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August 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm #11734AethelingParticipant
I had a Christian upbringing and I have the greatest respect for the stories of my tradition. They teach values that I wish more of us had, myself included. But learning about the history of the Bible and being exposed to a greater world view of other cultures and traditions, I don't think truth is franchised exclusively anywhere. If you think I am wrong, you are certainly welcome to pray for my salvation. But lets not beat it to death here, please. I understand and respect your faith. Let's talk history.
I also agree with Arb on this one (and with Sky aswell)I attempted to be part of this debate about religion in this forum but I feel this is too much sensitive (sensible) to go further as there is another forum specifically dedicated to religion. http://www.christian-legacies.com/ (correction)August 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm #11735arbarnhartParticipant
It is especially tricky in a forum like this. It would be very difficult to leave the Catholic Church out of any serious discussion of the Middle Ages. But I will try to refrain from interpreting scripture and just stick to events as we know them in history. My answer to the original question remains the same – I don't think the statement is correct. I think that religions with many followers sprang up in other places.August 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm #11736
The point of my original post was to see if there was or could be any consensus on why the great evangelizing religions came out of the middle east. It was never my intent to get into theological debates or even comparative theology debates. What is it about the waste of the Middle East that called forth these religions. I have been to the region and did not find anything particularly inspiring, that is why I wonder.August 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm #11737skiguyModerator
I have been to the region and did not find anything particularly inspiring, that is why I wonder.
You've only been there recently though. The region seemed liked it was pretty booming way back 2000-2500 yrs ago.August 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm #11738
Ok, they had cedars in Lebanon, but it was still pretty much desert everywhere though. It is not like the environment in Israel has degraded significantly in the last 2500 or so years. Israel was only flowing with milk and honey because of the Jordan River. That's not really much to brag about. Desolate is a good word to use for even fertile land in the middle East. The wonder is that civilization started there at all, much less three major religions.August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm #11739arbarnhartParticipant
Ok, they had cedars in Lebanon, but it was still pretty much desert everywhere though. It is not like the environment in Israel has degraded significantly in the last 2500 or so years. Israel was only flowing with milk and honey because of the Jordan River. That's not really much to brag about. Desolate is a good word to use for even fertile land in the middle East. The wonder is that civilization started there at all, much less three major religions.
Perhaps civilization was aided by organized religion - laws of nations did not survive regime change the way that church doctrine does. There was some sense of a "law of the land" even outside of recognized borders; a structure under which wrongdoers could be prosecuted.August 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm #11740skiguyModerator
I wonder what the Roman settlements in the ME looked like in their heyday. Some of them were pretty big cities according to many historians.August 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm #11741PhidippidesKeymaster
Religion provides a cultural basis that ordinary laws cannot compete with. Christianity certainly provided a stabilizing foundation in Europe, especially during its many centuries of upheaval after the fall of Rome.August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm #11742
I have read the both Jewish and Muslim dietary laws serve a distinct and necessary public health purpose for the middle east. Most forbidden foods are ones that tend to go bad and make people sick in desert conditions.
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