375 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
  2. andrewbrown.substack.com andrewbrown.substack.com
    1. But the truths of religion appear in the lives of believers, not in their theologies,
  3. Jul 2022
    1. In one of his videos he talks about "approaching the mind of god" or something similar, in a way I can't entirely tell whether he is paraphrasing an early-modern note-taker or saying that's what he thinks he is doing himself. I don't really care whether he's religious or not, unless it compromises the system he's building.

      These always read as hyperbole to me, but it's difficult to explain the surprise and serendipity of re-finding things in one's notes on a regular basis. It's akin to the sort of cognitive dissonance that religious people have when encountering the levels of complexity formed by living systems through evolution. Not having better words for describing the experience, they may resort to descriptions of magic or religion to frame their experiences.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. wir müssen virtuelle realität von simulationen von fiktion und von illusion strengen unterscheiden

      Offene Frage: Was uns wie eine Fiktion erscheint, die Göttergeschichten, sagen wir der Vikinger, (wir verarbeiten sie sogar in fiktionalen Geschichten, Marvel) war für die Menschen eine virtuelle Realität, durch intersubjektiven Glauben realisiert. Es gab Odin und Co somit tatsächlich, nur eben virtuell. Oder ist das jetzt eine Spinnerei von mir?

    1. Short-lived victories, however, came at a long-term cost. Evangelical leaders set something in motion decades ago that pastors today can no longer control. Not only were Christians conditioned to understand their struggle as one against flesh and blood, fixated on earthly concerns, a fight for a kingdom of this world—all of which runs directly counter to the commands of scripture—they were indoctrinated with a belief that because the stakes were getting so high, any means was justified.
    2. It’s the story of millions of American Christians who, after a lifetime spent considering their political affiliations in the context of their faith, are now considering their faith affiliations in the context of their politics.

      an interesting twist to American cultural life

    3. FloodGate’s attendance soared as members of other congregations defected to the small roadside church. By Easter 2021, FloodGate was hosting 1,500 people every weekend.

      What drives the attendance at churches like this? Socializing, friends, family? Is it entertainment, politics, solely the religious part, or a conflagration of all of these? A charismatic minister?

    1. Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate. First a passage of scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God.
  5. May 2022
    1. During his college studies, he kept notebooks labeled "The Mind," "Natural Science" (containing a discussion of the atomic theory), "The Scriptures" and "Miscellanies," had a grand plan for a work on natural and mental philosophy, and drew up rules for its composition.[9]
    1. "The Finished Mystery," by Clayton J. Woodworth and George Fisher (1917). This was published as Volume 7 of Studies in the Scriptures and advertised as the posthumous work of Charles Taze Russell. This is a text version of the first printing and also contains pictures that were circulated in the Karatol edition. Later printings contain significant changes. Publication of this book was authorized by J.F. Rutherford, president of the Watchtower Society. Rutherford later gave the group the name Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931.

      Randomly came across this today. Who knew?

    1. William Mather’s 1699 Young Man’s Companion

      Is there any familial relation between William Mather and Cotton Mather or his family?

      If there is, this could be even more damning. A quick search indicates that William Mather was a schoolmaster and may have been a Quaker. This means that a highly religious schoolmaster was teaching and spreading ideas about abortion in 1699.

  6. Apr 2022
    1. Every work of art can be read, according to Eco, in three distinct ways: the moral, the allegorical and the anagogical.

      Umberto Eco indicates that every work of art can be read in one of three ways: - moral, - allegorical - anagogical

      Compare this to early Christianities which had various different readings of the scriptures.

      Relate this also to the idea of Heraclitus and the not stepping into the same river twice as a viewer can view a work multiple times in different physical and personal contexts which will change their mood and interpretation of the work.

    1. As a scheme, Scientology worked because it did what all successful religious grifts do: it offered an alienated social group a community and a solution to its defining problems, articulated in the vernacular of its tastes.
    2. In 1949, he reputedly told a writer’s convention that “If a man really wants to make $1 million, the best way would be to start his own religion.” Three years after the publication of Dianetics, Hubbard took his own advice and incorporated Scientology as a religious organization.
    1. and of course the white fellas learned very quickly because they learned from the romans the british learned from iran and the first thing you attack other people from religious beliefs 00:46:28 that's the first thing you've done back in those days we didn't have towers communication so you didn't target your communication towers but you communicate you you attacked the way people transmitted 00:46:41 their knowledge

      The white fellas learned very quickly from the Romans that the first thing you attack is other people's religious beliefs, which are the modern day equivalent of communication towers. That's how oral societies communicate their knowledge and culture.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson

  7. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkjf0hCKOCE

      The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)

      Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.


      The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.

      Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.

    1. “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

      Jewish monotheism doesn't emerge until the end of the Babylonian Exile (~586 - 500 BCE) period and the beginning of the Second Temple period (500 BCE - 70 CE) when the religion moves from acknowledging the existence of other gods to saying there is only one god. (Isaiah 44:6).

    2. The historic books of the Bible were written by a “Yahweh only party” and are thus keenly critical of the worship of other gods in Judah. Still, it is clear from their description that polytheism was the norm in the First Temple period. It was only during King Josiah’s reform that the "Yahweh only party" really took control and began pushing other gods out of Judean minds.

