Questions tagged [religious-history]

Questions related to the history of world religions in general, extant or extinct, or related to the specific history of a given religion.

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21 votes
2 answers
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Are there historic references to sorcerers and their scrolls?

According to 'Acts 19:19' (of the Christian bible): A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
133 views

Besides the Hebrews, were there any other ancient cults that used salt in animal sacrifices?

The Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 2:13) stipulates that all animal sacrifices must have salt. I was wondering if we find such a phenomenon of requiring salt in the cultic rituals of any other society in ...
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3 votes
0 answers
168 views

What was the earliest legitimate ancient Satanist sect / cult?

According to this recount of Satanism, the belief system is a modern phenomenon. The only confirmed "Satanic Church" wasn't formed until the 1960s. I suppose we can concede that part of this ...
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-6 votes
2 answers
201 views

Was Christianity always the #1 religion since it started, or were there others? [closed]

Christianity seems like it was a huge success in spreading. I have looked around in the old and new testament, (a small hint there) and I have done some research in Wikipedia, but barely anything.
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2 votes
1 answer
261 views

Did people in the area the Virgin Mary is said to have lived wear headdresses at the time?

⁹I'm an artist trying to figure out what Mary really would have looked like supposing she was a real middle eastern Jewish person, because I know nothing about the type of cultural dress or ethnic ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What did Robespierre think of Huguenots?

I've been reading up recently about the Huguenots ("French Protestants" could be synonym) and how they lived, and this question intrigues me- Did Maximilien Robespierre have anything to say ...
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2 votes
0 answers
78 views

What was the state of the Congo in 1959?

I'm reading the Poisonwood Bible. It is about a missionary family, the Prices, who in 1959 move from the U.S. state of Georgia to the village of Kilanga in the Belgian Congo. I really have no idea ...
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2 votes
1 answer
295 views

Was garlic an Egyptian deity, based on Pliny the Elder's "Natural History" (Book XIX, Ch 32)?

What historical evidence can validate Pliny the Elder's "Natural History" (Book XIX, Chapter 32) claim that - Egyptians worshiped garlic as a deity ? "Garlic and onions are invoked by ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
400 views

Are there historical examples of non-Christian martyrs who were persecuted and killed because they claimed to be firsthand eyewitnesses of a miracle?

In the context of Christianity, the obvious examples are the apostles, who claimed to have been firsthand eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus (with the exception of the apostle Paul, who didn't ...
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12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Were lay people ever forbidden to read the Bible in the Christian world?

I'm interested in all the historical accounts, if any, where the Bible was forbidden/censured to be read, by order of secular powers in the Christian world, i.e. mainly Roman Empire or the Byzantine ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How did the Church of England view the local legend and festivities surrounding Gog and Magog?

From multiple sources I've read of legends regarding one or two giants, Gogmagog or Gog and Magog. It appears in Irish and English folklore, as well as other regional tales. Gogmagog was a legendary ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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To what extent did the Jewish tradition of debate influence the development of Classical Liberalism in Europe?

Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism ...
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0 votes
0 answers
66 views

How widespread was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among Christians during Early Christianity (A.D. 30–324)?

Question How widespread was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among Christians during Early Christianity (A.D. 30–324)? Further Details As a reminder, the Jewish Sabbath is defined as: [...] the ...
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-8 votes
1 answer
260 views

Was the resurrection of Jesus a historical fact? [closed]

What is the evidence either for or against the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus? Was Jesus' resurrection a historical fact? I know that there are tons of hours of debate out there on the web ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Can history shed any light on the "secret arts" of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents as claimed by Exodus 7:11-12?

The biblical story of Exodus 7:11-12 talks about the alleged existence of some "secret arts" that the magicians of Egypt made use of to accomplish the feat of turning staffs into serpents: ...
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7 votes
1 answer
420 views

What is the historical origin of the Jewish Sabbath?

The Jewish Sabbath is presented in the Old Testament: 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord ...
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2 votes
1 answer
195 views

Is Rama Setu a historical proof of Ramayana?

