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Detail Da Vinci’s The Last Supper by Giacomo Raffaelli. Judas seated second right. Alberto Fernandez Fernandez [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Why Judas was actually more of a saint, than a sinner

Judas has had a 2,000-year raw deal. Here's why it's time for a rethink.
In the Netherlands, the tradition goes that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, wears a red clerical robe and a bishop’s mitre, and has servants called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters). from www.shutterstock.com

Schnapps, whipping and sacks: how Christmas traditions evolved around the world

The celebration of Christmas has distinct variations around the world, with many of these local traditions arising from particular historical circumstances.
The virgin birth at the heart of Christianity has many corresponding versions in other ancient traditions. Detail from a panel by Conrad von Soest, 1403. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: virgin mothers and miracle babies

Biblical scholars and theologians have long discussed, debated and disputed the virgin birth of Jesus, with some arguing that there is no imperative to link it to the doctrine of the Incarnation.
The method used, until recently, by a large proportion of scholars of the New Testament and Christian origins, is flawed. Roberto Urrea

Getting the gist of a ‘historical’ Jesus: the Jesus Seminar 30 years on

Traditions about Jesus cannot be separated out into the categories of early and late, primary and secondary, authentic or inauthentic, fact and interpretation. One might as well try and unscramble an omelette.
Square away your personal philosophy now; proof of life beyond earth is coming. Stargazing image via www.shutterstock.com

Is your religion ready to meet ET?

Astronomers have found thousands of exoplanets and the hunt is on for life beyond Earth. Once biological neighbors are identified, our planet’s philosophies and religions will need to adapt.

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