      Polytheism was the cultural norm during the First Temple period. It wasn't until the reforms of King Josiah described in 2 Kings in the second half of the 7th century BCE that other Semitic gods were actively removed from the Temple and parts of culture in favor of Yahweh.

    3. Jericho was probably at some point a center for moon worship. The city's name in Hebrew is "Yerikho"; and the Hebrew word for the moon is Yarekh, which other West Semitic languages use as the name of the moon god.
    4. It is likely that Beit Shemesh was a center of sun worship since the place name literally means “House of Sun.”
    5. Legends of a storm god such as Ba’al defeating the sea are very common in the Ancient Near East.

      Storm gods like Baal are commonly seen defeating the sea in legends in the ancient Near East.


      Link this to mention of Rahab in Job 26:12.

    6. Mot, the personification of death, is described in several passages as a deity. In Job 18:13 he is said to have a son, and in Habakkuk 2:5 we are told he opens his mouth wide and swallows souls.

      Mot, one of the other sons of El, is described as a deity who has a son in Job 18:13 and as one who opens his mouth wide and swallows souls in Habakkuk 2:5.

    7. El had a consort, the goddess Asherah, and as Yahweh took El’s place, Asherah became Yahweh’s consort. We are told that the Asherah was worshipped in the earliest Temple of Jerusalem – not explicitly, but we are definitely told that her symbols were removed from the Temple, so they had to be there in the first place (1 Kings 15:13 and 2 Kings 23:14).It was only at the very end of the First Temple period, during the reign of King Josiah (the second half of the 7th century B.C.E.) that the cult objects of Asherah were taken out of the Temple, quite dramatically. There are quite a number of references to Josiah's monotheistic reforms, such as:."Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones" (2 Kings 23:14, New International Version)

      1 Kings 15:13, 2 Kings 23:14 and 2 Kings 23:14 indicate that the symbols of the goddess Asherah, a consort of El, were in the earliest Temple of Jerusalem as these sections describe the fact that they were removed.

    8. In this ancient text, we can see that El and Yahweh were still perceived as being two separate deities, with Yahweh subordinate to El. But as time went by, El and Yahweh became conflated: the two deities began to be seen as one and the same.In Exodus 6:3 God tells Moses: "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (El Elyon), but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them." Thus the ancients only knew God as El, but as time went by they discovered that El was just another name of Yahweh.

      In Deuteronomy 32 the gods El and Yahweh are separate deities which, over time, became conflated into one god as indicated in Exodus 6:3.

    9. Dagon’s father was El, the head of the West Semitic pantheon. The name Israel, shows that El was originally the tutelary god of Israel (it’s right there in the name!), but over time, Yahweh took El’s place:“When the Most High (El Elyon) divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's (Yahweh’s) portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:8-9).

      In the West Semitic pantheon of gods, El was the father of Dagon who was in turn the father of Baal. El Elyon is mentioned in Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and his name is a root word of the endonym Israel.

    10. It seems that what this story and other biblical stories like it are telling is that the belief in Yahweh supplanted the worship of Ba’al. In fact it seems that in some ways, Yahweh subsumed Ba’al, taking on his attributes and powers.In some of the Bible’s more poetic texts, Yahweh is presented as a storm god in very much the same language that Ba’al is described:“At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them” (Psalms 18:12-14).

      Biblical passages like Psalms 18:12-24 may be indicative of Yahweh subsuming the powers and attributes of other regional gods like Ba'al.

      This makes one wonder if Yahweh evolved from other cultures into the one true god of the Hebrews?

  8. Jan 2022
    1. Simone de Beauvoir said that when she became an atheist, it felt like the world had fallen silent.

      source?

      Is there a link to religion and the connection and potential conversation provided by it that provides an evolutionary advantage? Is there a psychological change in attention or self-consciousness?

    1. I had never heard of a Josephite marriage, a union inspired by the relationship between Joseph and the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

      Why is this framed with Joseph's name instead of Mary?

  9. Dec 2021
    1. But the stelae were also symbols of power and status, and were used for ancestor worship and rituals.

      This is a good example of the default "ancestor worship" and "rituals" label on archeological finds of ancient peoples

      What is the actual basis for assigning these labels? Is there any real evidence or is it just become the default in the literature.

      Personally I'm building evidence towards a more comprehensive thesis for what these practices may have been used for.

    1. Much is also recycled, within a literary culture that normatively envisions contributors as tradents rather than innovators: in other words, the person producing a text sees himself as passing on existing knowledge, rather than creating new knowledge from nothing (I will elaborate further on the term tradent below).

      Tradents in Tibetan religious literature often copied unattributed texts forward and backward in time without attribution. They often weren't inventing new material, but copying it forward.

      This seems incredibly similar to the traditions of oral cultures as explored by Milman Parry and Albert Lord in the work on orality which was followed up by Walter Ong and others. Examples include the poets known as Homer in the Greek Tradition and the guslars of Yugoslavia.

  10. Nov 2021
    1. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”

      The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.

      Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.

      I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.

    1. He goes on to warn that “the broader evangelical population has increasingly heeded populist leaders who dismiss the results of modern learning from whatever source.”

      he = Mark Noll

    2. The historian Mark Noll’s 1994 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, will be rereleased next year.
    3. “There have always been mean people who cloak their unkindness in religious devotion,” one minister in a conservative denomination told me.

