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Reaction against Hindu castes spawned Jainism

Reaction against Hindu castes spawned Jainism

Jainism is an offshoot of Hinduism that came about in the sixth century B.C. as a reaction to the Hindu caste system.

September 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
In the past, religion & politics mixed together

In the past, religion & politics mixed together

It was on a Fourth of July that I arrived in America. I did not understand why all the shops were closed. When I inquired, I was told that everyone was out having picnics or barbecues and setting off fireworks.

June 28, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Historically, papal transition goes smoothly - but not always

Historically, papal transition goes smoothly - but not always

On Easter Sunday this year, two names were added to the Catholic list of canonized saints, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. Two men who had held the position of Pope, Benedict XVI and Francis, performed the ritual of canonization.

May 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Belief in the afterlife varies by religion

Belief in the afterlife varies by religion

Since the beginning of mankind’s story, there has been belief in life after death.

April 19, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Buddhism a family of religions that varies by culture

Buddhism a family of religions that varies by culture

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, having about 375 million adherents. It is an offshoot of Hinduism. While it had its start in India in the fifth century B.C., few adherents of the religion now live there.

March 08, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Christmas bells ring in happy news for Christians

Christmas bells ring in happy news for Christians

At midnight on Dec. 24, church bells all over the world will ring out the joyful news of Christmas. From Bethlehem’s Manger Square to London’s Trafalgar to Rome’s Piazza Navona the chimes will be heard. For more than 1,600 years the message of the birth of Christ has been so proclaimed.

December 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The Catholic Church has many rites

The Catholic Church has many rites

Most people were surprised when the Catholic Church elected an Argentinean as Pope Francis. For more than 400 years, until Karol Józef Wojtyła from Poland became Pope John Paul II, all popes had been Italian.

November 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Hinduism 'a search for truth through nonviolent means'

Hinduism 'a search for truth through nonviolent means'

Hinduism is the oldest of the major religions and is almost exclusively Indian. In fact, to be a Hindu means to respect the traditions of India. There are more than 900 million Hindus in India. It is not a single unified religion but a combination of beliefs and practices accumulated over 5,…

August 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Pentecost, feast of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost, feast of the Holy Spirit

The feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), occurring 50 days after Passover, was one of the great pilgrim feasts of ancient Judaism.

May 18, 2013 12:05 amLoading…
Idea of resurrection came to life in ancient Israel

Idea of resurrection came to life in ancient Israel

Belief in the resurrection of the dead among the Israelites stems to the time of the exile, in fifth century B.C.

March 30, 2013 12:05 amLoading…
Zoroastrianism has direct link to 3 major religions

Zoroastrianism has direct link to 3 major religions

Syncretism, the combining of different beliefs and philosophies in religion, is inevitable. The three major Western religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all which developed in the Middle East, are a prime example.

February 02, 2013 12:05 amLoading…
Taking another look at the Nativity of Jesus

Taking another look at the Nativity of Jesus

Displays of the Nativity of Jesus can be seen in Christian churches and homes over the Christmas season.

December 15, 2012 12:05 amLoading…
Idea for talks goes all the way back to fifth-century monks

Idea for talks goes all the way back to fifth-century monks

St. Benedict is often credited with founding monasticism in Europe in the fifth century.

September 29, 2012 12:15 amLoading…
How the Way of St. James came to be

How the Way of St. James came to be

Camino De Compostello, or the Way of St. James, has existed since the eighth century. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem.

July 14, 2012 12:15 amLoading…
Christianity was launched on day of Passover

Christianity was launched on day of Passover

Along with Passover and the feast of Tabernacles, Pentecost was one of the great pilgrim feasts of ancient Judaism, when all were called to Jerusalem.

May 26, 2012 12:15 amLoading…
Determining Easter date reveals calendar complexities

Determining Easter date reveals calendar complexities

A few years ago at the archaeological dig at Bethsaida, a large stella was found bearing an image of what looked like a bull. It caught the attention of scholars worldwide who eventually deciphered it as the “moon god.” Similar stellae had been found in various digs throughout the Middle East.

April 07, 2012 12:10 am Photos

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Perspective: Gift of the Irish lives on today

Perspective: Gift of the Irish lives on today

In the middle of the fifth century, the Roman Empire was collapsing. Barbarian tribes were closing in on all sides and Rome was no longer able to withstand them.

March 17, 2012 12:10 amLoading…
Perspective: Peace on Earth still comes on Christmas

Perspective: Peace on Earth still comes on Christmas

Rome was at peace. The Pax Romana came into effect with Augustus in 27 B.C. and lasted for about 180 years. The birth of Jesus occurred during this period of peace.

December 17, 2011 12:05 amLoading…

Libraries have ancient sacred and secular history

Libraries have existed since the beginning of civilization.

September 24, 2011 12:15 amLoading…
Our Town: A day in Bethsaida, A.D. 30

Our Town: A day in Bethsaida, A.D. 30

(As reconstructed from archaeological finds, the Gospels and other texts)

July 09, 2011 12:45 amLoading…

400 years later, King James Bible still going strong

This year celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

May 07, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Archaeology helps us get grip on history

Archaeology has been called “the handmaiden of history.”

January 29, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Faith & Values: Hanukkah is a time for celebration

This year, the celebration of Hanukkah (the word means dedication) will take place from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9, when every Jewish household will light one candle each evening commemorating the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C.

