portrayed in that episode ...
13
votes
3answers
379 views

What is the last historical mention of people worshipping the Roman gods?

Today, there are many polytheists and neopagans who worship the ancient Roman gods. They are, however, a very new development, and not the descendants of an unbroken line stretching back to the Roman ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What were Hitler's religious beliefs?

Hitler is often cited as an example of an evil atheist (along with Stalin and Mao). But there are several quotes from him that seem to indicate he believed in the Christian God - and even used this to ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a Buddhist-Franciscan connection?

A sentence in a book review seems to presuppose that: Cardini also says nothing about the Muslim world as a conduit for cultural goods from even greater distances, such as Chinese-style ...
7
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
40
votes
10answers
16k views

How come Indians were 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
164 views

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

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
221 views

To what extent were religious groups persecuted in the Soviet Union?

I understand that many churches were destroyed and even many priests arrested and executed, but how widespread was the violence across the entirety of the Soviet Union?
9
votes
2answers
457 views

Is there evidence Muslim soldiers fought in the Continental Army?

It is said that Muslims fought for the American Revolution, by serving in the Continental Army. Wikipedia cites a few names: Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any evidence that the Catholic Church slowed 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
0answers
113 views

Was any Medieval state ever “partially” Roman Catholic? [closed]

It is my understanding that in most of (if not all) the states in western medieval Europe the Roman Catholic church was the only recognized religious body. I'm looking for an example of a state with ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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
votes
1answer
101 views

Why did the Dutch West India Company allow Quakers in the New Netherlands?

In 1657 a group of English Quakers arrived in New Amsterdam (the Dutch colonial town that became modern New York City). They were persecuted by the colonial government there for their religion. Then ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Power over the centuries: spiritual vs. political vs. economic

I recently attended a presentation on the shift in power over the centuries. The speaker argued that ... the power in the middle ages was in the churches, i.e., the priests and, thus, in the ...
6
votes
2answers
359 views

Why did Christianity disappear in North-Western Africa?

During Roman times North-Western Africa had a thriving Christian community, giving birth to Saint Augustine and a long lasting heresy. This is similar to many Christian communities of the time, from ...
6
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5answers
914 views

Treatment of Jewish WWI Veterans

I was just wondering if during WWII or any time during Hitler's tenure (1933-1945), did the Germans give any special consideration to Jewish veterans of the First World War? By special consideration I ...