      I love the phrasing of this.

    4. Earlier this year, the Christian polling firm Barna Group found that 29 percent of pastors said they had given “real, serious consideration to quitting being in full-time ministry within the last year.” David Kinnaman, president of Barna, described the past year as a “crucible” for pastors as churches fragmented.

      What part does The Great Resignation have in part of this? Any? Is there overlap for any of the reasons that others are resigning?

      What about the overlap of causes/reasons for teachers leaving the profession since the pandemic? What effect does the hostile work environment of politics play versus a loss of identity and work schedule during a time period in which closures would have affected schedules?

      What commonalities and differences do all these cases have?

    5. The conservative writer David French, who lives in Tennessee, has written about the South’s shame/honor culture and its focus on group reputation and identity. “What we’re watching right now in much of our nation’s Christian politics,” he wrote, “is an explosion not of godly Christian passion, but rather of ancient southern shame/honor rage.”

      This sounds like some of the remnants of the Scots/Irish fighting spirit renewed.

      What does the overlap of this look like in Appalachia within the American Nations thesis?

    6. “southernization of the Church.” Some of the distinctive cultural forms present in the American South—masculinity and male dominance, tribal loyalties, obedience and intolerance, and even the ideology of white supremacism—have spread to other parts of the country, he said. These cultural attitudes are hardly shared by every southerner or dominant throughout the South, but they do exist and they need to be named. “Southern culture has had a profound impact upon religion,” Alexander told me, “particularly evangelical religion.”
    7. “Evangelical militancy is often depicted as a response to fear,” she told me. “But it’s important to recognize that in many cases evangelical leaders actively stoked fear in the hearts of their followers in order to consolidate their own power and advance their own interests.”

      This sort of power dynamic in smaller individual churches sounds like the problems of power in the centralized Catholic church. In this case it's decentralized into thousands of smaller churches.

    8. Du Mez told me it’s important to recognize that this “rugged warrior Jesus” is not the only Jesus many evangelicals encounter in their faith community. There is also the “Jesus is my friend” popular in many devotionals, for example. These representations might appear to be contradictory, she told me, but in practice they can be mutually reinforcing. Jesus is a friend, protector, savior—but according to one’s own understanding of what needs to be protected and saved, and not necessarily according to core biblical teachings.

      This seems to be getting at the "personal Jesus" and personal faith that Colin Woodard mentions as well.

    9. “People come to believe what they are most thoroughly and intensively catechized to believe, and that catechesis comes not from the churches but from the media they consume, or rather the media that consume them. The churches have barely better than a snowball’s chance in hell of shaping most people’s lives.”
      • Alan Jacobs
    10. The root of the discord lies in the fact that many Christians have embraced the worst aspects of our culture and our politics. When the Christian faith is politicized, churches become repositories not of grace but of grievances, places where tribal identities are reinforced, where fears are nurtured, and where aggression and nastiness are sacralized. The result is not only wounding the nation; it’s having a devastating impact on the Christian faith.

      This would seem to indicate that culture and politics are taking precedence over the religion and faith portions of these churches.

    1. I think the reason that all the spiritual traditions have got this concept of "we are all connected inside of it" is because the societies that actually deeply adopt this idea are the ones that over time deepen their level of consideration, deepen their level of expression, deepen their level of understanding for each other. 00:16:40 This is the reason that this idea pops up over and over at the core of spiritual traditions. And I hope through this talk you see that the reason that it appears at the core of science is it's actually something that is just literally true of the physical universe at every single level of organization and every single manifestation of matter, energy, and life.

      This is a good alignment showing that at the deepest level, the fundamental aspiration and values of science and religion are the same: interconnectedness.

    1. Context: Sonia was watching Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath: Season 3: "Episode 1" and had previously been watching a documentary One of Us about people who had left oppressive seeming Hassidic Jewish communities.

      I can't help but that that every culture could be considered a "cult" in which some percentage of people are trapped with comparison to all other cultures on Earth. Based on one's upbringing and personal compass, perhaps living and submitting to one's culture can become oppressive and may seem particularly unfair given power structures and the insidiousness of hypocrisy.

      Given this, could there logically be a utopian society in which everyone lives freely?

      Even within the United States there are smaller sub-cultures withiin which people feel trapped and which have the features of cults, but which are so large as to not be considered such. Even the space in which I freely live might be considered a cult by others who don't agree with it. It's only the vast size of the power of the group which prevents the majority who comfortably live within it from viewing it as a bad thing.

      A Democrat may view the Republican Party as a cult and vice versa, something which becomes more apparent when one polarizes these communities toward the edges rather than allowing them to drift into each other in a consensus.

      An African American may think they're stuck in a broader American cult which marginalizes them.

      A Hassidic Jew may feel they're stuck in a cult (of religious restrictions) with respect to the perceived freedoms of broader American Culture. Some may feel more comfortable within these strictures than others.


      A gender non-comforming person living in the deep South of the United States surrounded by the Southern Baptist Convention may feel they're stuck in a cult based on social norms of one culture versus what they experience personally.


      What are the roots of something being a cult? Could it be hypocrisy? A person or a broader group feeling as if they know "best" and creating a rule structure by which others are forced to follow, but from which they themselves are exempt? This also seems to be the way in which authoritarian rules arise when privileging one group above another based solely on (perceived) power.