November 27, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Faith and values: Confusion still abounds about Islam, mosques

All of the perpetrators of the crimes of Sept. 11, 2001, were Muslim, came from Saudi, Arabia, and were Arab.

October 23, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Faith & values: Muslims get ready for start of Ramadan

Faith & values: Muslims get ready for start of Ramadan

There are five basic tenets of Islam: to profess the faith; to pray five times a day; to give alms to the poor; to make a pilgrimage to Mecca; to fast during Ramadan.

August 07, 2010 6:35 amLoading…

50 Days: The Feast of Weeks

The Jewish feast of Shavout and Christian Pentecost are both celebrated 50 days after major feasts.

May 22, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Faith & values: Turin Shroud still mystery despite studies

Faith & values: Turin Shroud still mystery despite studies

In the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem is a display of the Shroud of Turin, visited every year by thousands of tourists.

April 03, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Valentine’s Day celebration has ancient roots

Editor’s note: This is a reprint of one of Elizabeth McNamer’s more popular columns

February 13, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Christmas traditions of crèche, carols trace back to St. Francis

It was the Greeks who invented the genre of the drama, and Greek playwrights produced splendid plays. Christianity forbade the attendance at these “licentious representations of paganism” in the early centuries of its history. In the 10th century, however, on solemn feasts such as Christmas …

December 19, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
Mosque of Omar is of great worth to Muslims

Mosque of Omar is of great worth to Muslims

Jerusalem has many sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. For Jews, there is the West (Wailing) Wall; for Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; for Muslims, the Mosque of Omar, (known as the Dome of the Rock). Its gilded dome glistens in the sun, dominating the Jerusalem lands…

August 22, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Faith and Values: Monastery at foot of Mount Sinai still can inspire

St. Catherine's Monastery is an Orthodox monastery on the Sinai peninsula at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.

June 27, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
Perspective: Church of the Holy Sepulcher remains a sacred spot

Perspective: Church of the Holy Sepulcher remains a sacred spot

The holiest place on earth for Christians is the Holy Sepulcher, the tomb in which Jesus was laid and from which he arose on Easter Sunday.

April 10, 2009 11:00 pmLoading…

Faith and values: Jerusalem's second temple gone but not forgotten

At the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem on a Friday evening, hundreds of Jews gather to bemoan the destruction of their temple and to pray:

March 13, 2009 11:00 pmLoading…

Faith and Values: History unfolds in Bethlehem, then and now

Bethlehem is located about six miles southwest of Jerusalem in the hill country of Judea.

December 19, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Halloween has a long history

The name "Halloween" derives from "Eve of all hallows," or the night before the feast of all the holy or hallowed saints.

October 24, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

After 2,000 years, just who is Paul?

Recently, the pope and the patriarch of Constantinople declared the year from June 28, 2008, to June 28, 2009, as the year of St. Paul, to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.

September 12, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Faith & values: Dalai Lama has political, religious roles to fill

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet, an arid plateau that lies to the north of India and the west of China.

August 01, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Jewish state traces roots back centuries

Israel recently celebrated 60 years of existence as a state.

June 27, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…
Pope heads up more than the Catholic Church

Pope heads up more than the Catholic Church

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States in April, he was received as a visiting head of state. Benedict is not only bishop of Rome - the 233rd since Peter, and thus leader of 1 billion Catholics - but he is also head of the Vatican City state recognized under international law.

April 25, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Pontius Pilate's role in crucifixion remembered

The Rylands University Library in Manchester, England, houses the oldest fragment of a Gospel in existence.

March 21, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Lent is somber time before joy of Easter

This year, Easter, on March 23, will be very early.

February 01, 2008 11:00 pmLoading…

Francis of Assisi touched many

It is related that in 1219, while the fifth Crusade to win back Jerusalem from the Muslims was going on, Francis of Assisi went to Egypt and entered the camp of the Sultan to sue for peace. He was not successful, but the Sultan was so impressed that he allowed him to preach to his subjects a…

September 28, 2007 11:00 pmLoading…

Josephus gives glimpses into time of Christ

In re-creating the milieu in which Jesus lived, the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius is one of the best sources.

July 27, 2007 11:00 pmLoading…

Early pilgrim gives view of Holy Land

Every summer, about 40,000 people visit Israel.

May 11, 2007 11:00 pmLoading…
Was this really the tomb of Jesus?

Was this really the tomb of Jesus?

A recent documentary on the Discovery Channel on "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" has many people confused. The documentary claims that a tomb containing 10 ossuaries unearthed in 1980 in Jerusalem was the tomb of the family of Jesus, the founder of Christianity.

April 06, 2007 11:00 pmLoading…

St. Valentine's Day wasn't so saintly in beginning

Valentine's Day, like many other holidays on the Christian calendar, is of pagan origins.

February 09, 2007 11:00 pmLoading…

Traditions of Christmas came about through the ages

Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 22, 2006 11:00 pmLoading…

Saints have been with us through the ages

This time of year there is a lot of emphasis on Halloween, but the day after that - All Saints Day - has another kind of significance.

October 27, 2006 11:00 pmLoading…

Many gospels exist outside New Testament canon

The word "gospel" means "good news."

September 15, 2006 11:00 pmLoading…

Faith & values: Angels play key roles in major religions as messengers, more

The word "angel" comes from the Greek word "angelos," meaning "messenger."

December 23, 2005 11:00 pmLoading…

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