Kabbalah | Who Is Melchizedek?

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What is hell?

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention. This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are rewarded with a place in heaven and the wicked are punished in hell, is a core teaching of Christianity.  […]

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Divination, Geomancy, and the Supernatural in Islamic Art

Over 100 rare objects from the 12th to 20th centuries are used to explore the role of the supernatural in Islamic art at the Ashmoleon Museum in Oxford.

Although it has manifested in ways that are manifold, the human belief in the supernatural is something that’s shared across cultures. At a time when misconceptions of Islam have fueled anxiety, such as in the recent US presidential campaign, an exhibition at the University of Oxford is examining the religion through the lens of astrology, divination, and other occult practices to bring to light something that’s universal to our history.  […]

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The Question of Sufi Influence on the Early Kabbalah

No mystical teaching so defines Jewish spirituality as does the Kabbalah. With its roots supposedly sunk in deepest Jewish history-by some accounts stretching all the way back to Moses, Abraham or even Adam-the Kabbalah has remained at the center of Jewish worship from its true inception in the 13th century. Whether scholars believe it to have flowered into being with the Jewish spiritual renaissance of the 13th century, or thought that it was the recovered lore of second century rabbinical elders, one central idea has never been challenged: That the Kabbalah was an entirely Jewish creation. […]

Read more:  http://www.tomblock.com/shalom_sofia

Religious Philosophy:  Jainism – New World Encyclopedia

Jainism (pronounced jayn-izm), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is a dharmic religion with its origins in the prehistory of India, still practiced today by several million people. Jainism has as its religious ideal the perfection of man’s nature. The universe is seen as being eternal—having no beginning and no end—precluding God from being a creator. Perfection of the individual is achieved through the practice of an ascetic life, without any divine assistance. Jain monastics and lay people follow the same fivefold path of nonviolence (ahinsa, or ahimsa); truth (satya); non-stealing (asteya); chastity (brahmacharya); and non-possession or non-possessiveness (aparigraha), but to different degrees.  […]

Source: Jainism – New World Encyclopedia