Religion Posts

  • Ancient Greek Magic – An Overview
    Ancient Greek magic is really hard to discuss. Not just because it’s as nebulous as Greek mythology. But also because it’s hard to extract from ancient greek religion in general. Read More
  • Liver Divination; OR Haruspicy
    I briefly mentioned Etruscan divination practices before, but it was such a major thing for them, and it was so different from what we might think of as divination, that Read More
  • What’s Documentary Hypothesis; OR who wrote the Pentateuch
    Not that kind of documentary. This is about biblical sources. There are a lot of theories and debates on who wrote what parts of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and Read More
  • What’s a Gospel?
    In and of itself, the word ‘gospel’ just means “good news”. We get it from the Old English “godspel,”which was a translation of the  ancient Greek word “euangelion”, which denoted Read More
  • What’s an Archetype?
    An archetype, in its most general sense, is a recurring symbol, character, theme, or motif that appears in literature, mythology, folklore, religion, and other forms of storytelling across different cultures Read More
  • What’s Pollution?
    Not like what happens when you toss trash onto the roads. I’m talking about the idea of pollution in a religious context. This is much more abstract, and we don’t Read More
  • What’s a Cult?
    The word cult has an incredibly negative connotation in English. It is applied to counter-social, often deadly movements. But in the context of ancient Greek practices, it was a much Read More
  • What’s Liminal Space?
    You know how there are spaces that aren’t really one thing or another? Like how a doorway is neither inside nor outside of a room? That’s a liminal space. And Read More
  • What’s Syncretism?
    Syncretism, in the context of religion, refers to the blending, fusion, and adaptation of diverse religious beliefs, practices, and traditions. It involves the merging of doctrines, rituals, deities, symbols, and Read More
  • Ritual vs. Liturgy: Understanding the Differences in Religious Practices
    I’ve talked about both liturgy and ritual before, and I’ve mentioned that liturgy itself is often a ritual OF rituals, but I’ve never looked at how they differ from each Read More
  • What’s a Ritual?
    The word ‘ritual’ can carry an almost negative connotation in English, but the simple fact is that humans are ritualistic. Partly because we really like patterns and structure and partly Read More
  • What’s a Liturgy?
    What’s a liturgy? In a religious sense, liturgy can be understood as a framework for group worship that goes beyond individual rituals. It is both a ritual in itself and Read More
  • Defining Magic
    Defining magic isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s a word that’s loaded with connotations and hidden meanings. Everyone has a definition that they have created from a myriad of Read More
  • Where does Greek Mythology Come From?
    Where does Greek mythology come from? Greece! That’s the most obvious and unhelpful answer I can offer. It’s also not wholly accurate. While the myths and stories ultimately did emerge Read More
  • What’s a Mystery Religion?
    What’s a mystery religion and what makes it a mystery? No, not like the “mystery flavor” of that sugary drink you had as a kid.  More like a club that Read More
  • Pentagrams vs. Pentacles: What’s the difference?
    Pentagrams vs. pentacles: what’s the difference? This general symbol, the five-pointed star, might be one of the world’s most maligned and misunderstood symbols. Often used in pop culture as a Read More
  • What’s a Hero Cult?
    Hero…cult? What’s a hero cult? The idea of hero worship, or a hero cult, isn’t a modern invention. Ancient Greeks had their own form of it; they just took it Read More
  • 4 Gospels That Didn’t Make it into the New Testament
    Biblical canon is a messy topic, less so because of the subject itself than because it tends to be little-known or understood outside specific academic or religious circles. The Bible Read More
  • What’s a Saint?
    What’s a saint? How do we define it? Think of it as a Christian version of the deified dead of the ancient Mediterranean: born mortal but after death venerated for Read More
  • Book of Revelation
    Let’s talk about the book of Revelation because I’m sick of it. It has been used as a fear-mongering tool for televangelists, and shady preachers for generations and people think Read More
  • Satan
    Let’s talk about Satan, because why not? The entity that became the Satan of the New Testament and Christianity has its basis in the Old Testament. Note: basis. But it Read More
  • Not an Apple
    Genesis 3 is probably one of the most famous parts of the Old Testament. It’s where the devil convinced Eve to eat an apple from the tree of the knowledge Read More