This is the latest addition (early September). I've been having a discussion recently in the newsgroup sci.archaeology (and others) about the evolution of the earliest technologically advanced civilizations in the Americas. Is it possible that those cultures, many thousands of years before Columbus arrived from Europe, were in some sort of a contact with the Old World civilizations? Find out more...
The Gospel of Thomas is a very important document that casts much new light on early Christian history. But why does it cast _new light_? Isn't this document very ancient? It sure is. Exactly how ancient it is is still a matter of some discussion. The overwhelming majority of Thomas scholars believe it is one of the earliest Christian documents, and most of it should be dated in the first century. And it gives us many new insights because it was discovered in its complete form only in 1945, in Egypt, as part of the Egyptian Gnostic Library. Before that, this document was believed to have been lost (or, rather, supressed by Church authorities).
Here you will find a discussion of the place of the Gospel of Thomas in early Christian history. This discussion took place not so long ago on the academic discussion list dedicated to first century Judaism and Christianity.
Articles about Teilhard de Chardin were added recently (you will find them at the end of this file).
Here is a link to Part 1 of an article I posted about Robert Graves, this very important thinker and mythologist. Part 2 comes here. This was posted recently in (among others)
one of my favourite newsgroups on the Usenet.
Is Utopia too utopian? Can we talk meaningfully about a "Happy Future" for humanity? This article looks at Utopia from the perspective of SOCIOBIOLOGY, an exciting new science that is concerned with the nature of the Human Nature. A version of this was posted on Alexandria, one of the mailing lists (LISTSERVs) I read.
Here you will find an article I posted about Norman Cohn's book COSMOS, CHAOS, AND THE WORLD TO COME and theories about Persian/Zoroastrian influence on Judaism.
Many people have speculated that the Gospel of John contains strong Gnostic influences. Since the discovery, in the 1940s, in the Egyptian desert of the mysterious Gnostic library of Nag Hammadi, these suspicions received some new confirmation... An article about connections between John and the Gnostic tractate TRIMORPHIC PROTENNOIA from Nag Hammadi can be found here. This was posted on an early Christian history mailing list (where members seemed to like it).
Nietzsche has always been both a bete noire and an enfant terrible for many a social theorist. My take on the old Friedrich...
This is a file posted in the Usenet by Aaron Wells that contains some good information about how women played a much greater role in the early Church than is generally thought.
Here are some additions to this page (May 6, '96).
This is an article I posted recently on Early Church history list in regard to St. Augustine and the Manicheans. Had St. Augustine, a Manichean for many years prior to his conversion to the Catholic faith, ever managed to rid himself completely of Mani's influence? (Manicheanism was a very powerful religious movement in late antiquity, and also during the European Middle Ages. It had many Gnostic connections. If you wish to learn more about Mani and his followers, please click on the Gnostic link from my Index page.)
Here are some postings I made on Ancient Judaism mailing list on the subject of Anti-Semitism in the New Testament. Can the Christian Scriptures be considered as Anti-Semitic? Find out. (In these postings I discuss the subject with some rather knowledgeable academics whose objections were answered in detail. This is just a partial selection of a much longer discussion.)
When speaking about our overpopulated world, the role of the Catholic Church, and the Vatican's highly irresponsible policies in regard to birth control are often brought up. Some people say that the role of the Vatican in this is rather limited. In this long article, written by Stephen Mumford, the question is looked at in detail. Specifically, he analyzes the rather pernicious influence the Church exersized on the U.S. Foreign Aid policy in the crucial time period in the late sixties and early seventies when the Nixon and Ford administrations were ready to spend a lot of money to assist many 3rd World governments to provide contraception assistance to their impoverished peoples.
Teilhard de Chardin. Nowadays, the name of this seminal thinker is hardly known to anybody under 50 years old or so. Why is he better known among older people? The answer is simple, his name was very fashionable in the late 60s and early 70s, when there was a sort of a fashion to talk about his theories, regardless of whether one read any of his very difficult and complex books or not... Teilhard was probably the first philosopher to talk about the spirituality of evolution, and how Christian faith can be understood from the evolutionary point of view. He was a Jesuit scientist, a world authority in paleontology, but his philosophical books were banned from publication by his superiors during his lifetime. Although he is not widely talked about now (but recently WIRED magazine mentioned him a few times), his influence is still very strong under the surface of things. He directly influenced a number of Creation Theologians and eco-philosophers (among them Thomas Berry, and Matthew Fox). These articles about Teilhard de Chardin were written by Beatrix Murrell.
That's all for now.
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