Papal Visit to the United States of America

Interesting observations about aspects of the visit that most have overlooked
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Pope Benedict's visit to the USA

Michael Barber and Brant Pitre, two professors at Catholic universities in the United States, share a blog entitled Singing in the Reign. They are currently posting a series reporting on the details of Pope Benedict’s recent state visit to the United States. 

Although the visit was well covered by the media, the writers feel that the major news sources overlooked some of the most important details of the visit. The first post, available here, details aspects of the arrival ceremony granted the Pope. 

The blog is well worth a read to understand the lengths to which the White House, State Department and the Vatican went in the planning of this important visit for the pontiff.

We will advise readers when the other posts become available.

Tags: christianity, Papacy, Pope Benedict XVI, United States

Exhibition Highlights Mutual Origins of Judaism, Christianity, Islam

British Library unveils its treasures

Sacred: Discover What We Share is the title of a major exhibition presented by the British Library at its St. Pancreas, London facility. This “Must See” exhibition is drawn from the collections of the Library as well as other UK and Irish collections to highlight the development of the texts considered sacred by Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Starting with a fragment of the Psalms from the Dead Sea Scrolls, dated to circa C.E. 50, the display covers materials relating to the three religions up to the current time. 


Given the nature of the British Library’s holding in ancient texts, this is a rich exhibition for anyone to appreciate.  What is more, it is not just a collection of old documents, but a wonderful interplay of the ancient with the modern.  Using the latest technology, visitors can turn the pages of some of the finest items in the libraries collection.  To be able to electronically turn the pages of a 500 year old treasure provides a unique sense of connection with the past.


One purpose that the exhibition seeks to accomplish is to show the mutual origins of the three religions, thus contributing to the multicultural environment that is encouraged in theUnited Kingdom.  A recent comment by an Israeli academic, Rivkah Duker Fishman, published in the Jewish Political Studies Review shows how tenuous that relationship has been.  

Thanks to Paleojudiaca for the reference.

Tags: christianity, Islam., Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism, British Library, Sacred texts

Church History Date

Anniversary for a major historical city

The Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that May 11 is the date in 330 CE on which Constantine dedicated Constantinople as the capital of his empire. Formerly known as Byzantium, and today Istanbul, Constantinople was considered the administrative omphalus or navel of the earth by Constantine. To make the point, Constantine apparently moved Apollo’s statute from Delphi to the city.

Read more on Constantine on our Vision site.

Constantine: The Man and the Church 

Messiahs! Rulers and the Role of Religion, Part 2: The Coming of the "Christian" Emperor 

Splitting Heirs? 

Jerusalem: Center of the Earth? Part One 

Tags: christianity, Constantine, Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul

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