      Another potential thing at play here may be the lack of diversity within a community. The level of cult within a society may be related to the shape of the bell curve of that society with respect to how large the center is with respect to the tails. Those who are most likely to feel they're within a "cult" (using the broader definition) are those three or more standard deviations from the center. In non-diverse communities only those within a standard deviation of the norm are likely to feel comfortable and accepted and those two deviations away will feel very uncomfortable while those who are farther away will be shunned and pushed beyond the pale.


      How can we help create more diverse and broadly accepting communities? We're all just people, aren't we? How can we design communities and governments to be accepting of even the most marginalized? In a heavily connected world, even the oddball teenager in a small community can now manage to find their own sub-community using the internet. (Even child pornographers manage to find their community online.)

      The opposite of this is at what point do we circumscribe the norms of the community? Take the idea of "Your freedom to strike me ends at my nose." Perhaps we only shun those extreme instances like murder and pornography, and other actions which take extreme advantage of others' freedoms? [This needs to be heavily expanded and contemplated...] What about the over-financialization of the economy which takes advantage of the unprivileged who don't know that system and are uncapable of the mathematics and computation to succeed. Similarly hucksters and snake oil salesmen who take advantage of their targets' weaknesses and lack of knowledge and sophistication. Or the unregulated vitamin industry taking rents from millions for their superstitions? How do we regulate these to allow "cultural freedom" or "religious freedom" without them taking mass-scale advantage of their targets? (Or are some of these acculturated examples simply inequalities institutionally built into societies and cultures as a means of extracting power and rents from the larger system by those in power?)


      Compare with Hester Prynne and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.


    1. I will use Drexel’s treatise asrepresentative of the basic principles of note taking that were widely sharedin sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe across national and religiousdivides.

      Religious and national divides were likely very important here as authority from above would have been even more important than in modern time. Related to this is the change in mnemonic traditions due to religious and political mores around the time of Peter Ramus.

  11. Oct 2021
    1. well for one thing that's easier to be irrational gives you certain answers

      Back when [[political correct]] did not dissallow [[Asimov]] to claim religious people have been duped due to fear.

    1. He just means “secular” or wants a marked separation of church and state. Same for the gnostics (Druids, Druze, Mandeans, Alawis).

      Didn't know that [[gnostics]] included present day Muslim sects.

  12. Sep 2021
    1. The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier.
    1. The Virginians needed labor, to grow corn for subsistence, to grow tobaccofor export. They had just figured out how to grow tobacco, and in 1617 theysent off the first cargo to England. Finding that, like all pleasurable drugstainted with moral disapproval, it brought a high price, the planters, despitetheir high religious talk, were not going to ask questions about something soprofitable.

      Told from this perspective and with the knowledge of the importance of the theory of First Effective Settlement, is it any wonder that America has grown up to be so heavily influenced by moral and mental depravity, over-influenced by capitalism and religion, ready to enslave others, and push vice and drugs? The founding Virginians are truly America in miniature.

      Cross reference: Theory of First Effective Settlement

      “Whenever an empty territory undergoes settlement, or an earlier population is dislodged by invaders, the specific characteristics of the first group able to effect a viable, self-perpetuating society are of crucial significance for the later social and cultural geography of the area, no matter how tiny the initial band of settlers may have been.” “Thus, in terms of lasting impact, the activities of a few hundred, or even a few score, initial colonizers can mean much more for the cultural geography of a place than the contributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants a few generations later.” — Wilbur Zelinsky, The Cultural Geography of the United States, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973, pp. 13–14.

    1. polythetic definitions have the appeal of avoiding essentialism, Which is regarded by most scholars of religion as a pitfall and a danger

      I am confused on how it is regarded because wouldn't a word like religion be expected to have more than one definition since religion is not one thing to everyone. Even the basic definitions of religion are unique in their own ways.

    1. liberty of conscience

      "Liberty of conscience" is a phrase Roger Williams uses in a religious context to denote the freedom for one to follow his or her religious or ethical beliefs. It is an idea that refers to conscious-based thought and individualism. Each person has the right to their own conscience. It is rooted in the idea that all people are created equal and that no culture is better than the other.

      This idea is strongly tied to: freedom from coercion of conscience (own thoughts and ideas), equality of rights, respect and toleration. It is a fundamental element of what has come to be the "American idea of religious liberty". Williams spoke of liberty of conscience in reference to a religious sense. This concept of individualism and free belief was later extrapolated in a general sense. He believed that government involvement ended when it came to divine beliefs.

      Citation: Eberle, Edward J. "Roger Williams on Liberty of Conscience." Roger Williams University Law Review: vol 10:, iss: 2, article 2, pp. 288-311. http://docs.rwu.edu/rwu_LR/vol10/iss2/2. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.

  13. Aug 2021
  14. Jul 2021
    1. The historian Peter Turchin coined the phrase elite overproduction to describe this phenomenon. He found that a constant source of instability and violence in previous eras of history, such as the late Roman empire and the French Wars of Religion, was the frustration of social elites for whom there were not enough jobs. Turchin expects this country to undergo a similar breakdown in the coming decade.
    2. “If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education,” said Bryan, in whom populist democracy and fundamentalist Christianity were joined until they broke him apart at the Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925.
    1. When the elder fell asleep in the Lord, Jordanes lay down on the grave, roaring with grief and beating his head against the ground.

