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Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-09-30, 2:30
by Ser
vijayjohn wrote:True, a lot of people were not forced to convert to a monotheistic religion, and there are a variety of reasons why people did (and still do). But I'm not sure there has ever been a situation where all the members of a (polytheistic?) religion converted to a monotheistic one without the use of force.

Of course, it's also not the case that everyone has completely abandoned ancient religions. I think it's fair to say that you can find plenty of examples of people continuing to practice ancient religions in India (just as an example).

Yes. The Chinese and the Japanese, as another example, continue to practise their ancient religions, even if at a smaller scale and importance than they used to.

I might be an atheist, but it does somewhat annoy me that much of this abandonment has happened as intentional eradication carried out by Christianity and Islam, and that this is not recognized as such. Greco-Roman polytheism fell under the persecution to death under Christian emperors and leaders, particularly Theodosius I; Iceland converted to Christianity under threat of war; Lithuania did so under actual war; Arabian paganism is completely gone; and let's not even talk about the indigenous of the Americas...

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-01, 15:11
by linguoboy
Aurinĭa wrote:The early christians weren't forced to convert. They weren't persecuted either, as long as they paid lip service to the Roman gods (because not doing so would mean disrespecting the emperor by not recognising him as a god). From what I remember from Latin class, some of those early converts to christianity did so because they saw it as a more attractive, hands-on religion rather than distant gods who were only ever out for their own benefit anyway.

There's an extremely interesting book on the subject called The barbarian conversions by Richard A. Fletcher. As the title suggests, his focus is more on conversions during the Migration Period and later (up to the forcible conversion of the Balts), but he does include a discussion of the early spread of Christianity.

He makes the point that, for the Germanic tribes and their ilk, conversion was closely tried to participating in Mediterranean-derived material culture. My favourite anecdote about this is the Vikings who "converted" every year at Easter because you got a free shirt with every baptism. Ian Buruma makes a similar point in his Bad elements, which concerns political dissidents in East and Southeast Asia. They are disproportionately Christian and he tries to make a connexion between religion and embracing Western political culture.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-01, 18:39
by vijayjohn
Lower-caste people in Kerala at least also seem to view conversion to either Christianity or Islam (depending on who you ask, as there seems to be some disagreement on the point of which specific religion really has this effect) as a means of upward social mobility, though I'm not quite sure how this works since discrimination against them persists no matter what religion they profess.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-18, 17:44
by Antea
Do you know if Sufism is a sensitive question for Muslims? I just read an Arabic poem that was described as religious, but its words referred to love, as if to love between humans. I wanted to be fixed about the meaning of the poem (because it’s not same if it is a love poem or a religious poem), and I asked about it.

They told me it was a Sufi poem, and when I asked how could they know that, I mean, be sure about it or recognise a Sufi poem, nobody answered me. I wonder if this is a sensitive point :hmm: I know almost nothing about it.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-19, 3:28
by vijayjohn
Maybe they felt it was self-explanatory or something? What other kinds of Muslim poems are there that refer to love?

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-19, 5:37
by Antea
So, I read something about it (about Sufism) on internet, and it seems that love is really an important thing to experience mysticism or the knowledge of God. And that they express themselves very often in these terms when referring to God, like the Beloved.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-19, 9:45
by Aurinĭa
vijayjohn wrote:Maybe they felt it was self-explanatory or something? What other kinds of Muslim poems are there that refer to love?

Have you ever read any part of 1001 Nights? It's full of poems about love (and lust) for another human being.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-10-19, 12:31
by vijayjohn
Aurinĭa wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Maybe they felt it was self-explanatory or something? What other kinds of Muslim poems are there that refer to love?

Have you ever read any part of 1001 Nights? It's full of poems about love (and lust) for another human being.

But those aren't religious literature, are they?

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-05, 17:28
by Yasna
The art of debunking at its finest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmrv9NSKKYE

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-20, 20:26
by Yasna
How common is it for Muslims to own a translated Koran? I realize that reading the Koran in translation is frowned up, but that doesn't rule out things working differently in practice.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-20, 21:24
by voron
Yasna wrote:How common is it for Muslims to own a translated Koran? I realize that reading the Koran in translation is frowned up, but that doesn't rule out things working differently in practice.

In Turkey -- very common. There are either literary translations, or word for word translations, or both in the same book. If a person cannot understand Arabic, they will buy a version with a translation -- and it's not frowned upon. Reading a translation is better than not reading at all.

EDIT: I want to make it clear that the copy always contains the original Arabic text, alongside a translation. I have never seen a copy with translation only.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-21, 5:58
by Ser
One day at a university I was attending at the time, the association of Muslim students put up a multiple-table stand in the students' lounge, and there I saw some English-only Qur'ans. I don't know how common those books are, but there they were.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-21, 14:25
by mōdgethanc
I had an English Qur'an (which wasn't very good) before getting a much better bilingual one. I'm thinking the group you saw doing that might've been Ahmadi. There are a fair number of them in large Canadian cities and they're known for proselytizing, and I've seen them give out English Qur'ans and other materials intended for non-Muslims.

Translations of the Qur'an aren't the real text according to Islamic doctrine, but I'm sure many Muslims haven't read the original text (just like how many Christians have never read the whole Bible) and they may memorize prayers without fully understanding their meaning.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 17:04
by Yasna
voron wrote:In Turkey -- very common. There are either literary translations, or word for word translations, or both in the same book. If a person cannot understand Arabic, they will buy a version with a translation -- and it's not frowned upon. Reading a translation is better than not reading at all.

EDIT: I want to make it clear that the copy always contains the original Arabic text, alongside a translation. I have never seen a copy with translation only.

Interesting. So it seems like the expectation of publishers at least is that the translation will not be read without reference to the original.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 21:50
by Antea
Today I was talking with somebody about religious festivities in different religions, and I mentioned the “Jewish Easter”, because in Spanish I had heard something about the “Pascua judia”, and they told me that in Jewish religion the didn’t have any Easter festivity :roll:

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 21:52
by vijayjohn
Pascua judía is called Passover in English.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 21:58
by Antea
Yes, that was a really a translation issue. I didn’t knew how to translate this expression. They should have thought that I was really ignorant thinking that they celebrated Easter like in Christianism. I don’t even understand why we call it “Pascua judía” in Spanish :hmm:

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:06
by vijayjohn
Easter is linked to Passover, and pascua comes from פסח‬, which is the Hebrew term for Passover.

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:12
by Antea
Ahh, Ok, I didn’t know. So Pascua is derived from the Hebrew word, and not the other way round, it seems logical...But Easter, then :hmm:

Re: Random Religion Thread

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:14
by Antea
I’ve looked in Wikipedia and it’s a pre-Christian term... :hmm: