Book Cover-01Book Cover-01 Chapter 7

  1. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a book or scroll in God’s right hand that is sealed with seven seals. The Lamb of God, or Lion of Judah (Jesus Christ), opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. Although some interpretations differ, in most accounts, the four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.

Chapter 9  

  1. Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious and philosophical tradition based primarily upon pseudoepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine which affirms that a single, true theology exists which is present in all religions and was given by God to man in antiquity. Many Christian writers, including Emerson, Lactantius, Thomas of Aquinas, Augustine, Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, Campanella and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity. The concept was first laid out in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the words “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”

Chapter 11 

  1. The Westboro Baptist Church is an independent Baptist church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality and its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag. The church is widely described as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.
  2. In early Latter Day Saint history, seer stones were stones used, primarily (but not exclusively) by Joseph Smith, Jr., to receive revelations from God. Smith owned at least two seer stones, which he had earlier employed for treasure seeking before he founded the church. Other early Mormons such as Hiram Page, David Whitmer, and Jacob Whitmer also owned seer stones. Seer stones are mentioned in the Book of Mormon and in other Latter Day Saint scriptures. James Strang, who claimed to be Joseph Smith’s designated successor, also unearthed what he said were ancient metal plates and translated them using seer stones.
  3. Mormon fundamentalism is a belief in the validity of selected fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught and practiced in the nineteenth century, particularly during the administration of Brigham Young, an early president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Mormon fundamentalists seek to uphold tenets and practices no longer held by mainstream Mormons (members of the LDS Church). The principle most often associated with Mormon fundamentalism is plural marriage, a form of polygyny first taught by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. A second and closely associated principle is that of the United Order, a form of egalitarian communalism. Mormon fundamentalists believe that these and other principles were wrongly abandoned or changed by the LDS Church in its efforts to become reconciled with mainstream American society.
  4. What is believed to be the Maccabees’ relics—kept in the Maccabees Shrine—is venerated in St. Andrew Church, Cologne, Germany.
  5. Bible, 2 Maccabees 8—Shortly before the revolt of Judas Maccabeus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes arrested a mother and her seven sons, and tried to force them to eat pork. When they refused, he tortured and killed the sons one by one. The narrator mentions that the mother “was the most remarkable of all, and deserves to be remembered with special honor. She watched her seven sons die in the space of a single day, yet she bore it bravely because she put her trust in the Lord.” Each of the sons makes a speech as he dies, and the last one says that his brothers are “dead under God’s covenant of everlasting life”. The narrator ends by saying that the mother died, without saying whether she was executed, or died in some other way.
  6. The LDS Church is organized in a hierarchical priesthood structure administered by men. Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus leads the church through revelation and has chosen a single man, called “the Prophet” or President of the Church, as his spokesman on the Earth. He and two counselors (who usually are ordained apostles) form the First Presidency, the presiding body of the church; twelve other apostles form the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. When a president dies, his successor is invariably the most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who then reconstitutes a new First Presidency. They exercise both ecclesiastical and administrative leadership over the church and direct the efforts of regional leaders down to the local level.

Chapter 14

  1. Blessed John Henry Newman CO (February 21, 1801– August 11, 1890, also referred to as Cardinal Newman, was an important figure in the religious history of England in the nineteenth century. He was known nationally by the mid-1830s. Originally an evangelical Oxford academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman was a leader in the Oxford Movement. This influential grouping of Anglicans wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in the medieval times to restore ritual expression. In 1845 Newman left the Church of England and was received into the Roman Catholic Church where he was eventually granted the rank of cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland, which evolved into University College, Dublin, today the largest university in Ireland. Newman’s beatification was officially proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on September 19, 2010 during his visit to the United Kingdom. His canonization is dependent on the documentation of additional miracles. Newman was also a literary figure of note: his major writings including his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–66), the Grammar of Assent (1870), and the poem The Dream of Gerontius (1865), which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar as an oratorio. He wrote the popular hymns “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height” (taken from Gerontius).
        Believers know that faith is bound to have its contrary temptations in the form of religious doubts. These can spring especially from the problem of evil (what Pope Benedict XVI has termed “the drama of God’s darkness.” Thomas Aquinas takes up the problem of evil in the First Part of his Summa Theologica. To the objection that if an all-powerful God exists, there would be no evil in the world, his answer is that precisely because God is all-powerful, he is powerful enough to turn evil into good - even if we do not see how exactly he does this. Since faith, by definition, in some way leads the believer beyond simple human understanding, it does not follow that intellectual difficulties automatically become difficulties in faith. John Henry Newman illustrates this point as follows: “I am far of course from denying that every article of the Christian Creed, whether as held by Catholics or by Protestants, is beset with intellectual difficulties; and it is a simple fact that, for myself, I cannot answer those difficulties. Many persons are very sensitive of the difficulties of Religion; I am as sensitive of them as any one; but I have never been able to see a connexion between apprehending those difficulties, however keenly, and multiplying them to any extent, and on the other hand doubting the doctrines to which they are attached. Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate.”