      "fell asleep in the Lord" is an interesting euphemism for dying.

    2. Among saints remembered for their peaceful relations with dangerous animals not the least is Gerasimos, shown in icons healing a lion. The story behind the image comes down to us from John Moschos, a monk of Saint Theodosius Monastery near Bethlehem and author of The Spiritual Meadow, a book written in the course of journeys he made in the late sixth and early seventh centuries.

      Looking back on these "mythical" stories of lion tamers and people with extraordinary facility with animals, one can now see that these interactions are much more common in the modern world.

      People can earn the trust of animals, tame, and even train them. As a result, we view these people now as talented rather than magical and/or "helped by god" as they may have been in the past.

    1. The hunter is taken in his own snare, as the great Psalmist says.
    2. And to superstition must we trust at the first; it was man’s faith in the early, and it have its root in faith still.
    3. “the Vampire’s baptism of blood.”
    4. Oh, if such an one was to come from God, and not the Devil, what a force for good might he not be in this old world of ours.
    5. it is the ancient chapel of the mansion.

      Probably the closest he could get to Castle Dracula in England. He is looking for antiquity.

    6. his eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.

      Predatory desire for his blood is stopped by the Christian protection.

    7. As he had placed the Wafer on Mina’s forehead, it had seared it—had burned into the flesh as though it had been a piece of white-hot metal.
    8. if you will fall down and worship me
    9. kept saying his prayers somewhat loudly.
    10. Enoch

      Biblical figure, father of Methuselah mentioned earlier

    11. she shall take her place with the other Angels.

      Not sentenced to hell since she was a Christian in life

    12. The Host. I brought it from Amsterdam. I have an Indulgence.

      Catholicism

    13. my honour as a gentleman or my faith as a Christian is concerned

      Nobility and religion.

    14. Methuselah

      Biblical figure

    15. with my poor wife dead to me, but alive by Church’s law, though no wits, all gone—even I, who am faithful husband to this now-no-wife, am bigamist.

      Violated Church (and natural) laws

    16. pagan world of old

      Dracula is from a time before God, an ancient being

    17. sudden form of religious mania
    1. Anne: And did your mom work too? Or just your dad?Ben: My mom, she worked quite a bit, but there was a period when my youngest sister was born, she ceased from working and she stayed home with her for a few years. And then once—I think my sister was about four years old—then she went back and started working again until we were doing good in the construction. When I jumped into the construction and started my own business, then my dad went to work for me. And when he went to work for me, then my mother didn't have to work any more. We were really doing pretty well, we did pretty well. Did a lot of construction projects all throughout the Midwest and eastern seaboard. Lot of government projects.Anne: Really?Ben: Yeah. A lot of low-income housing for the government.Anne: So, you moved around, it wasn't a local company that just stayed—Ben: I based my company in Indianapolis and the main reason that we ended up based in Indianapolis is that I had a project going on in Akron, Ohio, one in Indianapolis and then I had two coming up in the Kansas City—in both-- Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas. And I knew it was going to be a lot of jumping around, and I figured well Indianapolis will be right in the center. So, I rented an apartment there for me and my wife and my son and my daughter; my son was a baby, but my daughter, she was like four years old, or three years old.Ben: And then right about after that, we bought a house. Well, no, my wife wanted to enroll my daughter in pre-K to get her going because her age. Her date of birth and the cut off with the school, they won't let her in for regular elementary school. So, she found this church and she told me, "There's this church that's got pre-K and we're going to get her started there.” And I go, "Well okay, go ahead.” So, we enrolled her there and we ended up getting involved with that church and we were the only Hispanics at the church at the time, whenever we did it. But they were good to us and they still attend there.Ben: That church, they started building one year on, every year they would add a year onto the school. And my daughter was one of the original students. So, she's one of the original students. The first original student to go all the way through the academy and graduate.Anne: What's it called?Ben: Cornerstone Baptist Academy in Indianapolis.Anne: That's great.Ben: Yeah.

      Time in the US, Family, Parents, Jobs, Children; Time in the US, Jobs/employment/work, Careers, Construction

    1. As an evangelical Anglican Christian and a professor of the humanities, I have spent my adult life in service to the church and the academy, and I don’t know how anyone could look at either of those institutions right now and see them as anything but floundering, incoherent messes, helmed largely by people who seem determined to make every mess worse. I want to grab those leaders by the lapels and shout in their faces, “I’m trying to contain an outbreak here, and you’re driving the monkey to the airport!” What good has anything I’ve written ever done? Why bother writing anything else? What is the point? The monkey’s already at the airport, securely stashed in the airliner’s cargo hold, and the plane is taxiing down the runway.

      A great metaphor for both education and the church (at least in America).

  15. Jun 2021
    1. Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix, the set of beads on which it was fastened being around both wrists and wheel, and all kept fast by the binding cords.
    2. Hereafter

      Non-specific reference to afterlife and inference that it is no longer open to Dracula and the women vampires

    3. crosses
    4. “Ordog”—Satan, “pokol”—hell, “stregoica”—witch, “vrolok” and “vlkoslak”—both of which mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either were-wolf or vampire
    5. English Churchman
    6. St. George’s Day.

