Michel de Certeau was an intriguing figure in the world of high French theory – a Jesuit priest who also resolutely called himself an ‘historian,’ he was as comfortable dealing with Foucault and Freud as Aquinas and Barth. He is more familiar in France than in America, mostly because a large amount of his work […]Read more "History is Never Sure…"
Incantation bowls – earthenware bowls on which concentric circles of magical incantations are written – provide a crucial window into religious and ritualistic beliefs and practices of the time period in which they were used (namely 4-7th century CE, Mesopotamia). Theories on the exact method of use of these bowls varies among scholars – though the upside-down placement […]Read more "Mesopotamian Incantation Bowls"
People sticking pins into dolls as an enemy experiences pain miles away, priests cutting the throats of chickens and drinking the blood, and worshippers dressed in white dancing around fire are all rituals associated with Voodoo in modern day media and unfortunately in popular belief in the subject. These misconceptions have been placed throughout movies […]Read more "Vodou: Religion of Haiti"
Although Pope Gregory (also known as Gregory the Great or Saint Gregory) did not live during the medieval era, his work strongly influenced Christianity during the medieval period as well as Christianity today. He was the most influential writer during the period (590-604), famous for his commentary on The Book of Job known as Magna […]Read more "God, Lucifer, and Divine Justice"
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the Spirits, to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (I John 4:1)Read more "Possession and Christianity in Medieval Europe"
For this week, one of the readings that we did together was an excerpt from Dennis Covington’s 1995 book Salvation on Sand Mountain, an interesting and well-written look into the world of Appalachian churches that practice snake handling as a regular part of their worship services along with the final chapter from Robert Orsi’s 2006 […]Read more "Between Heaven & Earth: Standing on Sand Mountain"
The idea of of exorcism in Christianity stems from religious traditions of the Egyptians and the Babylonians. Ethnic religions among both groups believed that the cause of certain sicknesses could be attributed to the presence of demons inside of the host. Removal of this demon was the only way to cure the illness. This idea […]Read more "Early Christian Exorcism"