Chapter 15

  1. According to the Hebrew Bible, Methuselah, “Man of the dart/spear,” or alternatively “his death shall bring judgment” is purported to be the oldest person to ever live. Extra-biblical tradition maintains that he died on the 11th of Cheshvan of the year 1656 at the age of 969, seven days before the beginning of the Great Flood.
  2. A cilice or sackcloth was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement.

Chapter 16

  1. Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore. He originally appeared in literature as the demon in the Faust legend, and he has since appeared in other works as a stock character version of the Devil.
  2. David Miscavige is the leader of the Church of Scientology and affiliated organizations. His title is Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center (RTC), a corporation that controls the trademarked names and symbols of Dianetics and Scientology. Miscavige was an assistant to church founder L. Ron Hubbard (a “Commodore’s messenger”) while a teenager. He rose to a leadership position by the early 1980s and was named Chairman of the Board of RTC in 1987. Official church biographies describe Miscavige as “the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion” and celebrate his accomplishments, including obtaining recognition as a tax-favored charity by the US Internal Revenue Service, issuing restored and corrected editions of the works of L. Ron Hubbard and undertaking a program of new or remodeled churches and related facilities. Since assuming his leadership position, Miscavige has been faced with press accounts alleging illegal and unethical practices, both personally and through his organizational management. These include reports of forced separation of family members, coercive fundraising practices, harassment of journalists and church critics, and humiliation of church staff members, including physical assaults upon them by Miscavige. Miscavige and church spokespersons deny the majority of these charges, often attacking the credibility of those who bring them.
  3. The Latter Day Church of Christ is a Mormon fundamentalist denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement, and is also known as the Kingston Clan, the Kingston Group, The Order, the Davis County Cooperative, and The Co-op Society. There are approximately 3,500 members of this group.
  4. Gordon Bitner Hinckley (June 23, 1910 – January 27, 2008) was a religious leader and author who served as the 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from March 12, 1995 until his death. Considered a prophet, seer, and revelator by church members, Hinckley was the oldest person to preside over the church in its history. Before his death, Hinckley, encouraged church members to reach out to homosexuals with love and understanding.
  5. Brigham Young introduced a doctrine known as “blood atonement,” regarding unpardonable sin, or sin for which Jesus Christ’s atonement does not apply. He taught that a person could atone for such sins only by giving up his or her life. Various church leaders since Young have taught likewise. Bruce R. McConkie stated that “this doctrine can only operate in a day when there is no separation of church and state and when the power to take life is vested in the ruling theocracy as was the case in the day of Moses.”
  6. “The inhabitants of the Moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the Earth, being six feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style or fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally near a thousand years. This is the description of them as given by Joseph [Smith] the Seer, and he could see whatever he asked the Father in the name of Jesus to see”
    - Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Vol 2, p 166.
  7. Literally “believer” or “faithful one” (according to popular belief, it either started as self-designation or as a militant atheist denouncement against belief in spite of the lack of or against current evidence. It is mainly used in Portuguese for a Mormon, a Scientologist, a Jehovah’s Witness or a Protestant Christian (especially those of Charismatic, Evangelical, Pentecostal or fundamentalist beliefs), as well as members of minor cults. Apart from being used as a slur against those perceived to have become members of cults, it is used in a general way to shun non-Muslims who are seen as aggressively proselitist or fundamentalist, or those non-Catholics that base their militant conservative political and ideological beliefs or prejudices against those of different religions, sexual orientations and harmless lifestyles on religious mores. Further, there is also the term crentino, fusion of crente, and cretino (cretin), that refers to the priests that have a considerable material profit with their so-called crente following.

