Archives For Religion


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Amesha Spenta”, (Avestan: “beneficent immortal”), Pahlavi amshaspend, in ZOROASTRIANISM, any of the six divine beings or ARCHANGELS created by AHURA MAZDA, the Wise Lord, to help govern creation. Three are male, three female. Ministers of his power against the evil spirit, AHRIMAN, they are depicted clustered about Ahura Mazda on golden thrones attended by ANGELS. They are the everlasting bestowers of good. They are worshiped separately and each has a special month, festival and flower and presides over an element in the world order. In later Zoroastrianism each is opposed by a specific archfiend.

Of the six, Asha Vahishta (Avestan: Excellent Order, or Truth) and VOHU MANAH are by far the most important. Asha Vahishta is the lawful order of the cosmos according to which all things happen. He presides over fire, sacred to the Zoroastrians as the inner nature of reality. To the devotee he holds out the path of justice and spiritual knowledge. Vohu Manah (Avestan: Good Mind) is the spirit of divine wisdom, illumination, and love. He guided ZOROASTER’s soul before the throne of heaven. He welcomes the souls of the blessed in paradise. Believers are enjoined to “bring down Vohu Manah in your lives on earth” through profound love in marriage and toward one’s fellow man. He presides over domestic animals. Khshathra Vairya (Desirable Dominion), who presides over metal, is the power of Ahura Mazda’s kingdom. The believer can realize this power in action guided by Excellent Order and Good Mind. Spenta Armaiti (Beneficent Devotion), the spirit of devotion and faith, guides and protects the believer. She presides over earth. Haurvatat (Wholeness or Perfection) and Ameretat (Immortality), often mentioned together as sisters, preside over water and plants and may come to the believer in reward for participation in the natures of the other amesha spentas.

(Comeback on 9/16/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “Amidah”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”American Hebrew Congregations, Union Of”, oldest American federation of Jewish congregations (founded 1873, Cincinnati, Ohio).

The union was organized by Rabbi ISAAC MAYER WISE for the immediate purpose of establishing and supporting a seminary for the training of American-born RABBIS. Two years later the union established Hebrew Union College, the first successful rabbinic seminary in the United States. In 1950 this college merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion of New York, founded in 1922 by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. Both institutions were long-time centers of REFORM JUDAISM and are still supported by the union.

The union organized five auxiliary groups: The National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (1913), of Temple Brotherhoods (1923), of Temple Youth (1939), and of Temple Secretaries (1943) and the National Association of Temple Educators (1955). Each group operates independently within the union and promotes those activities that best suit it. The union has sponsored or cosponsored religious schools, teacher seminars, a correspondence school, student study groups, and leadership training courses, often in cooperation with other groups.

The union, now numbering nearly 900 Reform congregations (including several in Canada), is affiliated with the World Union for Progressive (Reform) JUDAISM and maintains headquarters in New York City.

(Comeback on 9/14/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “Amesha Spenta”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)”, organization to promote peace and reconciliation through programs of social service and public information, founded by American and Canadian Friends (Quakerssee FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF) in 1917. In World War I, the AFSC helped conscientious objectors to find alternative-service possibilities, and this was continued during World War II. In peacetime the AFSC continued such national and international programs as community development, racial reconciliation, racial reconciliation, aid to migrant workers, relief to civilians in war-torn areas, and refugee work. Its program of Voluntary International Service Assignments (VISA) served as a model for the U.S. Peace Corps. In 1947 the AFSC was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace jointly with the Friends Service Council, its British counterpart. AFSC headquarters are in Philadelphia.

(Comeback on 9/14/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “American Hebrew Congregations, Union Of”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Amen”, expression of agreement, confirmation, or desire used in worship by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The meaning of the Semitic root from which it is derived is “firm,” “fixed,” or “sure,” and the related Hebrew verb means “to be reliable” and “to be trusted.” The Greek OLD TESTAMENT usually translates amen as “so be it”; in the English BIBLE it is often rendered as “verily,” or truly.”

In its earliest use in the Bible, the amen occurred initially and referred back to the words of another speaker with whom there was agreement. It usually introduced an affirmative statement. The use of the initial amen, single or double in form, to introduce solemn statements of Jesus in the Gospels (77 times in the Gospels) had no parallel in Jewish practice. Such amens expressed the certainty and truthfulness of the statement that followed.

Use of the amen in Jewish temple liturgy as a response by the people at the close of a DOXOLOGY or other prayer uttered by a priest seems to have been common as early as the time of the 4th century BCE. This Jewish liturgical use of amen was adopted by the Christians. JUSTIN MARTYR (2nd century CE) indicated that amen was used in the liturgy of the EUCHARIST and was later introduced into the baptismal service.

A final amen, added by a speaker who offered thanksgiving or prayers, public or private, to sum up and confirm what he himself had said, is found in the Psalms and is common in the NEW TESTAMENT. Jews used amen to conclude prayers in ancient times, and Christians closed every prayer with it. As HYMNS became more popular, the use of the final amen was extended.

