The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Book: Janus in Nicea

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Book: Janus in Nicea · christianity, history, Janus in Nicea, media

Quite a milestone was reached last week when I published my book, Janus in Nicea.  I had started this blog some years ago when I realized that the state of my study of Early Church history was such that it needed a home away from Live Journal. After continued work in it, I received a […]

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People and History

July 27th, 2008 · Comments Off on People and History · culture, history

Two famous biographies are here summarized to make a point about a significant problem in the art of archaeology. The question is whether one can even determine if the character of some ancient story actually lived when all you have are the written records that tell the story. My first subject has defined an entire […]

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How are you a part of me?

January 19th, 2008 · Comments Off on How are you a part of me? · christianity, culture, history

More notes on the development of culture and the creation of Roman Christianity. Ancient city-states often worshiped a triad of deities who were, collectively, believed to represent and protect their host city. While several cities may have shared one god or another, the people within a particular city would be faithful to the specific manifestation […]

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Here, try these frames on

January 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on Here, try these frames on · culture, history

As part of my study of the development of religion and culture, there is a lot I’d like to know about how things got to be the way they are. Unfortunately, many of the most important decisions were made way back in the hidden mists of unrecorded, prehistoric times. We’ll never know exactly which tribes […]

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Tasty thoughts

November 17th, 2007 · Comments Off on Tasty thoughts · Uncategorized

I was thinking about how animal domestication developed. Animal domestication is one of those things academics use to indicate the onset of civilization. Like many things we think of as advances, one has to wonder if there is still any advantage to them. Perhaps because it’s not something I do, I have the perception of […]

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… Eyetopia, Weyalltopia for…

June 19th, 2007 · Comments Off on … Eyetopia, Weyalltopia for… · history

It is an imperative of Life that we each must search for more of what we have, only better. It’s no accident that hominids, like most herding species, were originally nomadic. They were always searching over the next hill, beyond the next valley, for the greener pastures and fatter sheep. The advent of semi-agricultural habits […]

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The Soul Loss Theory of Death

March 11th, 2006 · Comments Off on The Soul Loss Theory of Death · christianity, history, metaphysics

One of the books that lent me is a look at the Old Testament from the perspective of Cultural Anthropology. The title even states the same in fewer words. Within this text we are told that the miraculous revivals of the dead performed by Elijah and Elisha only make sense from the perspective of “the […]

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Democracy and Culture

January 18th, 2006 · Comments Off on Democracy and Culture · culture

When I was very young and I was learning about government for the first time, my initial judgment was that our government was carefully contrived to make it as difficult as possible for one person or group to hold power for very long, while simultaneously preventing anything from ever getting done. I recall also making […]

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Spiritual Onanism

June 19th, 2004 · Comments Off on Spiritual Onanism · culture, history

Somewhere in this article is a phrase used by a Catholic cardinal to describe all non-Christian religions, both ancient and New Age: “spiritual auto-eroticism”. I’m almost certain this was intended to be derisive and dismissive, and it is quite surely an honest response from this prelate. What’s funny is that outside of the Catholic context, […]

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Questions from a seeker 2

September 14th, 2003 · Comments Off on Questions from a seeker 2 · history, metaphysics, ritual

Dear Seeker — You ask: I’m perplexed by the “magick” involved with Yahweh “one-upping” the Egyptian Magicians with various magick. Were these “magick-offs” a common occurrence? Are these things actually documented elsewhere? I’m curious as to what type of magick we’re talking about here. It is mentioned that some of the plagues did not affect […]

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