Randy Ryder as a baby being cradled in a Malaga hospital in 1971 by the woman who bought him.
Between the 1930’s and 1970’s the Catholic Church and government in Spain allegedly trafficked anywhere from 30,000 to 300,000 children. Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals. Continue reading
The ruins of the Temple of Saturn still dominate the west end of the Forum in Rome
“Io Saturnalia!” Two thousand years ago this was the seasonal greeting which would have chimed out across most of Europe, not “Merry Christmas”. The Roman mid-winter festival of misrule has heavily influenced many Christmas traditions – including the time of year we celebrate. Continue reading
Tug-of-war: An archaeologist has called on the Vatican to return the bones of St Nicholas, pictured (top) when he was the Bishop of Myra in Turkey in the 4th century and (bottom) as he is depicted now, to his home town
Very little is known about St. Nicholas’s life, except that in the fourth century he was the bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. One of the legends surrounding him is that he saved three sisters from being forced into prostitution by their poverty-stricken father by throwing three bags of gold into their room, thus providing each of them with a dowry. This may be the source of St. Nicholas’s association with gift giving. Continue reading
Can Christian faith be reconciled with an historical approach to Jesus and the Bible?
Harold W. Attridge:
The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament Yale Divinity Schoo
How as a scholar and a historian do you reconcile studying the Bible in a rationalist way with your Christian faith?
I suppose it’s an important part of my theological commitment that I believe that Jesus was divine in some way, but that it was Jesus who was divine. It was a human being who was divine. And that the tradition of Christianity insists very strongly on the full humanity of Jesus. And so, if I’m to understand my faith as a Christian, Continue reading
One of the indicators that the Bible is the product of self-interested men is how it treats the issue of testing, both God’s testing of human beings as well as the nearly total injunction against testing God, except when it comes to tithing. Continue reading
Image by Jason McKim’s Old Account via Flickr
Christians are told: don’t use your head if you want to keep your faith. Whatever you do, don’t let these people make you think about it. Continue reading
Midvinterblot. Painting by Carl Larsson in the Swedish National museum’s stairway (detail march 2008.)
Christmas controversy refers to controversy or disagreement surrounding the celebration or acknowledgment of the Christmas holiday in government, media, advertising and various secular environments. In the past, Christmas-related controversy was mainly restricted to concerns of a public focus on secular Christmas themes such as Santa Claus and gift giving rather than what is sometimes expressed by Christians as the “reason for the season”—the birth of Jesus. Continue reading