I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chapter 27: Non-Canonical - Gospel of Mary Magdala

Phenomenology of World Religions ©
Chapter 27
Gospel Mary Magdala (Magdalene)

Some know this text as Gospel of Mary Magdala, estimated to have been written in the 2nd century AD (CE), it disappeared until a fragmentary copy was found written in Coptic in the late 19th century, transcribed in the 5th century, purchased in Cairo by Carl Reinhardt who took it to Berlin in 1896. Two additional fragments discovered, written in Greek, in the 20th century (1940s) which totals to less than eight pages of ancient papyrus text survive, which amounts of half of the text lost. Considering that the early Christian Church ordered the Gnostic library and the texts not authorized by the Christian Church to be destroyed, it is amazing that any of those texts could ever be found.

Chapter 13: Sword of Islam

Phenomenology of World Religions ©
Chapter 13
Sword of Islam

Abu Bakr was the father-in-law of Muhammad and his first successor. He was given the command of the faithful as Khalifah (Caliph, meaning “deputy”). Several tribes refused to accept his right to rule and a war broke out called Ridda, fought by Abu Bakr and his general Khalid ibn al Walid. The success in that battle and battles thereafter against Persia and Byzantine initiated a series of war of conquest outside the Mohammed Arabian peninsula. Their army had become formidable with dedicated followers of Islam, swordsmen mounted on camels and able archers on horseback that came out of the desert and struck the heart of Persia and Byzantine empires. The two empires were already becoming weak and their army was not organized sufficiently to defeat the Arabs. The Arabs soon conquered Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, and Persia. The Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem in 640 and guaranteed the preservation of the Christian holy places there.