Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quirky Religious Web Pages

About a month ago I was looking for some information on St. Cyricus and St. Julitta, because I was curious about the story behind a painting I saw in the National Catalan Art Museum in Barcelona. I came across an interesting reactionary web site called Tradition in Action. It's an interesting website to explore. I especially liked the movie reviews.

This reminds me of a few religious websites that aren't actually reactionary, but are sorta interesting.  The Tradition in Action website describes martyrdom in a way that I can relate to, as when I was a young and impressionable youth several of my co-religionists went to their deaths for their beliefs, and this has always been a deeply meaningful and powerful fact for me.  I'm thinking now of an interesting website that memorializes the ten women martyrs of Shiraz. The little snapshot biographies you get by clicking on photographs of the women at the bottom of the page are worth reading. Let's see, what else from the Baha'i world?  A person I very much admire, Ahang Rabbani also has a good website for keeping an eye on what's going on in Shiraz these days. Incidently, one of my favorite Baha'i websites is Baha'is online.

Now, back to interesting little religious websites.  I recommend we all become familiar with the Mandaeans (one of the groups of Sabians).  Also, it's worth remembering that the Samaritans aren't just an obscure group out of the Bible, they are still active.  Also, although they haven't been in the news much since the wars in Lebanon in the early-to-mid eighties, the Druze are still around. The Zoroastrians (including the Parsis) remain a force for good in this world, powerful beyond their numbers.  And of course, everyone (who knows about them) loves the peaceful Jains. The Mevlevi Sufi school within Islam is also gaining popularity. 

One thing that really annoys me about some of the textbooks or children's books offering introductions to religion is that they will devote significant space to small (but also worthy of attention) groups like the Rastafarians, but entirely ignore Baha'is, Mandaeans, Samaritans, Druze, Zoroastrians, and Jains (well, the Jain's usually get a mention in the sections on Hinduism, along with the Sikhs). We're all part of this great process of worship and awe and morality and self-discovery that is religion, and the more variety the better.  

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