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"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
Welcome to our inner sanctum ( Information intermediation) where your studies are served up each day
Note: All Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Coptic translations are my own unless noted otherwise.
To our new readers:
In order to appreciate the ongoing studies you need to know how to follow my wee writings. Since some of these tend to be bookish in length at times and if I put them in book form to sell on Amazon or Barns & Noble it would cost you which is not my purpose for sharing these studies. I’d much rather you read them for free and save your money for that once in a lifetime trip to Ireland. But I digress. Since we have currently more than 1,500 articles you may need directions (or as we like to say bread crumbs to follow the study). You will find on the left side of your computer screen a list of subjects, under the title Archive you can click on this and it will take you to the articles listed by date from the current post written and going backwards. Also if you note I do most of the time list the posts as Part 1, 2, etc. so it becomes easier to go back at the beginning to follow my train of thought. I also allow one to follow at their own pace, and will explain terms or concepts if I feel that they are not commonly understood. For the more casual reader you will find between the "serious" stuff Irish humor or observations about life, politics, and or Irish perspective as an Expat ( from Ireland). So enjoy.
Part 26 Worship of Jesus as Evolutionary Development
Part 25 To Live and Die for Jesus: Social and
Political Consequences of Devotion
to Jesus in Earliest Christianity
Part 24 Early Jewish Opposition to Jesus-Devotion
Part 23 The Change of the Ages
Part 22 The Wandering Paul
Part 21 A Thirst for the Irrational
Part 20 How we came to religion
Part 19 the Son and the Saviour
Part 18 "Christianity"
Part 17 Class is in session (Part One)
Part 16 Was Christ real?
Part 15 Could have Jesus been divine?
Part 14 Some recent thoughts to consider
Part 13 What you thought you knew because someone else said so!
Excursus-"Grandmother read to me"
Part 12 "but wait there are two sides to a pancake"
Part 11 Did Jesus claim to be God?
Part 10 "Who was Jesus ?"
Part 9 Caesar's Messiah
Part 8 Jesus of Nazareth
Part 7 Jesus God or merely man (part 1)
Men and Gods (Part 6) Myths or mysticism?
Finding your story How Myths begin (Part 5)
Anyone lose a continent? (Part 4)
Part 3 The Irish Island that wasn't there (or was it?)
Part 2 Mysticism a part of the fabric of Myth
Part 1 the search begins mythology fact or fiction?
The Mythological Matrix Paradigm
Part 5 The Divine Feminine
Part 4 the Divine Feminine
Part 3 The Divine Feminine
Part 2 continued the Divine feminine
(Part 2) a new look at ( The Divine in feminne terms)
Our One story "As above so below"
Recent Blogs (in case you missed something)
See the Archives...
The Blood Sport we call in America, Politics (Parts 1-10)
The Tomorrow people parts 1-9
The Apocalypse (The First Gospel) 40 part series [ Nov 2012-Sept 2013]
There are 20 less angels on earth tonight The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless We add our prayers to all of yours for the 20 angels we lost ... Three Years past and no help in sight!
Typically, religion involves a significant social dimension. Beliefs, rituals, ethical/moral scruples — these all characteristically find expression socially, whether in participation in the religious acts of a given group, or through interpersonal relations shaped by religious convictions and teachings. Moreover, religion often is part of what comprises and identifies a given social group, such as a people, a nation, or a tribe. We typically are members of such "traditional" social groups by birth, and the religion of such groups is typically "inherited" along with the rest of what it means to be part of them.
Even "voluntaristic" religion — that is, religion that people subscribe to by personal choice (through conversion, for example) — characteristically involves a social dimension. To make this or that religious affirmation typically involves associating with others who share one's particular religious stance. The social entity with which the convert associates might be small, such as a localized circle of fellow adherents, or it might be larger, perhaps a religious movement, a sect, or a denomination.
The geographical extent of such a larger social entity may be local or trans-local, perhaps even international. In some cases, the social composition of a voluntaristic religious group, whether local or broader in scope, may cross lines of ethnicity, gender, age, economic level, and social status.
But, whether a person's religion is an inherited tradition or a voluntary choice, there is a social dimension, and there are social and even political consequences involved that are to be reckoned with in understanding stance of a given group affirms and reinforces it, and each participant also receives, whether implicitly or explicitly, affirmation as part of the group and the benefits of participation in the group.
On the other hand, to dissent or to withhold participation in the religious stance of a given group can have more negative consequences. In the case of a traditional religion, it can mean that a dissenter, or merely someone who does not openly show observance of the religion, can be regarded by the group as behaving suspiciously, and perhaps can be seen as subversive, a threat to the solidarity and cohesion of the group, or at least a bit of a troublemaker. In the case of a voluntaristic religious group, those who are not adherents are typically considered in some way outsiders, whether they be regarded more kindly as lost souls who might come to see the validity of the group's religious stance, or are viewed more negatively as infidels, unbelievers, enemies of the truth, perhaps even a spiritually inferior form of humans.
If the religious stance or practice from which one is seen to dissent has an official status or is somehow especially linked with the political structures of the setting, then (whether by intention or not) religious dissent can also be taken as having political implications and can have political as well as social consequences. As I will use the terms in this discussion, "political" consequences involve specifically the actions and attitudes of government officials/representatives (whether local or wider), and "social" consequences have to do with the effects of a religious behavior upon relations with family, neighbors, friends, associates, and the rest of those who make up one's social world.
In the following blog pages, I wish to focus on the social and political consequences of devotion to Jesus for earliest Christians, particularly negative consequences, the social and political costs of being a Christian in the early years of the movement that came to be called "Christianity." As we shall see, the social and political costs involved make it remarkable that the young faith proved as attractive as it obviously was for some, and also may help us understand better the limits of its attraction for others.