Chapter 18

  1. According to various Jewish intellectual sources and folk traditions up through the medieval period, there is a gradual transition from physical death to an afterlife in which the body and spirit remain connected to one another in some way either through resurrection or immortality of the soul. According to early rabbinic folklore, the transition from death to life actually begins three days after death when the soul is believed to hover over the grave hoping to be restored to the body.
  2. On November 18, 1978, 918 Americans died in Peoples Temple-related incidents, including 909 members of the Temple, led by Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana. The dead included 303 children. A tape of the Temple’s final meeting in a Jonestown pavilion contains repeated discussions of the group committing “revolutionary suicide,” including reference to people taking the poison and the vats to be used. The people in Jonestown died of an apparent cyanide poisoning, except for Jones (injury consistent with self-inflicted gunshot wound) and his personal nurse. The Temple had spoken of committing “revolutionary suicide” in prior instances, and members had previously drunk what Jones told them was poison at least once before, but the “Flavor Aid” drink they ingested contained no poison. Concurrently, four other members died in the Temple’s headquarters in Georgetown.

Chapter 20

  1. The Crystal Cathedral is a church building in Garden Grove, Orange County, California, in the United States. The reflective glass building, designed by American architect Philip Johnson, was completed in 1981 and seats 2,736 people. It is the largest glass building in the world. Until 2013, the building had been the principal place of worship for Crystal Cathedral Ministries, a congregation of the Reformed Church in America founded in 1955 by Robert H. Schuller. Beginning in 2010, creditors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed lawsuits to collect money due to them for providing goods, services and broadcasting The Hour of Power weekly TV show. A board member said that the total debt was $55\million. Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and in February 2012 sold the building and its adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for future use as the diocese’s new cathedral.

Chapter 22

  1. Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious Millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was then at its brightest.
  2. Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 by twelve monks from Clairvaux Abbey as a mission for the colonization of the north of England and Scotland. It was the first Cistercian abbey in the north. With time it became one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire. Its remote location was ideal for the Cistercians, whose desire was to follow a strict life of prayer and self-sufficiency with little contact with the outside world.
  3. The guestmaster, or hosteller as he was known, was a monastic official (obedientiary) who was in charge of the guest complex. He was helped by at least one lay-brother. After visitors had been formally received by the porter and taken to pray and receive the kiss of peace from brothers appointed by the abbot, they were shown to the guesthouse where the guestmaster tended them until their departure. Any communication between visitors and the community was mediated by the guestmaster; for instance, if a visitor was ill or about to die the guestmaster notified the prior or whoever was responsible. One of the guestmaster’s duties concerned the preparation of the Maundy of the guests, when the visitors’ feet were ceremoniously washed in the cloister. Each week several monks were appointed to help him. The guestmaster was also involved with the proceedings on Maundy Thursday when a number of poor folk were led into the cloister for the symbolic washing of their feet, and thereafter refreshed in the hospice. Like the other officials the guestmaster was granted concessions on account of his duties. For example, he was permitted to speak with everyone who ate or slept in the guesthouse and was exempted from various claustral activities if he was at that time engaged with guests.
  4. The famous chapter LXVI of the Benedictine Rule enunciated the principle that the professed monk should remain within the percents of his cloister and eschew all wandering in the world. It is clear, however, that the Rule allowed a certain latitude and that monks and nuns were to be allowed to leave their houses under certain conditions and for necessary causes. Eileen Power, Medieval English Nunneries, C.1275 to 1535, Chapter IX, “Fish Out of Water,” p. 341.
  5. In the past, the term lay brother was used within some Catholic religious institutions to distinguish members who were not ordained from those members who were clerics (priests and seminarians). Although religious life began with communities of desert hermits and monks in which none of the members were ordained, over time the Church began to blend monastic life with the ordained ministry. Within this context, a rigid hierarchy eventually emerged in which the lay brothers were restricted to ancillary roles, manual labor, and other secular affairs of a monastery or friary. In contrast, the choir monks (priests and seminarians) of the same monastery attended to the Liturgy of the Hours, or Opus Dei (“The Work of God”), sacramental ministry, celebration of the liturgy, and formal studies. The Cistercians, the Order of Grandmont, and most subsequent religious orders possessed lay brothers, to whom they committed their secular cares. At Grandmont, indeed, the complete control of the order’s property by the lay brothers led to serious disturbances, and finally to the ruin of the order; but the stricter regulations of the Cistercians provided against this danger and formed the model for the later orders.

