The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries

Author: David Ulansey
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195067886
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Religion

This volume sets forth a new explanation of the meaning of the cult of Mithraism, tracing its origins not, as commonly held, to the ancient Persian religion, but to ancient astronomy and cosmology.

Mithras

Author: D. Jason Cooper
Publisher: Weiser Books
ISBN: 1609257138
Release Date: 1996-06-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Known as Mitra to the Indians, Mithra and Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek) to the Iranians, and Mithras to the Romans, this is the oldest of all living deities. Mithras was recognized as the greatest rival of Christianity, a greater threat even than the religion of Isis. If Rome had not become Christian, it would have become Mithrasian. Mithraisians had a sacrament that included wine as a symbol of sacrificial blood. Bread in wafers, or small loaves marked with a cross, was used to symbolize flesh. The priestly symbols were a staff, a ring, a hat, and a hooked sword; members were called brothers, and priests were called "Father." Mithras was born on December 25th. He offered salvation based on faith, compassion, knowledge, and valor. He appealed to the poor, the slave and the freeman, as well as to the Roman aristocracy, the militia, and even to some emperors. The Christians sacked his temples, burned his books, and attacked his followers; they desecrated his temples, and built their own churches on the same foundations as the old Mithraic temples. Cooper examines Mithras and his religion in the most complete study ever done. He explores the various forms of this god--worshiped from Lisbon to modrn Bangladesh, from the Scottish border to the Russian Steppes--and investigates the worship. This is an exciting journey into living mythology, the history of a living god, and will fascinate modern Western readers who want to know more about the spiritual path--whether they want to better understand contemporary Christianity, the basis of many contemporary ideaologies, mythology, or the Western Mystery Tradition.

The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code

Author: Sharan Newman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0425200124
Release Date: 2005-01
Genre: History

A medieval scholar examines the historical facts and myths behind the best-selling novel, including discussions on the Templars, the Holy Grail, and the "Apocryphal Gospels."

Exploring the New Testament World

Author: Albert Bell
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781418587062
Release Date: 1998-09-18
Genre: Religion

The timeless message of the New Testament applies to people of every culture and generation. Yet there is great value in understanding the world in which that message was first revealed - its social manners, politics, religious customs, and culture. Exploring the New Testament World, written by classics and Bible scholar Dr. Albert A. Bell, Jr., illuminates the living context of the New Testament, immersing its readers in the intriguing world of Jesus and the early church. An authority on ancient Greek and Roman language, culture, and history, Dr. Bell writes in a readable style that is accessible and enjoyable to any reader - an uncommon accomplishment among New Testament scholars today. Surveying Jewish factions of the era, the social and political structure of the Roman Empire, and the philosophies and religions that surrounded the early church, Dr. Bell helps his readers learn to think like first-century Jews, Greeks, and Romans, illuminating puzzling New Testament passages for clear understanding. Comprehensive Scripture and Subject Indexes make this volume even more useful as a "manners and customs" Bible companion. This authoritative guide receives high praise from college professors and Sunday school teachers alike, proving its appeal to both popular and academic audiences. A "must-have" reference for every pastor and an indispensable resource to any Bible reader.

Ancient Astronomy

Author: Clive L. N. Ruggles
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9781851094776
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Science

Long before astronomy was a science, humans used the stars to mark time, navigate, organize planting and dramatize myths. This encyclopaedia draws on archaeological evidence and oral traditions to reveal how prehistoric humans perceived the skies and celestial phenomena.

The Mind of Mithraists

Author: Luther H. Martin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781472584212
Release Date: 2014-11-20
Genre: Religion

The Roman cult of Mithras was the most widely-dispersed and densely-distributed cult throughout the expanse of the Roman Empire from the end of the first until the fourth century AD, rivaling the early growth and development of Christianity during the same period. As its membership was largely drawn from the ranks of the military, its spread, but not its popularity is attributable largely to military deployments and re-deployments. Although mithraists left behind no written archival evidence, there is an abundance of iconographic finds. The only characteristic common to all Mithraic temples were the fundamental architecture of their design, and the cult image of Mithras slaying a bull. How were these two features so faithfully transmitted through the Empire by a non-centralized, non-hierarchical religious movement? The Minds of Mithraists: Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras addresses these questions as well as the relationship of Mithraism to Christianity, explanations of the significance of the tauroctony and of the rituals enacted in the mithraea, and explanations for the spread of Mithraism (and for its resistance in a few places). The unifying theme throughout is an investigation of the 'mind' of those engaged in the cult practices of this widespread ancient religion. These investigations represent traditional historical methods as well as more recent studies employing the insights of the cognitive sciences, demonstrating that cognitive historiography is a valuable methodological tool.

