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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in religious imperialism

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: ** Mount Doom ** - 3.  The Slopes of Mount Doom

 Pagan Spring

 

My friend and I are celebrating the break in the winter weather with a walk together.

The sidewalks, icy no longer, are wet with snowmelt. Talking about religious imperialism and imperialist religion, we pass first a church, then a mosque.

Straight-faced, he begins to chant.

One god to rule them all, one god to find them;

one god to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them:

in the land of Israel, where the shadows lie.

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Know Your Enemy: How the Quick-Thinking Pagans of Harran Outwitted the Caliph's Army

It's probably an apocryphal story.

Even so, it's so delicious that you really do have to relish it.

The people of Harran in Mesopotamia had managed to hold on to the Old Worship long after all the other cities in the area had been baptized.

But then, in late 639 or early 640, the Muslim army of 'Iyadh ibn Ghanam approached the city.

According to the Qur'an, all pagans are to be be given a choice between conversion to Islam or death. People of the Book, however, are permitted to retain their religion and live, under Islam, as second-class citizens.

Who, then, are the Peoples of the Book? Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, says the Qur'an. And in one passage it adds: “...and the Sabaeans.”

Who were the Sabaeans? Nobody knows. To this day, there's no scholarly consensus.

As 'Iyadh neared Harran, the gates opened and the city elders rode out to greet the caliph and his army.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Um...M. L. West's Indo-European Poetry and Myth counts, right?
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    To qualify, a community needs a book revealed by a prophet. "Um, yeah, our prophet is Hermes Trismegistos. And our book is anyth
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    There are always precedents for Living Together, always. In these days of deep division, it's important to remember.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    I love the story of Harran, the last haven of Pagan religious freedom in the Middle East...ruled by a dynasty of liberal Muslims!

b2ap3_thumbnail_mayan-zoroastrians.jpg

The Mayans, well known for their devotion to Zoroastrianism.

...
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