Although Muslims make little use of amen, it is stated after every recital of the first SURA.

(Comeback on 9/13/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “American Friends Service Committee”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Saint Ambrose”, (b. c. 339 CE, Augusta Treverorum, Belgica, Gaul [Trier, Ger.]—d. 397, Milan; feast day December 7), bishop of Milan, biblical critic, and initiator of ideas that gave a model for conceptions of church-state relations.

Ambrose was reared in Rome by his widowed mother and his elder sister Marcellina, a nun. Duly promoted to the governorship of Aemilia-Liguria in c. 370, he lived at Milan and was unexpectedly acclaimed as sen as a compromise candidate to avoid a disputed election, and thus changed from an unbaptized layman to a bishop in eight days.

An imperial court frequently sat in Milan. In confrontations with this court, Ambrose showed a directness that combined the republican ideal of the prerogatives of a Roman senator with a vein of demagoguery. In 384 he secured the rejection of an appeal for tolerance by non-Christian members of the Roman senate, whose spokesman, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, was his relative. In 388 he rebuked the emperor Theodosius for having punished a bishop who had burnt a Jewish SYNAGOGUE. On the other hand, he served as a loyal and resourceful diplomat. In his letters and in his funeral orations on the emperors Valentinian II and Theodosius, Ambrose established the medieval concept of a Christian emperor as a dutiful son of the church “serving under  orders from Christ,” and so subject to the advice and strictures of his bishop.

Ambrose’s relations with the emperors formed only part of his commanding position among the lay governing class of Italy. He absorbed Greek learning, Christian and non-Christian alike—notably the works of PHILO JUDAEUS, ORIGEN, ST. BASIL THE GREAT of Caesarea, and Plotinus (see NEOPLATONISM). This learning he used in sermons expounding the BIBLE and, especially, in defending the “spiritual” meaning of the OLD TESTAMENT. He also composed important treatises, including On the Holy Spirit, On the Duties of Ministers, and On the Mysteries. Sermons, the dating of which unfortunately remains uncertain, were Ambrose’s main literary output and remain an important source on the transmission of Greek philosophy and theology in the West. By such sermons Ambrose gained his most notable convert, AUGUSTINE, afterward bishop of Hippo in North Africa.

Ambrose introduced new Eastern melodies to the West with his HYMNS—e.g., “Aeterne rerum Conditor” (“Framer of the Earth and Sky”) and “Deus Creator omnium” (“Maker of All Things, God Most High”). He advocated the most austere ASCETICISM: noble families were reluctant to let their marriageable daughters attend the sermons in which he urged upon them the crowning virtue of virginity.

Although Ambrose may have imposed his will on emperors, he never considered himself as a precursor of a polity in which the church dominated the state: for he acted from a fear that CHRISTIANITY might yet be eclipsed by a non-Christian nobility. In a near-contemporary mosaic in the chapel of S. Satiro in the church of S. Ambrogio, Milan, Ambrose appears as he wished to be seen: a simple Christian bishop clasping the book of Gospels. For Augustine, he was the model bishop: a biography was written in 412 by Paulinus, deacon of Milan, at Augustine’s instigation.

(Comeback on 9/12/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “Amen”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar”, (b. April 14, 1891, Mhow, India—d. Dec 6, 1956, New Delhi), most influential leader of the DALIT (“Oppressed”) groups, also identified as the Harijans (“Children of God”), UNTOUCHABLES, or scheduled-caste or low-caste Indians.

Born of an untouchable MAHAR family of western India, he was as a boy humiliated by his high-caste schoolfellows. Awarded a scholarship by the Gaekwar (the ruler) of Baroda, he studied at Columbia University (Ph.D.) and the University of London (D.Sci.), passing the bar from Gray’s Inn. He entered the Baroda Public Service at the Gaekwar’s request, but, again ill-treated by colleagues, he turned to legal practice and teaching. He soon established his leadership among the scheduled CASTES, founded several journals on their behalf, instituted depressed-classes conferences, and succeeded in obtaining special representation for them in the legislative councils of the government.

In 1947 Ambedkar became the law minister of the government of India. He took a leading part in the farming of the Indian constitution, outlawing discrimination against untouchables. He resigned in 1951, disappointed at his lack of influence in the government. In October 1956, in despair because of the perpetuation of untouchability in Hindu practice, Ambedkar honored a vow he had made two decades earlier an renounced HINDUISM to become a Buddhist. Some 200,000 fellow untouchables joined him at a ceremony in Nagpur. This began a revitalization of BUDDHISM in India that has been called “engaged Buddhism.” Pictures and statues of Ambedkar are familiar features of the Indian public landscape. In many circles his status as a secular saint rivals that of GANDHI.

(Comeback on 9/11/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “Saint Ambrose”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


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