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Happy Slaughters from Turkey: An Insider’s View of a National Islamic Tradition

Happy Slaughters from Turkey: An Insider’s View of a National Islamic Tradition

By Teo Sagisman…..
This week the Turks are celebrating an age-old tradition, known as Eid al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) in Arabic. Called Kurban Bayrami in Turkish, this tradition is both religiously and culturally important to many Turks. Kurban Bayrami is a long extended holiday, equivalent to the importance and length of the Christmas celebrations in the western world. The 4,0000 year-old story behind the Feast of the Sacrifice is common to all Abrahamic religions – Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but in the modern world, only adherents to Islam commemorate it in a literal way. As the story is told in the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible, and the Quran, God tested Abraham’s faith by telling him to sacrifice his beloved son.

Burning Jesus, Mary, and the Prophets

Burning Jesus, Mary, and the Prophets

A “Muslim Gospel,” Khalidi points out, even overflows the pages of the Qur’an: for nearly a thousand years (from the 8th-18th centuries CE), stories and sayings attributed to Isa continued to emerge in Islamic written and oral traditions. While this Jesus is Islamic in tone, a clear Biblical voice is evident. In one of the earliest of these, “Jesus said to his people,”…

Sacred and the Strange: The Good Samaritan in Context

Sacred and the Strange: The Good Samaritan in Context

By Kate Daley-Bailey….
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (the Gospel of Luke 10:25-37) is probably one of the best- known parables from the Christian New Testament. In the U.S. the phrase ‘good Samaritan’ is commonly understood to describe someone who has gone out of their way to help another. This phrase has been thoroughly secularized and one need not be a Christian to know its meaning. You voluntarily carry your elderly neighbor’s groceries… you are a ‘good Samaritan.’ You clean up someone else’s litter on the side walk… you are a ‘good Samaritan.’

The “Business” of Being Christian: The Ethics of Usury

The “Business” of Being Christian: The Ethics of Usury

By Kate Daley-Bailey….
For thousands of years, the Christian Church has identified “usury” as a sin… however various theologians and scholars living within these thousands of years disagreed over exactly what “usury” was and was not. A brief exploration of the term “usury” (and its multiple manifestations) may lead us to a better understanding of what was actually being prohibited by various religious communities, especially Christian ones.

The Problem of Identity

The Problem of Identity

Originating in the Hebrew Bible, The Ten Commandments were later adopted by the other scriptural monotheists in the Abraham tradition: Christianity and Islam. I Am, more than simply a concept of self, imparts a sense of identity. The concept of identity for the Hebrews, early Christians or Muslims may have been more community oriented, with God being the primary holder of individualistic identity, but in the modern post-Enlightenment world, identity has become multiple and individual.

The Arrival of Extraterrestrials on the American Religious Landscape

The Arrival of Extraterrestrials on the American Religious Landscape

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By Kenny Smith
Writing for Beliefnet.com in an essay enticingly entitled, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?,” Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno argues that, although it is commonly assumed that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would signal “the death of religion, most religious people don’t see it that way at all… God created the whole universe. There’s nothing that makes one place more special than another….