The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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The State Cult Hypothesis

January 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on The State Cult Hypothesis · christianity, history

The State Cult Hypothesis: “Christianity was primarily the result of a competition between the state cults of Diocletian and Constantine. It was the efforts of Constantine to defeat Diocletian’s Tetrarchy, co-opt the Persian cultural invasion, and subsequently unify the Roman Empire that resulted in the creation of Christianity.” Constantine was a keen student of history, […]

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Second and Third Derivations

July 31st, 2008 · Comments Off on Second and Third Derivations · christianity, history

Since discovery of PRF Brown’s site[1], I have burned a good many hours both reading and thinking. It’s clear that the “Eusebian Fiction Postulate”[2] has forced me to re-examine what I thought I understood about early church history. I have been relatively pleased, so far, to find that it seems to make more sense, given […]

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Philip

July 19th, 2008 · Comments Off on Philip · christianity, history

Philip occupies a rather unusual corner of the canon. On the one hand, he’s one of the first people Jesus recruits[1] and he’s shown recruiting other apostles[2] as well as bringing the early Church to Samaria[3]. On the other hand, he’s very much a bit part: he does not appear as a significant actor in […]

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Another Student of Cumont

June 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Another Student of Cumont · christianity, history, media

I was looking to see what content wiki had on early Christianity, when I found a link to a digital version of papers written by Martin Luther King, Jr, when he was in divinity school. Most immediately, I’ve enjoyed his study of Mithraism and his paper on Mystery Religions in Christianity. It is at this […]

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Levant History Map

June 4th, 2006 · Comments Off on Levant History Map · history

As threatened, here is the Levant History Map. This chart shows the rough political boundaries of the Levant over a period of 1200 years. Due to the unique geography of the Levant, we can make a dramatic simplification of our map into a backwards “C” shape that describes the regions from Egypt into Anatolia — […]

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Poof! It's gone!

June 3rd, 2006 · Comments Off on Poof! It's gone! · christianity, history

Although it is still an interesting and entertaining adventure, I feel as if I’ve just completed deconstructing the entire edifice of Christianity and need some time to readjust everything mentally. No doubt, I will continue to learn and adjust my understanding until the day I die, but for now, everything needs to stop moving for […]

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Million Dollar Idea #14423225

May 13th, 2006 · Comments Off on Million Dollar Idea #14423225 · christianity, history

I shoulda styled my upcoming talk on heresies as having something to do with Da Vinci Code. I suppose I could still do that, but then I’d feel like I’d have to actually read that book. I understand that there’s a whole genre of fiction based around a kind of modernized apocalyptic Sci Fi in […]

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Idealogical History of Christianity (Map)

May 7th, 2006 · Comments Off on Idealogical History of Christianity (Map) · christianity, history

In the time it took me to build this much, I probably could have found a really nice once somewhere else. I did a modicum of searching, but since I’ve been reading Burton Mack’s New Testament origins book, I’ve been really inspired to see a big map with all these different idealogical interconnections clearly shown. […]

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Moses supposes his toeses are roses

January 26th, 2006 · Comments Off on Moses supposes his toeses are roses · history, ritual

Few characters in the Bible loom as large or stand as central throughout the Bible as Moses. If it wasn’t for Moses stories, I don’t know that there would be Jews or Christians or Muslems. The Hebrew Moses is similar in many respects to another hero in the Greek tradition: Heracles. Stories wild and amazing […]

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History of the Church

June 4th, 2003 · Comments Off on History of the Church · christianity, culture, history, metaphysics

I’ve been having an interesting exchange of letters with a cousin I lost touch with twenty years ago. She was Catholic last time I saw her, seems she’s discovered paganism over the last five years. I ended up writing a summary history of Christianity, and realized when I was done that it was the most […]

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