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38

First, the easier part on Christianity. As the other reply says, the British were (mostly) unwilling to convert Indians in order to avoid inflaming local religious sentiments. In fact, the British were so cautious on this that they would probably even tolerated the practices of sati and child marriage had some Indian reformers (such as Ram Mohan Roy) not ...


33

Indeed, the idea that educated people in the middle ages thought the earth was flat is a myth. It was well known to have been round since well before Christ. Many early maps represent a round earth with edges covered by a sea. It is quite possible that the earliest of these actually are meant to represent a flat earth, but that's 6th century BC. Of ...


29

Religion is a great cultural differentiator. People have been killing each other for many millenia, with a preference for targeting other people who belong to a distinct "culture", a rather loose term. From the outside, the god(s) people worship are quite easy to work out; if they are not the same as yours, then these people are "foreigners". Historically, ...


22

Tokugawa Ieyasu banned it in 1614 for one. You would be killed for being a practicing Christian up until the Meiji restoration. Think about it like this. You've got Europeans coming in. They are seen as a direct threat[1] to your power base built on the divine authority of the God Emperor and the Shogun, his personal representative. The Buddhists don't claim ...


19

I can go into further details if requested, but "TL;DR" answer is: After Luther agitated that "Jews didn't convert to Christianity because Catholics treated them badly, and would convert if you treat them better", Jews still didn't show any great willingness to convert. Here's one supporting quote (context was Luther's refusal to intercede on Jews's ...


19

There is no credible evidence that the apostle James ever visited Ireland. According to Acts 12:1-22, James was beheaded in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa, with no indication that he had traveled. Acts does include passages about other apostles' travels--most notably Paul, but also Philip in Samaria and Peter in Caesarea. The fourth century church historian ...


17

No, residual paganism was not a factor in Hitler's rise to power. As far as anyone can say, that is. This theory you reference posits that the German people claimed to be Christian, yet practiced secret worship "in the dark" to pagan gods. No one can prove that no German ever worshipped a pagan god in secret. But we can say this much: Christianity was ...


15

Most of the information I have found indicates that the Arab Christians were caught in the crossfire between the Muslims and the Christian Crusaders. In fact, they were often slaughtered along with the Muslims. Most likely this was because the Crusaders did not want to risk being infiltrated by Muslims posing as Christians. Ironically, the Crusades ...


15

At the moment of his election (1641), it seems that Mazarin was in minor orders - so called "lay cardinal". After that, there seems to be little consensus and pretty much no primary sources, but if anything, he was a cardinal-priest. By the process of elimination, he was a cardinal-priest: He was definitely not a cardinal-deacon. From "The Cardinals of ...


15

Translation of Qu'ran was always problematic question in Islamic theology. In Islamic world there is doctrine called I'jaz that holds that Qu'ran is miraculous, both in content and in form and that no human speech can match. According to I'jaz Muslims oppose to text from Qu'ran be reproduced in another language or speech. Also there are some words which have ...


14

The Jewish calendar is in year 5774 (between September of 2013 and October of 2014, it's a leap year), so the "Jewish civilization" is not in 2014. The state of Israel, which is really the only official body to recognize the Jewish calendar, determines all of its holidays and memorial days on the basis of the Jewsih calendar. However, all of the civil dates ...


14

Thomas Pornin's answer is very good answer to the question of "Can we know anything about Jesus?" But since your question was technically "What do we know about Jesus?", I thought I'd add a few facts about Jesus that the majority of secular and religious historians alike agree upon. Jesus existed Virtually no serious historian believes that Jesus never ...


13

The historical Jesus is completely irrelevant to Judaism or Jewish life or history. (As contrasted with Christianity, which has had a very big impact on the most recent two millennia of Jewish history.) There are Jewish texts in the Talmud that refer to someone named something like “Jesus”, but it is not clear whether they refer to differing traditions ...


12

The short answer to your question is that the ancient Seleucia and the Medieval Seleucia are in fact two different cities. The original Seleucia was built in 305 BC as the first capital of the Seleucid empire, as you found in your sources. This city was built on the western bank of the Tigris and was ultimately abandoned in 165 AD, when it was destroyed by ...


12

Time and again India has seen some reformers who revolutionize the thoughts of the masses. When Buddhism was in full force in India, Adi Shankara was born to revive Hinduism. During the Mughal Period, Tulsidas, Surdas and others deeply imposed the faith of Hindus in God. Tulsidas wrote Ram Charitra Manas whereas Surdas composed many devotional songs about ...


