According to tradition, in the early days of ancient Rome, King Numa Pompilius established a religious institution: the Vestal Virgins. The Vestal Virgins were chaste priestesses of Vesta, the goddess of home and hearth. Their duty was to maintain the sacred flame in the temple of Vesta. The Romans believed that as long as the … Continue reading The soul of the Roman Empire
Huffington Post UK has published the results of a survey showing that half of Britain thinks religion does more harm than good, and that you don't need it to be a good person. This seems to be a trend in Europe that was started in the Scandinavian countries. It's in contrast to the United States, … Continue reading The decline of religion in western societies
Pascal Boyer in his book 'The Fracture of an Illusion' asserts that religion does not exist. Boyer points out that "religion" doesn't exist as a concept in most societies. When Boyer, an anthropological expert in religion, says that it doesn't exist, he's making a statement that might seem silly on its face. After all, if religion … Continue reading What is religion?
Earlier this week I reviewed Bart Ehrman's new book, 'How Jesus Became God', and noted that there was already a response book to it. Now Ehrman has posted a response to that response on his blog. He posted it publicly (ie not paywalled). My publisher, HarperOne, asked me to write a 1000-word response to the … Continue reading Response to the Response: How God Became Jesus « Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog
I think most of my readers know that I'm not religious. However, I am interested in both the history and anthropology of religion. This interest has led me to read a number of books by Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar. In the last decade or so, Ehrman has exposed the public to a … Continue reading How Jesus became God
Bart Ehrman has a new book out, looking at the historical development of Jesus becoming God. Although I'm not religious, I still find the history of religion interesting, and of the Judeo/Christian tradition in particular fascinating. I have his book on my reading list. Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic … Continue reading How Jesus Became God | Bart D. Ehrman
Hard Evidence: Is Christianity Dying in Britain? | The Conversation UK. An interesting piece at HuffPost UK, exploring what appears to be the collapse of religion in Britain. Although there continues to be belief in the supernatural, in other words 'No Religion' isn't the same as atheism, the article notes that those supernatural beliefs are … Continue reading Hard Evidence: Is Christianity Dying in Britain? | The Conversation UK