Chapter 23

  1. In 1 Kings 17:17-24, the prophet Elijah prays and God raises a young boy from death. In 2 Kings 4:32-37, Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman; this was the very same child whose birth he previously foretold in Kings 4:8-16.
  2. Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death.
  3. In Norse religion, Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds and home to the sir tribe of gods
  4. Teotihuacan is a Nahuatl (Aztec) name meaning “place where gods were born.”
  5. In ecclesiology, a catechumen, “one being instructed,” is one receiving instruction from a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism. The title and practice is most often used by Orthodox Christians and by Roman Catholics.
  6. The Angel Moroni is, in Mormonism, an angel that visited Joseph Smith, Jr. on numerous occasions, beginning on September 21, 1823. According to Smith, the angel was the guardian of the golden plates, which Latter Day Saints believe were the source material for the Book of Mormon, buried in a hill near Smith’s home in western New York.
  7. One of the first mentions of the automatic writing method used in the Ouija board is found in China around 1100 AD, in historical documents of the Song Dynasty. The method was known as fuji, “planchette writing.” The use of planchette writing as an ostensible means of contacting the dead and the spirit-world continued, and, albeit under special rituals and supervisions, was a central practice of the Quanzhen School, until it was forbidden by the Qing Dynasty. Several entire scriptures of the Daozang are supposedly works of automatic planchette writing. Similar methods of mediumistic spirit writing have been widely practiced in ancient India, Greece, Rome, and medieval Europe.
  8. Palmistry, or chiromancy is the art of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palm reading or chirology. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called palmists, palm readers, hand readers, hand analysts, or chirologists. 
  9. Fundie or fundy (plural fundies) is a pejorative slang abbreviation used to refer to religious fundamentalists of any religion or denomination, although it is primarily directed towards fundamentalist Christians.
  10. A fatwā in the Islamic faith is the term for the legal opinion or learned interpretation that a qualified jurist or mufti can give on issues pertaining to the Islamic law. The person who issues a fatwā is called, in that respect, a Mufti. As used here, it is intended as a generic reference to a religious scholar.
  11. Opus Dei is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church that teaches that everyone is called to holiness, and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its membership are lay people, with secular priests under the governance of a prelate (bishop) elected by specific members and appointed by the Pope.

Chapter 24

  1. According to Christian folklore, Blackthorn is seen as a sinister tree and associated with witches. Blackthorn was often used for ‘binding and blasting.’ A black rod is a blackthorn wand with fixed thorns on the end, used to cause harm to others. In British folklore, a witch will use a blackthorn in rituals of cursing. The sharp thorns were reputedly used by English witches to pierce poppets in their curses, called the ‘pins of slumber.’ In South Devon folklore in England, witches were said to carry blackthorn walking sticks, with which they caused much local mischief. Witches and heretics were burned on blackthorn pyres. The Devil was said, in medieval times, to prick his follower’s fingers with the thorn of a blackthorn tree.
  2. Numerology is any belief in divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding events. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs. Numerology and numerological divination by systems such as isopsephy were popular among early mathematicians, but are no longer considered part of mathematics and are regarded as pseudomathematics or pseudoscience by modern scientists.

Chapter 26

  1. Red doors are frequently found on Episcopal and other churches. According to Dr. Richard C. Hoefler, dean of Christ Chapel at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, “Christians have entered into worship, into the presence of God, through the blood of Christ.” It is also said that a red door in the Lutheran Church hearkens back to the time of Martin Luther, who posted his Ninety Five Theses on the red doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—the crimson color symbolizes the church as part of the Reformation.