11

According to Cardinal Richelieu's Wikipedia page he was a cardinal priest until December 4, 1642, the day of his death. Mazarin is difficult to find specific information on. According to his Wikipedia page, Jules Mazarin succeeded Richelieu. Since I cannot find any information on which kind of cardinal Mazarin was, I can only assume that he was a cardinal ...


11

The Religion Factor To understand this, you have to understand Hinduism. Let me take up my own case- a Kokanast Maharashtrian Brahman. This is a sub-caste. The point of interest to us here is the amazing similarity in diversity in India. Hinduism (Sanaatan Dharm) is an individual, a highly individual religion. it is common to have the Father ...


11

Logically there are only two legit sources this story could come from if true; the two participants. As the brick-chucker does not strike me as a man of letters (and is far from the hero in this story), I think its reasonable to rule him out. That leaves Wesley himself. The problem there, as both the question and another answer have alluded to, is that ...


10

According to Ivan Gobry's Martin Luther, Luther thought that Sin is undefeatable, for lust will inexorably take residencde in each of us, therefore, to condemn oneself to celibacy, intending to please God, is to engage in self-deception and hypocrisy. Gobry also says that Luther believed the requirement that priests and monks stay celibate to be an ...


10

One point to mention is that Christianity does not mix well with other religions as Noldorin notes, basically you are a Christian and that is it. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than religion (my view considering my wife's Buddhist faith) and while they pray to Buddha it's more of an ideal to shoot for, how you do that can be open to interpretation. If ...


10

The most all encompassing quote I can find is this: The newspaper report that about a fortnight ago my eldest son Harilal, now nearing fifty years, accepted Islam and that on Friday last 29th May in the midst of a large congregation in the Juma Masjid at Bombay he was permitted to announce his acceptance amid great acclamation and that after his speech ...


10

The question asked seems to presuppose that the Ottoman empire was a source of intellectual and technological progress in the Middle Ages and explicitly states that the Christian religion hindered intellectual progress in the West. This looks wrong to me on all counts. Turkish power only rose in the 14th century, at the very end of the Middle Ages, and the ...


10

The Gregorian calendar, Western calendar or the Christian calendar, is a calendar that was a reform in 1582 to the Julian calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named. But was is an adaptation of a calendar designed by Italian doctor, astronomer and philosopher Luigi Lilio. And it is not nesassarly based of Jesus birth ...


10

Gospels are a source, like any other. If we were to exclude sources simply because they were written down four decades after the facts, then most of History would disappear. For instance, most of what we know on Genghis Kahn is from The Secret History of the Mongols, a document which was written several decades after his death. Fact is that known sources on ...


10

No, he is absolutely not the first to resign. There has been several resignations in Papal history, not all of which are undisputed or voluntary, though admittedly none in recent centuries. Some examples include: Benedict IX, resigned in 1045. Gregory VI, resigned in 1046. Celestine V, resigned in 1294. Celestine V in particular laid down the canon law ...


10

There never were many Polish Calvinists. Poland showed some promise for the Calvinist cause at the start, but these early hopes bore few fruits. Calvinism, and Protestantism in general, failed to take root in the general Polish populace. Without strong leaders and facing competition from Lutheranism, Polish Calvinism soon lost its momentum. The ...


9

Pagan believers exist in Europe even now. But if you are asking of the last country which became officially Christian, this was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the grand duke Jogaila converted to Christianity (Catholicism) in 1387. (Some earlier grand dukes converted earlier but then relapsed). After the Grand Duke conversion, Christianity was forced on all ...


8

Continental Germany in fact converted to Christianity about the same time as the Anglo-Saxon peoples in England. It was only the Nordic countries, and some Eastern European ones, that came to Christianity significanly later. So any residual paganisim is just as likely to exist in the (English-speaking) author's own culture, if not moreso. Generally, I ...


8

It is unclear from your question what do you mean by "separated from the state". In fact European history knows only one theocratic state - the area under direct papal control centered in Rome, known at different periods as Papal states or Vatican. The rulers of all other European states were secular persons. Still the laws of many European states ...


8

As a Christian myself, I regret to inform you that the answer is "No". There are two events in the Gospels that scholars almost universally agree most likely did happen: Jesus' baptism and his Crucifixion. This is chiefly due to the logic that they both appear in all of our older sources, and they'd both be bad things to make up if you are a Christian ...



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