      Religious protection

    7. crossed themselves

      Religious protection

    1. The viciousness of church politics can rival pretty much any other politics you can name; the difference is that the viciousness within churches is often cloaked in lofty spiritual language and euphemisms.

      It would be interesting to examine some of this language and these euphemisms to uncover the change over time.

    2. One of the more incisive comments about the gap we often see between faith and works sticks with me today: that for too many people of the Christian faith, Jesus is a “hood ornament.”

      Jesus is a "hood ornament."

      searing...

    3. I have heard from pastors in different parts of America who describe a “generational catastrophe” that is unfolding because of how disillusioned young people, including many young Christians, are by what they have seen.

      Is it possible that this religion has been forcing itself on it's youth and thus chasing them away, thereby eroding support?

      When will this "apocalypse" happen? What will it look like? What will be the cultural and political fall out look like?

    4. Partisan, cultural, and regional identities tend to shape religious identities.

      How?

      Why?

    5. I was recently reminded of a story about Evelyn Waugh, who had behaved particularly rudely to a young French intellectual at a dinner party. Waugh was asked by the host, Nancy Mitford, how he could act so meanly and yet consider himself a believing and practicing Catholic. “You have no idea,” Waugh is said to have responded, “how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic.”
    6. One pastor, who requested anonymity in order to speak openly, put it to me this way:Having grown up in the South, [I think] Southern Baptist culture is probably uniquely this way, but working in a church that isn’t in the South, this stuff still rears its head. Not as much the same presenting issues, but you still fundamentally get people who are in love with power and will take any means necessary to beat you down so they have power and you are subservient to them, not the Gospel.

      A searing indictment of power within religion...

    1. Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism.

      The idea of Taylorism as a religion is intriguing.

      However, underlying it is the religion of avarice and greed.

      What if we just had the Taylorism with humanity in mind and took out the root motivation of greed?

      This might be akin to trying to return Christianity to it's Jewish roots and removing the bending of the religion away from its original intention.

      It's definitely the case that the "religion" is only as useful and valuable to it's practitioners as the practitioners allow. In the terms of the McLuhan-esque quote "We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us." we could consider religion (any religion including Taylorism) as a tool. How does that tool shape us? How do we continue to reshape it?

      While I'm thinking about it, what is the root form of resilience that has allowed the Roman Catholic Church to last and have the power and influence it's had for two millennia?

    1. Regarding theinfluence of iconoclasm, the inaugural moment can be set circa 1536–1541, during Henry VIII’sdissolution of the monasteries.

      Long places the influence of iconoclasm in the destruction of the method of loci at the time period of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries around 1536-1541.

  16. May 2021
  17. Apr 2021
    1. Προσδίδοντας οξύ τόνο στην πάλη αυτή, μπορούμε να ερεθίζουμε τις μάζες. Μια τέτοια πάλη επιτείνει τη διαίρεση των μαζών με βάση τη θρησκεία, ενώ η δύναμή μας βρίσκεται στην ένωση».

      Θέλει προσοχή γιατί η διαμάχη εδράζεται στο θυμικό, όχι στη λογική Χρειάζεται aikido επιχειρηματα.

    2. θα δαιμονοποιεί τα φυσικά και κοινωνικά φαινόμενα, θα «θεοποιεί» τις συμφορές της ανεργίας, της φτώχειας, της αρρώστιας κλπ., και θα χρησιμοποιεί την άγνοια του ανθρώπου για να γεννήσει στη συνείδησή του το Θεό.

      Κοινωνιολογία - Θρησκεία: 0 - 1

    1. He adds that the ethnographic record shows that with rare exceptions, rock art is indeed associated with ritual and beliefs. “The concept of ‘art for art’s sake’ is a relatively recent western attitude,” he says – and if anything, the propensity for drawing in the dark seems to support that assumption.

      Here again, the sentence reads well if we replace rituals and beliefs with mnemonic practice.

    2. Whitley says: “The conceptual and practical division between the supernatural/sacred/religious world  and the mundane realm is a largely modern and western conceit that has become especially prominent since the Protestant Reformation. Many traditional peoples saw/see no separation between daily versus religious life; many don’t even recognize that they have a ‘religion’ per se. I then concur with the notion that many prehistoric peoples felt a strong connection to the supernatural and the cosmos.”

      This fits into a mnemonic perspective of life as being something greater than religion or ancestor worship. The ancestor worship part comes in because they're a thing to attach our memories of needed culture and knowledge to. They're also important because they're the ones that discovered the knowledge and helped to hand it down.

  18. Mar 2021
    1. Σε αυτή τη συγκεκριμένη κρίσιμη φάση, μια χαλαρή ένωση συγγραφέων, χάκερ, καλλιτεχνών και επιχειρηματιών από τη Δυτική Ακτή των ΗΠΑ πέτυχαν να διαμορφώσουν μια ετερογενή ορθοδοξία για την εποχή της πληροφόρησης - την ιδεολογία (;) της Καλιφόρνιας. Αυτή η νέα πίστη (;) αποτελεί μια σύντηξη των κουλτουριάρικων μποέμ του Σαν Φρανσίσκο και των βιομηχανιών υψηλής τεχνολογίας της Σίλικον Βάλεϊ, συνδυάζοντας δηλαδή τα πνεύματα των χίπις και των γιάπις, και σχηματίζοντας μια υπερβολικά αισιόδοξη εικόνα του μέλλοντος.

