Byzantine Blog: Days that live in Infamy - The Fall of Constantinople.
“Late in the afternoon the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmet, entered the city and ordered the looting to stop. He headed straight for St Sophia, placed a handful of earth on his turban as a gesture of humility and entered the great church. [snip] The city was his at the age of just twenty one. The Empire of the Romans was finished.” May 29, 1453.
The Art Newspaper: The Kingdom to spend $1.7bn on building 230 museums.
“... if we only research the history of Saudi Arabia post 610AD [the year in which Mohammed had his vision and began to preach] and say nothing about our history before then, we are belittling Islam. We believe our people were Bedouins and the caravans that went to Mecca 400 years before Islam led into the rituals of going on Hajj that still prevail today.”
NPR: Debate - Is Death Final?
MessyNessyChic: The Lost Desert Libraries of Chinguetti.
Wow. I’d like to visit. Craig (Booklabs), you need to check this out.
Pew: The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States.
“Most Hispanics in the United States continue to belong to the Roman Catholic Church. But the Catholic share of the Hispanic population is declining, while rising numbers of Hispanics are Protestant or unaffiliated with any religion.” Getting into election season again, when I have to remind everyone (as I’ve done since 2000) not to treat the Hispanic vote as an ideological entity. They don’t vote in a group, as other minorities do … yet the media continues to talk about them, treat them as such.
New Scientist: God not-botherers - Religious apathy reigns.
“As the prime minister said in his next breath: ‘faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality’ – a position many biologists would agree with. Morality arises from the workings of our social brains. And our exploration of the world around us helps us frame moral codes that reflect the world as it is, not as we imagine it to be.” Again, my italic emphasis.
NY Times: What Does Buddhism Require?
“The first is that life is fundamentally unsatisfactory, permeated by suffering of various types, including pain, aging and death and the inability to control one’s own destiny. The second is that this suffering is caused by attraction and aversion — attraction to things one can’t have, and aversion to things one can’t avoid, and that this attraction and aversion is in turn caused by primal confusion about the fundamental nature of reality and a consequent egocentric orientation to the world.” Facebook has much to teach, then.
Evolutionary Tree of Religion.
No Pastafarians? Flying Spaghetti Monster will withhold his ‘special sauce’.
The Archaeology News Network: Early Coptic image of Jesus found at Oxyrhynchus.
Archaeology News Net: Medieval bishop’s theory resembles modern concept of multiple universes.
I’ve linked the subject before, but this article has additional fascinating info.
Alin Suciu: Christian Askeland Finds the “Smoking Gun”.
Looks like the “Jesus Wife” papyrus is a not-so-clever forgery.
PacificStandard: What Life Is Like When Having Your Period Means You Are Shunned.
Helping break these taboos would be more rewarding than the usual ‘Eat-Pray-Love’ self-discovery tourism.
BBC: UK non-Christian claims ‘absurd’, senior Tories say.
Sorry to see the UK drop to American levels of idiocy.
NPR: Does Kin Selection Explain The Evolution Of Religion?
“Kin selection turns on the concept of inclusive fitness, the idea that an organism’s biological fitness derives not only from the direct production of offspring, but also from aiding the reproduction of its other relatives.” My emphasis. Good luck with that in these net-connected personally-disconnected times.
SF New Mexican: Religious pilgrims of diverse backgrounds trek to Chimayó.
Today is Good Friday, the day to walk your spiritual needs to Chimayo for blessings.
Italian Ways: The Sacred Mountain of Varallo, the Jerusalem of Valsesia.
A sort of religious Las Vegas; those who could not, or would not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem could experience a ‘faithful copy’. You’ve got to see this - scroll down to see all the wooden figures. I’ve never seen this before, never knew it existed.
LA Times: Hollywood tries to win Christians’ faith.
“Religious moviegoers may be actively searching out more spiritually engaging content, but they remain on high alert for perceived distortions of biblical doctrine or any attempt at a bait and switch.” If they like Noah, it puts the lie to ‘bait and switch’. Magic sleeping draught herbs indeed ...
Pew: U.S. doesn’t rank high in religious diversity.
Hmmm, I’d like to see it plotted against other stats, like violence, etc.
Observer.UK: Rev’s church could have been where Romeo and Juliet died.
“Some historians hold that the tomb scene in Romeo and Juliet, with its ‘stony’ sepulchre in which the tragic lovers end their lives, has similarities to the decaying, tomb-crowded interior of the church. By Shakespeare’s time, the church was already nearly 500 years old, crammed with crumbling tombs and memorials, some of them dating back to the Crusades.”
ArtDaily: Spain’s ‘Holy Grail’ faces sceptical inquisition; Experts say a myth.
Paris Review: Caleb Crain on Darren Aronofsky’s film ‘Noah’.
“Aronofsky thought his Noah needed Watchers, to judge by the screen time he gives them. They’re animated in a style that looks like it’s of Davey and Goliath vintage.” Read the whole thing; sounds overwhelmingly dreadful. Pass.
New Scientist: Shroud of Turin depicts Y-shaped crucifixion.
ArtDaily: Found - Impressive Byzantine period monastery with a spectacular mosaic floor.
“The prayer hall is paved with a mosaic on which a pattern of leaves is vibrantly portrayed in blue, red, yellow and green colors. The dining room floor is a colorful mosaic pavement depicting floral motifs, geometric decorations, amphorae, baskets and even a pair of birds.” Quite lovely.
Mashable: Creationists Condemn Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’ for Pro-Evolution Stance
Uh-huh. All one of them.
BBC: Vatican Library to digitise archives with Japanese support.
“The Vatican Library has begun digitising its priceless collection of ancient manuscripts dating from the origins of the Church. The first stage of the project will cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over the next four years. [snip] The 3,000 documents to be scanned digitally over the next four years include copies of works of classical Greek and Latin literature and mediaeval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts.” Can’t wait.