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Questions tagged [religion]

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

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50
votes
6answers
22k views

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

The ancient Greeks had their pantheon of gods whose significance 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
2k 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 ...
37
votes
6answers
16k 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?
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is Indonesia a Muslim country?

As the title implies I am wondering as to the reasons why Indonesia is a Muslim country? When visiting Indonesia a few years back, I surprisingly learnt that the country had the largest Muslim ...
41
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
40
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
986 views

Why didn't early modern Christians object to pagan symbolism in art?

I've been to a couple European museums recently, and a question that has been nagging at me is how a society composed of devout Christians could have been so okay with the introduction of pagan gods ...
23
votes
2answers
977 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

How did Christianity replace Roman Paganism and other ancient religions?

Christianity seems to have been the first world religion that was interested in and successful with establishing itself as not only the state religion of but practically the only in an empire - namely,...
21
votes
3answers
3k 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
6answers
22k 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?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why was ancient Christianity more successful than the Roman pantheon and Judaism in gaining followers?

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 ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How common was it for monasteries to attack other monasteries in the early medieval period in western Europe?

Recently, I saw this passage in M & H. Whittock, ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg’ (referring to Ireland) of the 113 attacks on monasteries between 795 and 820, only twenty-six were carried out by ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What historical evidence is there for the existence of Jesus Christ? What do we know about him?

How do historians study the events of Jesus' life, and the person he was? I read a book on the topic, and it held the position that the gospels were revised to appease the Romans - especially the ...
9
votes
2answers
835 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
40k 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. ...
18
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
550 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
681 views

What is known about early history of Judaism?

What do we know about early history of Judaism? Do we know the timeline when these modern traits of modern Judaism developed: 1 Lifestyle restriction that we now find in Torah, such as the ...
24
votes
5answers
77k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
199 views

Completeness of Old Parish Registers in the 1700s

In England, local churches were required to keep registers of all baptisms, marriages and burials. Are there any studies that show how complete these records generally were, in particular in relation ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Does a Baal human sacrifice statue from Carthage exist?

While I was reading a Roman history book, it said that people from Carthage used to sacrifice children by placing them on the arms of Baal's statue and letting them roll to the fire. What would be ...
7
votes
2answers
8k 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?
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Manichaeism almost becoming state religion of Roman Empire

I am reading Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, an excellent source throughout. At one point (on p. 270 in the German edition) the author mentions a turning point in history ...
3
votes
3answers
610 views

To what extent were practitioners of Judaism persecuted during the Soviet Union?

I know that as a result of the policy that atheism was to be the only public religion, the Soviet Union did their best to attack Christianity. However, I am interested in knowing the extent that ...
-4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...