      Ενδιαφερουσα νυξη για την θρησκευτική φύση της πίστης στην τεχνολογία.

  19. Feb 2021
    1. τερατώδη συμμαχία μεταξύ των δεξιών Αμερικάνων Προτεσταντών και της Καθολικής Εκκλησίας να εναντιωθούν σε οποιαδήποτε βοήθεια ελέγχου των γεννήσεων στις χώρες του Τρίτου Κόσμου,
    2. .: Πρώτα απ’ όλα, δε νομίζω ότι, παρά τα όσα λέει ο κόσμος, ότι θα υπάρξει μια επιστροφή του θρησκευτικού στις Δυτικές χώρες.
  20. Dec 2020
    1. In this we sometimes see the use of American historical references that have been weirdly transposed,

      It has become scripture.

    1. This is known as multilevel selection, which “recognises that fitness benefits can sometimes accrue to individuals through group-level effects, rather than always being the direct product of the individual’s own actions”, as Dunbar defines it.

      Group level effects. An argument against religion being maladaptive.

    2. As Bellah points out, religion is as a way of being. We might also view it as a way of feeling, as a way of feeling together.

      Togetherness

    3. Any human phenomenon that exists is a human phenomenon that became what it is.

      There is a starting point to everything.

    1. "We really want to see what everyone wants to say.… When you have a lot of people passionate about hockey, and not about religion, it's interesting to see people's reactions to the question," she said. "If they can make connections between religion and sport,

      Very interesting to see the connection here between hockey and religion. Because religion is a rocky subject in the surrounding area because of the oppressive history it has on the people. Are they saying that hockey has some sort of bondage over the people or were they just being funny?

  21. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. He longed to ascend through the roof and fly away to another country where he would never hear again of his trouble, and yet a force pushed him downstairs step by step.

      Joyce's intent behind the juxtaposition of ascent and descent here is palpable. He likens "another country" to heaven, while "downstairs", i.e. Irish society, is hell. The "force" of societal pressures and Catholic guilt push him down the stairs, trapping him in a hell with no escape.

    2. Maria would enter a convent

      So Maria and Joe are clearly references to Mary and Joseph in the Bible. Like Mary, Maria is a selfless, matronly figure who remains a virgin. Yet in this case, it seems like that choice isn't necessarily a deliberate one with all the references to her being single as almost a failure on her part, or a "mistake" like her mistake in singing. In this way you can kinda read it like the oppressive nature of the Catholic Church forcing these roles onto the people, depriving them of living a fulfilled life. Also complicated since in this Maria acts as a mother to Joe, rather than the husband/wife relationship between Mary and Joseph.

    1. among them, there is a small one where men never die,

      When I read the passage I noticed the similarities to other religions such as Christianity, Greek, Norse, and many others. When someone dies they go to some form of after life but what is different? Why does it vary from religion to religion?

    2. In Hibernia [Ireland] there are many wonderful islands whose existence can be credible; among them, there is a small one where men never die,

      This sounds like the basis of Christianity; where when you are going to die you are sent to heaven. Because the Irish were mainly Roman Catholics this makes a lot of sense that the stories correlate. Yet because it's the same religion why do the definitions of this eternal happiness vary so much?

  22. Nov 2020
  23. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. who collected used stamps for some pious purpose.

      A stamp collecting is synonymous with dull character, and used stamps even more so. By tying the act of collecting used stamps to a "pious purpose", Joyce critiques the effect of religion on stagnating Irish culture. It can also be interpreted as a sardonic jab at those who claim to act in the service of Christianity while doing much of nothing.

    2. yellowing photograph hung on the wall above

      Once again a priest is present yet absent at the same time, this time his representation literally watching over what's going on in the household. Here she doesn't even know the name of the priest that hung in her house for years, like the impersonal nature of the church's influence and domination.

    3. the houses had grown sombre

      Maybe I'm trying way too hard to look for references to the church, but one of the things I remember from Art Hum is the reoccurrence of the usage of light to symbolize understanding, especially from God/in cathedrals. I wonder if "the houses had grown sombre" shows how when others aren't looking or outside of the context of the church, people can be serious and honest..

    4. old useless

      Another commentary on the hypocrisy/backwardness of the church and its antiquated traditions and thoughts? I wonder if "old useless papers" is a reference to the numerous texts of the church.

    5. blind

      Possible pun perhaps to comment on the church's hypocrisy/oppression/lack of addressing anything honestly? There's a lot of teachings/recordings of Jesus doing things that have to do with eye in the Bible (look at the plank in your own eye, healing of blind men, if your eye sins, tear it out, etc).

    6. set the boys free

      The Christian school letting out for the day being described as setting the boys free seems to play into themes that we've discussed surrounding the oppressive control of the church.

    1. There is also no mention or even hint of a deity who speaks directly to the people. It just seems taken for granted that these are the terms.