Chapter 27

  1. The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on or around December 21, 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and as such, festivities to commemorate the date took place on December 21, 2012 in the countries that were part of the Mayan civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed as pertaining to this date, all unequivocally rejected by all scholarship. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that December 21, 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth’s collision with a planet called Nibiru. 
  2. In several notable works of Western culture, the Dance of the Seven Veils is one of the elaborations on the biblical tale of the execution of John the Baptist. Although the Bible does not give the dance a name, details enriching the story in later Christian mythology describing the purpose of the dance as being to inflame King Herod with incestuous desire so that he would grant Salome her wish for the head of the Baptist. The Dance of the Seven Veils is also conjectured to have originated with the myth of the fertility goddess Inanna of Sumer or the related Ishtar (Astarte) of Assyrian and Babylonian religion, though these may only have sparked the elaborating imagination of playwright Oscar Wilde in his play Salomé. In this myth, Inanna or Ishtar decides to visit her sister, Ereshkigal, in the underworld. When Inanna or Ishtar approaches the gates of the underworld, the gatekeeper lets her pass through the seven gates, opening one gate at a time. At each gate, she has to shed a symbol of sovereignty which she carries, mainly jewelry items, and one or two articles of clothing such as her royal robe, but never a veil in particular. When she finally passes the seventh gate, she is naked. She is then imprisoned by Ereshkigal. When she is later rescued and passes back through the seven gates, she regains one of her shed items at each gate, and is fully re-ennobled by her symbols and clothes as she exits the last gate.
  3. The Hole is the unofficial nickname of a facility operated by the Church of Scientology on Gold Base, its compound near the town of Hemet in Riverside County, California. Dozens of its senior executives have reportedly been confined within the building for months or years. It consists of a set of double-wide trailers within a Scientology compound, joined together to form a suite of offices which were formerly used by the Church’s international management team. According to former members of the Church of Scientology and media reports, from 2004 the Church’s leader David Miscavige sent dozens of senior Scientology executives to the Hole. The Tampa Bay Times described it in a January 2013 article as “a place of confinement and humiliation where Scientology’s management culture—always demanding—grew extreme. Inside, a who’s who of Scientology leadership went at each other with brutal tongue lashings, and even hands and fists. They intimidated each other into crawling on their knees and standing in trash cans and confessing to things they hadn’t done. They lived in degrading conditions, eating and sleeping in cramped spaces designed for office use.”

Chapter 28

  1. The Triquetra is a three-part interlocking fish symbol that symbolizes the Christian trinity. The word “trinity” comes from the Latin noun “trinitas” meaning “three are one.” The trinity represents the belief that God is one Being made up of three distinct Persons who exist in co-equal, co-eternal communion as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. According to Matthew 3:16, during the Baptism of Jesus the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and came to rest on Jesus. For this reason the dove became a symbol of the Holy Spirit and in general it occurs frequently in connection with early representations of baptism. It signifies also the Christian soul, not the human soul as such, but as indwelt by the Holy Spirit; especially, therefore, as freed from the toils of the flesh and entered into rest and glory.
  3. Among the symbols employed by the early Christians, that of the fish seems to have ranked first in importance. Its popularity among Christians was due principally to the famous acrostic consisting of the initial letters of five Greek words forming the word for fish (Ichthus), which words briefly but clearly described the character of Christ and the claim to worship of believers: (Iēsous Christos Theou Hyios Sōtēr), meaning, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. This explanation is given among others by Augustine in his Civitate Dei, where he also notes that the generating sentence has 27 letters, i.e. 3 x 3 x 3, which in that age indicated power.
  4. God of the gaps is a type of theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence. The term was invented by Christian theologians not to discredit theism but rather to point out the fallacy of relying on teleological arguments for God’s existence. The phrase is also used to refer to a form of the argument from ignorance fallacy.

Chapter 29

  1. Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where, according to the gospels, Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. A study conducted by the National Research Council of Italy in 2012 found that several olive trees in the garden are amongst the oldest known to science. Dates of 1092, 1166 and 1198 CE were obtained by carbon dating older parts of the trunks of three trees. DNA tests show that the tree were originally planted from the same parent plant.
  2. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was the first mass organization among women devoted to social reform with a program that “linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity.”
  3. Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London, and later Thomas à Becket, was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonized by Pope Alexander III. Upon hearing reports of Becket’s actions, Henry is said to have uttered words that were interpreted by his men as wishing Becket killed. The king’s exact words are in doubt and several versions have been reported. The most commonly quoted, as handed down by oral tradition, is “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Chapter 30

  1. The Kansas Board of Education voted six to four on August 9, 2005 to include greater criticism of evolution in its school science standards, but it decided to send the standards to an outside academic for review before taking a final vote. The standards received final approval on November 8, 2005. The new standards were approved by six to four, reflecting the makeup of religious conservatives on the board. The changes were: 1) Add to the mission statement a goal that science education should seek to help students make “informed” decisions. 2) Provide a definition of science that is not strictly limited to natural explanations. 3) Allow intelligent design to be presented as an alternative explanation to evolution as presented in mainstream biology textbooks, without endorsing it. 4) State that evolution is a theory and not a fact. 5) Require informing students of purported scientific controversies regarding evolution. On February 13, 2007, the Board voted six to four to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005. The definition of science was once again returned to “the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe.”