Religious evolution

Religious evolution

Catalin Negru | Published: April 03, 2017 | 10:34

A free and open-source software (known as FOSS in technical terms) is a computer program that anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change it in any way; the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve its design. In May 2003 WordPress 0.7 was released as a free and open-source software content management system for people who want to build personal blogs on the Internet. In January 2004 WordPress was updated to 1.0 and, compared to the previous version, it was improved with the additional features of friendly permalinks, multiple categories, simple installation and upgrade, comment moderation, XFN support and Atom support. In May 2004 version 1.2 was released, in February 2005 version 1.5, and ever since WordPress has been periodically upgraded and improved with new features. WordPress version 4.7 was released in December 2016, with features, size and structure very different from the first version of the project.

At this point you might ask yourself “What am I reading here? Is this a mistake?”

The paragraph above is not a mistake and you are reading the right thing. But why am I talking about software in an article with religious title? Because religions and software are very similar, and the image of software helps me better explain religious mechanisms.

Software are computer programs, while religions are social programs. Their life cycle is almost identical: they are released, they evolve, they are public, they have (written) instructions to be executed, their errors result in damages in the physical world, they become obsolete and they are discarded. In order to produce palpable effects, software require hardware to store them, load them into memory and execute them; religions require people (brains) to memorize them, embrace them, and execute their instructions. Both software and religion are void/powerless without the

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The prophetic foundations of the Islamic State and the radicalization of Islam

The prophetic foundations of the Islamic State and the radicalization of Islam

Catalin Negru | Published: June 1, 2016 | 10:40

Extremism always manifests when societies are struck by chaos or when there is a rupture between leaders and subjects. And the Islamic State is no exception; it rose due to the prolonged war and instability in the Middle East, multiculturalism and the clash of cultures.

Despite its name and its attempts to become a state in the real sense of the word, the Islamic State is just a terrorist organization. The history of the Islamic State began in 2006, when the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq was declared, comprising Iraq’s six mostly Sunni Arab governorates.1 Abu Omar al-Baghdadi – the leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council – was announced as its emir.2 In April 2010 al-Baghdadi was killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near the city of Tikrit.3 As a result, one month later Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq.4 In April 2013, having expanded into Syria amid the civil war, the group changed its name to “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”5 Only one year later, on June 29, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant proclaimed itself to be a caliphate (a single Muslim one-world government).6 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – surnamed “Caliph Ibrahim” or “Amir al-Mu’minin” (“Commander of the Faithful”) – was named its caliph, and the group renamed itself the “Islamic State”7 (at the moment it is often referred to as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh).

As a caliphate, the Islamic State (through the voice of its caliph) has claimed religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.8 Based on a Jihadist-Salafism,9 it has promoted religious violence and regarded those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates,10 it has demanded the banishment of the “crusaders” (the Christian-foreign invaders) from the Middle East, the restoration of the former glory of the Islamic culture, the return to a pure and original Sunni doctrine, the establishment of a Sunni theocracy (a state governed by the divine law of Sharia) and the rejection of all religious innovations and alterations, believed to corrupt Islam’s original spirit.11

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The failure of multiculturalism and the Muslim issue

The failure of multiculturalism and the Muslim issue

Catalin Negru | Last modified: May 5, 2016 | 11:22

There has been a lot of stir lately regarding the Syrian mass migration and its impact upon Europe. Overall, it seems that the Western world divided in two sides: those who defend humanitarianism and accept refugees (regardless of their background) in their countries, and those who refuse refugees and condemn the extreme multiculturalism and the Islamization of Europe. Now, in order to understand what is really happening, why it is happening and, most importantly, how it will evolve in the future, we must approach the problem step by step and starting from the basis. And the first step is to say a few words about the term “culture,” because you cannot speak about multiculturalism without having an idea about the meaning of ”culture.”

Culture, according to Edward Burnett Tylor, is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”1 Another definition of culture is offered, for example, by Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.”2

The concepts of culture and civilization (and the relation between them, although they are often used interchangeably) are philosophical issues that are still debated. Nevertheless, simply said, culture is the bridge between intelligence on the one hand, and civilization on the other hand. The level of civilization is a reflection of the level of culture, and the level of culture is a reflection of the level of intelligence. Your civilization is the manifestation of your culture, of your thinking. The more intelligent you are, the better your culture is; and the better your culture is, the better your civilization (standard of living) is.