Can Rama Setu be a historical proof of Ramayana? Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu,[b] is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
212 views

Did religious names catch on before or after the use of last names?

Last names are interesting. Once upon a time, people had only first names, until growing populations and ostentatious royals started a trend of including a second name, most commonly either patronymic ...
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4 votes
1 answer
287 views

Did Argentine President Juan Peron grant free access to the radio, the press and two soccer stadiums to a preacher called Tommy Hicks in 1954?

The title is a summary of claims I've read from several informal sources. For example, this site claims: It was in this environment that Tommy Hicks was welcomed into the presidential office. After ...
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3 votes
0 answers
135 views

What social response could be expected in the Roman world after a temple collapsed?

I've been reading Ritual Landscapes of South-East Britain (2008, David Rudling). In a chapter on the Wanborough, Surrey Temple complex the author discusses how one temple was built in the late first ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
267 views

What did the Greeks call their gods while under Roman rule? [closed]

I read this question and it made me think. The Romans "inherited" the Greek gods, they just gave them new names, but what happened in actual Greece after the Roman conquest of Greece? Did ...
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1 vote
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Was there a religious revival in Uganda in the late 1980s and 1990s with pervasive impacts on society and the presidency?

I recently asked a related question on Skeptics.SE, but I haven't received answers (probably because history is not an area of expertise over there). But here I'm interested in the broader context: is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
211 views

Is there any historical evidence that suggest that Zoroastrianism is older than Judaism or vice versa?

So from what I remember reading around Zoroastrianism is or seems to be older than Judaism not only older, but the former seems to have influenced the latter. However while talking to a friend today ...
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2 votes
2 answers
354 views

What are the origins and history of shaking, trembling, jerking, contorting, collapsing, fainting and similar manifestations in Christianity?

I'm interested in learning about the origins and evolution throughout Church history of manifestations such as shaking, trembling, jerking, contorting, collapsing or fainting attributed to the Holy ...
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7 votes
1 answer
218 views

What group is identified by the term "Egyptians" in the Flushing Remonstrance?

I am reading about the Flushing Remonstrance and its significance in the history of freedom of religion in the United States. An article by the Social Science Research Council indicates it was ...
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6 votes
2 answers
723 views

Have historians attempted to reconstruct the polytheistic Semitic pantheon, dividing it into sub pantheons?

Historians reconstruct pantheons to better understand their role in society (see below for examples of reconstruction as a historical method). Has there been any attempt to apply this historical ...
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3 votes
2 answers
460 views

Who were the first leaders of the Yahwistic sect?

From reading the Bible and from studying from various lectures I have tried to synthesize who was or who were the first leader/s of the Yahwistic sect (Yahwism) in ancient Israel (the allegedly ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Was Yahweh a god in a possible Edomite Pantheon?

I understand from the Bible, from the Wikipedia articles Yahweh and Yahwism and from lectures of various scholars that polytheism was practiced by at least some religious leaders, priests, kings and ...
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4 votes
2 answers
678 views

How often would monks leave their monasteries in the Middle Ages?

I have been reading about medieval monasteries, and I recently read that monks could sometimes act as village priests. This confused me as I had read that monks couldn't leave their monasteries. Was ...
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2 votes
1 answer
539 views

Why did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas in 1644? [closed]

I am aware of the religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants during and after the reign of King Henry VIII, but can't imagine why Cromwell would ban Christmas. I read this in an article ...
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21 votes
3 answers
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Was Haile Selassie the world's only involuntary messiah?

History is full of supposed Messiahs and Saviors who founded religious movements and/or identified themselves as saviors (e.g. Joseph Smith and Raël). (By contrast, some messiahs were only venerated ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Which Catholic priests were given diplomatic missions?

Fernández de San Vicente was a high-ranking priest appointed by Mexico's government for a diplomatic mission to the Californias in 1822. Despite being nominally in the same country¸ the isolation of ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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How many people died in the British Isles from religious persecution between 1532 and 1791?

The English Reformation was "a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church". It involved the ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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Did ancient Romans have a religion that involved a "fish hat"?