An Introduction to the New Testament Second Edition

Author: Charles B. Puskas
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 9781621893318
Release Date: 2011-06-16
Genre: Religion

Studying the New Testament requires a determination to encounter this collection of writings on its own terms. This classic introduction by Charles B. Puskas, revised with C. Michael Robbins, provides helpful guidance. Since the publication of the first edition, which was in print for twenty years, a host of new and diverse cultural, historical, social-scientific, socio-rhetorical, narrative, textual, and contextual studies has been examined. Attentive also to the positive reviews of the first edition, the authors retain the original tripartite arrangement on 1) the world of the New Testament, 2) interpreting the New Testament, and 3) Jesus and early Christianity. This volume supplies readers with pertinent primary and secondary material. The new edition carries on a genuine effort to be nonsectarian, and although it is more of a critical introduction than a general survey, it is recommended to midlevel college and seminary students and to anyone who wants to be better informed about the New Testament.

The Astrology Book

Author: James R Lewis
Publisher: Visible Ink Press
ISBN: 9781578593019
Release Date: 2003-03-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

The scientific, historic, and popular basis behind the ancient art of astrology is explored in this comprehensive reference. The guide also includes a table of astrological glyphs and abbreviations, a section on casting a chart, and a chapter that explains and interprets every planet in every house and sign.

Teaching Mysticism

Author: William B. Parsons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190208639
Release Date: 2011-12-16
Genre: Religion

The term ''mysticism'' has never been consistently defined or employed, either in religious traditions or in academic discourse. The essays in this volume offer ways of defining what mysticism is, as well as methods for grappling with its complexity in a classroom. This volume addresses the diverse literature surrounding mysticism in four interrelated parts. The first part includes essays on the tradition and context of mysticism, devoted to drawing out and examining the mystical element in many religious traditions. The second part engages traditions and religio-cultural strands in which ''mysticism'' is linked to other terms, such as shamanism, esotericism, and Gnosticism. The volume's third part focuses on methodological strategies for defining ''mysticism,'' with respect to varying social spaces. The final essays show how contemporary social issues and movements have impacted the meaning, study, and pedagogy of mysticism. Teaching Mysticism presents pedagogical reflections on how best to communicate mysticism from a variety of institutional spaces. It surveys the broad range of meanings of mysticism, its utilization in the traditions, the theories and methods that have been used to understand it, and provides critical insight into the resulting controversies.

World Saviors and Messiahs of the Roman Empire 28 Bce 135 Ce

Author: Milo Kearney
Publisher:
ISBN: STANFORD:36105210263203
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: History

This book seeks to achieve a better understanding of Jesus and of the birth of Christianity by placing them in the context of twenty-some living World Saviors and Messiahs who apeared in the first century-and-a-half of the Roman Empire (here defined as the Soterial Age or the Age of Saviors).

Mysteries of Mithra

Author: Franz Valery Marie Cumont
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
ISBN: 9781602062757
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Genre: Religion

Mithraism was a Roman mystery cult that drew upon the mythology of Mithras from the Persian Zoroastrian religion. In this unique book, first published in 1903, Cumont explains how the Roman version differed from the original worship of Mithras and then identifies those rituals that have some historical accuracy. Often, the Roman rituals preserved only the external trappings of Zoroastrian worship, such as using animals skins during rites and designating caves as holy places. Cumont also shows his readers how Mithraism adopted beliefs and rituals from other sources as well, creating the cult in its fully realized form. He then goes on to show how the cult fell from favor and was finally overwhelmed by Christianity. Students of history and religion, as well as anyone interested in cult religions, will find this book an intriguing journey through an obscure era.Belgian archaeologist and historian FRANZ-VALERY-MARIE CUMONT (1869-1947) wrote numerous books, often making use of his interest in philology and the study of instructions. Among his books is Life After Roman Paganism (1922).

Jesus Christ Sun of God

Author: David Fideler
Publisher:
ISBN: 0835606961
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

The early Christian Gnosis did not spring up in isolation, but drew upon earlier sources. In this book, many of these sources are revealed for the first time. Special emphasis is placed on the Hellenistic doctrine of the "Solar Logos" and the early Christian symbolism which depicted Christ as the Spiritual Sun, the illumination source of order, harmony, and spiritual insight. Based on 15 years of research, this is a unique book which throws a penetrating light on the secret traditions of early Christianity. It clearly demonstrates that number is at the heart of being. Jesus Christ, Sun of God, illustrates how the Christian symbolism of the Spiritual Sun is derived from numerical symbolism of the "ancient divinities."