      In some ways, this is more powerful than a deity

  24. Oct 2020
    1. In 1965, he published the highly influential work Theories of Primitive Religion, arguing against the existing theories of what at the time were called "primitive" religious practices. Arguing along the lines of his theoretical work of the 1950s, he claimed that anthropologists rarely succeeded in entering the minds of the people they studied, and so ascribed to them motivations which more closely matched themselves and their own culture, not the one they were studying. He also argued that believers and non-believers approached the study of religion in vastly different ways, with non-believers being quicker to come up with biological, sociological, or psychological theories to explain religion as an illusion, and believers being more likely to come up with theories explaining religion as a method of conceptualizing and relating to reality.
    1. Mr. Jennings, do you happen to be acquainted with Robinson Crusoe?

      Hahahaha this is Betteredge's missionary moment. Earlier I thought Robinson Crusoe was a good metaphor for the difference between personal religion and organized religion, with Clack and her tracts representing the hypocrisy of that, but now Betteredge is attempting his own little conversion to steer Ezra down the right path. At least it seems less like Betteredge thinks he's better than Ezra and more that he is worried about what Ezra wants to do.

    2. Speaking as a servant, I am deeply indebted to you. Speaking as a man, I consider you to be a person whose head is full of maggots, and I take up my testimony against your experiment as a delusion and a snare

      Hahahahahahahha. Loyalty to the Verinder family really is Betteredge's primary motivation at all times, even when he completely disagrees with what he's being asked to do. It also makes me wonder that like, Ezra based this experiment off of his personal experience with opium as well as a medical book right? Why is everyone taking it as some kind of superstitious magic? Like Betteredge himself here says something along the lines of he can't approve of this as he's a good Christian.

    3. ‘I stood like one Thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an Apparition.’ If that isn’t as much as to say: ‘Expect the sudden appearance of Mr. Franklin Blake’–there’s no meaning in the English language!” said Betteredge, closing the book with a bang, and getting one of his hands free at last to take the hand which I offered him.

      This is hysterical. I love how Betteredge takes obtuse passages of Crusoe as gospel--full of premonitions, and spiritual wisdom. Betteredge's Christianess may be questionable, but certainly not his Crusoeness. I love Collins use of pop culture in critiquing popular modes of religious thinking.

    4. She affectionately reminds Mr. Franklin Blake that she is a Christian, and that it is, therefore, quite impossible for him to offend her

      Is that what it means to be a Christian? Because girl, you've been offended by stuff nonstop lol

    1. Two of Elemental’s biggest early clients were the Mormon church, which used the technology to beam sermons to congregations around the world, and the adult film industry, which did not.

      Seems like the writer slid this sentence in very carefully. Ha!

    1. Critics, including Sarah Posner and Joe Conason, maintain that prosperity teachers cultivate authoritarian organizations. They argue that leaders attempt to control the lives of adherents by claiming divinely-bestowed authority.[63] Jenkins contends that prosperity theology is used as a tool to justify the high salaries of pastors.

      This would seem to play out in current American culture which seems to be welcoming of an authoritarian president.

    1. I n 1808, New York physician John Augustine Smith, a disciple of Charles White, r ebuked Samuel Stanhope Smith as a minister dabbling in sci-ence. “ I hold it my duty to lay before you all t he facts which are rele-vant,” J ohn Augustine Smith announced in his circulated lecture. The principal f act was t hat t he “ anatomical s tructure” of t he European was “superior” t o that of t he other races. As different species, Blacks and Whites had been “placed at t he opposite extremes of t he scale.” The polygenesis l ecture l aunched Smith’s academic career: he became edi-tor of t he Medical and Physiological Journal, t enth president of t he Col-lege of William & Mary, and president of t he New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.

      Another example of a scion in academia using racial ideas to launch his career to prominence.

      This also provides a schism for a break between science and religion which we're still heavily dealing with in American culture.

    2. The American Bible Society, t he American Sunday School Union, and the American Tract Society were all established in this period, and they each used the printing press to besiege the nation with Bibles, t racts, pictures, and picture cards t hat would help to create a strong, unified, J esus-centered national i dentity. A good tract “should be entertaining,” announced the American Tract Society in 1824. “ There must be something to allure the listless to read.”

      This is also the same sort of cultural movement to happen to journalism with Hard Copy in the early 1980's.

    1. The result is that the readers of major news outlets are presented with an unrealistically benign picture of a darkly authoritarian, cult-like branch of Protestantism. That’s one reason I’m writing this essay.
    2. If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!

      Interesting that this is interpreted in modern times in the same way as it was in ancient. A lot of this writing had to have been specific to it's political context at a time when keeping things in house was both to the benefit of the individuals as well as the Church which was a minority within a broader Roman protectorate.

      Why can't Christians manage to see any historical context for a 2000 year old document that is far from a living one?

    3. De facto, reputation and appearances become more important than people’s wellbeing, because authoritarian Christians are desperately afraid of the sense that any of their rigid, divinely prescribed rules do not actually work. Spoiler alert: they do not actually work.
    4. If you want to understand the Christian extremism that represents the single greatest threat to democracy and human rights in America today, it’s important to understand how authoritarian Christians read the Bible.

      Very likely true.

    1. If Henrich’s history of Christianity and the West feels rushed and at times derivative—he acknowledges his debt to Max Weber—that’s because he’s in a hurry to explain Western psychology.

      This adds more to my prior comment with the addition to Max Weber here. Cross reference some of my reading this past week on his influence on the prosperity gospel.