This question is related to the Mesopotamian god "Dagon" and how he may have been represented in ancient Rome. According to some sources, gods and goddesses that were worshiped in ancient Mesopotamia ...
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4 votes
2 answers
376 views

Is the Western Wall the only remaining portion of the Second Temple?

I saw a travel blog post recently that claimed that the Western Wall is the only remaining portion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. At first, I thought this was just a mistake on the part of the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
132 views

Is there a global foot race among religions on the most beautiful churches and when did this start historically?

When you visit multicultural and -national big cities, it often becomes apparent to me how churches of different religions seem to compete on beautiness, height, materials used like gold or colourful ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
434 views

Did ancient people understand divinity in the same way we do today? [closed]

I'm not sure if this kind of question -being about religion- belongs here. But since this is asked from a historical perspective, it may fit here. How did people understand the concept of 'divinity' ...
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5 votes
3 answers
753 views

When did worship of Baal cease to exist?

I read in Luke a spot where people, witnessing a miracle of Jesus, attribute it to Beelzebub "the chief of the devils." The other apparent reference to that deity, in the Bible, is in 2 Kings 1. I ...
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50 votes
4 answers
9k views

What is the significance behind "40 days" that often appears in the Bible?

Several times within the Old and New Testament of the Bible there are notes pertaining to a long time as "40 days," as in 40 days of fasting, rain, traveling, etc. Why 40? Is there a factual ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
356 views

Was the Eye of Providence also a symbol of Bavarian illuminati? [closed]

If no, then where did it come from? This site (How the secret Illuminati society really did start in Germany) claims that the owl of Minerva was the symbol of the Bavarian Illuminati. I did my ...
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0 votes
1 answer
628 views

What was the image of Jhwh before it was almost erased from history?

Clay tablets found in Mesopotamia tell us that Adam was an earth god. In Genesis Adam was demoted to human status probably to make a monotheistic text possible. Did Jhwh have an image (idol) before ...
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is biblical Joseph story historically valid? [closed]

What are the non-scriptural evidence (if any) on biblical Joseph story, where he becomes Grand Vizier of Pharaonic Egypt in 15th century BCE. I know that the pharaoh is unnamed, and the era is close ...
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  • 1,294
3 votes
1 answer
292 views

Perceptions and relationships of 14-15th century Spaniards / Romani / Moors

What perceptions of the Romani people were held by the Moors who occupied Granada around the time of the Reconquista? What were the relationships like between the Moors, Romani and the Sephardic Jews ...
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  • 39
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

What is an antimendicant?

I am reading a book (Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Books Under Suspicion, (University of Notre Dame Press) 2006.) called Books Under Suspicion. In it, there is an ongoing struggle between the mendicant orders ...
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5 votes
2 answers
309 views

When was the festival of the See of Peter in the 6th Century?

I've been researching the decrees of the second Council of Tours (AD 567), specifically Canon XXII: Some still hold fast the old error, that they should honor the 1st of January. Others, on the ...
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86 votes
16 answers
17k views

Why do western monotheistic religions seem to be so full of conflict over dogma?

This could be a totally false premise. But clearly when Christianity was starting (and even to this day) there were serious conflicts about ideology. You had the Arians, Monophysites, etc. all at each ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When did druids become widely accepted as 'shapeshifters'?

Anecdotally, if you ask anybody what a druid is, or what a druid does, many will say they are mythological shapeshifters that are tuned with nature. Druids were, in fact, political advisors and ...
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41 votes
6 answers
12k views

What is the pre-schism Christian church called today?

I've come upon numerous instances where a pre-11th century person or artifact is associated with either the Orthodox or Catholic church. The most recent example is in Francis Fukuyama's "The ...
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1 vote
0 answers
135 views

Importance of religion for a common man in medieval India

I have recently studied the rise of Islam and the origins of Bhakti movement in medieval India. All the sources that I have referred to talk of the spread of new religious ideas and people converting ...
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14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why did Ancient Greek religious monument (herms) have genitalia?

Around the Acropolis in Athens, there are lots of marble monuments like the one below. I don't recall whether I read on a plaque, or whether it was my own inference, that these were installed by ...
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