Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Krampus and Religious Ritual in Germany

Children, beware the Krampus!  “Long before parents relied on the powers of Santa Claus to monitor their children’s behavior, their counterparts in Alpine villages called on a shaggy-furred, horned creature with a fistful of bound twigs to send the message … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity and Religious Violence, Purity and Pollution, Religiosity, Religious Politics, Rituals and Violence | Leave a comment

Islamic Radicalism or Mental Instability?

Originally posted on Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives:
A driver deliberately drove his car into pedestrians in Dijon, France, injuring at least eleven people. The driver aggressively swerved into pedestrians at five different locations in the city on the evening of…

Posted in Islam and Religious Violence, Religious Militants, Religious Minorities, Religious Politics, Religious Terrorism, Religious Violence in the Media | Leave a comment

Religion and Electoral Politics in Israel

Religious tensions and nationalist politics provide a backdrop for the coming election season in Israel. “Uneasiness inhabits Israel, a shadow beneath the polished surface,” according to journalist Roger Cohen. “In a violent Middle Eastern neighborhood of fracturing states, that is … Continue reading

Posted in Islam and Religious Violence, Judaism and Religious Violence, Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Religious Minorities, Religious Nationalism, Religious Politics | Leave a comment

Norton Anthology of World Religions Reviewed

Karen Armstrong reviews The Norton Anthology of World Religions in the New York Times. “At a time when religious faith is coming under intense scrutiny, The Norton Anthology of World Religions is presenting a documentary history of six major faiths … Continue reading

Posted in Christian-Muslim Violence, Christianity and Religious Violence, Islam and Religious Violence, Judaism and Religious Violence, Research on Religious Violence | 1 Comment

Seventeenth-Century “Vampires” in the News

Fear of vampires was common in many parts of seventeenth-century Europe, although vampire beliefs varied widely and did not necessarily correspond to modern notions of vampires, which are strongly influenced by nineteenth-century novels and twentieth-century films. A team of researchers … Continue reading

Posted in Catholicism and Religious Violence, Cultural History of Religion, Death and Burial Practices, Religious Violence in the Media, Research on Religious Violence | Leave a comment

Bans on Atheists in Public Office

More than 50 years after the United States Supreme Court ruled that states could not use a “religious test” for officials, bans on atheists serving in public office remain in many states. According to the New York Times, “Maryland and … Continue reading

Posted in Catholicism and Religious Violence, Christianity and Religious Violence, Law and Religious Intolerance, Protestantism and Religious Violence, Religious Intolerance, Religious Minorities | 1 Comment