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Video Atheism

ATHEISM

Last updated: May 1, 2017

Best atheist arguments

"Best atheist arguments" is a collection of the most interesting arguments found on the Internet in favor of atheism said by the following personalities (in this order): George Carlin, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins...

Channel: Reason and Religion

The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig

The second annual God Debate features atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris and Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig as they debate the topic: "Is Good From God?" The debate was sponsored in large part by the Notre Dame...

Channel: University of Notre Dame

The Four Horsemen HD: Hour 1 of 2 - Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Ep 1

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen. All four authors have recently...

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

The Four Horsemen: Hour 2 of 2 - Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Ep 1

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen. All four authors have recently...

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Who Says Science has Nothing to Say About Morality?

Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins discuss "Who Says Science has Nothing to Say About Morality?" Taped at The Sheldonian Theatre University of Oxford April 12th 2011 by ClearStory Ltd.

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

The Purpose of Purpose - Richard Dawkins

During Richard Dawkins' American tour in March 2009, he gave a talk titled "The Purpose of Purpose". I travelled with Richard to these cities and filmed the talks, which I've edited together here. The content of the talk remains intact...

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Science Refutes God - on PBS- Intelligence Squared U.S.

On the fundamental question - evolution or creation? - Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31%...

Channel: IntelligenceSquared Debates

Head to Head - Dawkins on religion: Is religion good or evil?

With the headlines covering fanaticism, fundamentalism, superstition and ignorance, religion is getting a bad press these days. And much of the conflict in the world, from the Middle East to Nigeria and Myanmar, is often blamed on religion. But...

Channel: Al Jazeera English

Debate: Does God exist? (Harris vs Wolpe)

In 2007 the American Jewish University in Los Angeles hosted authors Sam Harris and Rabbi David Wolpe to discuss the existence of God and the role of religion and faith in society. Steve Padilla, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, moderated the...

Channel: Reason and Religion

Epic Debate Over God's Existence

On Thursday, Oct 22nd 2015, at the Bahnsen Conference, Jeff Durbin, Sye Ten Bruggencate, and Paul Viggiano debated some atheists from Southern California: Bruce Gleason, Andrew Breeding, and Sean Taylor...

Channel: Apologia Studios

Why We Believe in Gods - Andy Thomson - American Atheists 09

Andy Thomson gives his talk titled 'Why We Believe in Gods' at the American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Buy Andy's book Why We Believe in Gods from the RDFRS Store...

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Something From Nothing - a conversation w/ Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss

Join critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss as they discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics. The authors will also discuss...

Channel: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Death Is Not Final

If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable...

Channel: IntelligenceSquared Debates

Neil deGrasse Tyson on the New Cosmos

This week on Moyers & Company, Bill talks with the astrophysicist about his redux of the famous Carl Sagan series and why science and science literacy matter in a democracy.

Channel: Moyers & Company

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science, Religion and the Universe | Moyers & Company

Bill Moyers continues his conversation with the astrophysicist in part two of a three-part series.

Channel: Moyers & Company

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why Science Literacy Matters

This week on Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers concludes his conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson about why science literacy is critical to the future of our democracy, economy and standing in the world. They also discuss the dangers created by...

Channel: Moyers & Company

Christopher Hitchens vs. Rabbi David Wolpe: The Great God Debate

"Anti-theist" writer Christopher Hitchens debates with Conservative Jewish leader Rabbi David J. Wolpe, moderated by WBUR's "On Point" Host Tom Ashbrook. Presented by Harvard Book Store.

Channel: WGBHForum

Does God Exist? William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens - Full Debate [HD]

On April 4, 2009, William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens met at Biola University to debate the question of God’s existence. Craig is one of the world’s foremost Christian apologists. Hitchens, is a leading spokesman for the “new atheism” movement...

Channel: BiolaUniversity

Q&A - Radicalisation, Religion & Recognition

Panellists: Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist & Cosmologist; Anne Aly, Counter Terrorism Expert; Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Opposition Leader; Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner; and Paul Kelly, Editor-at-large The Australian. Our panel...

Channel: abcqanda

Daniel Dennett on Tools To Transform Our Thinking

Filmed at the Royal Geographical Society on 22nd May 2013. Daniel Dennett is one of the world's most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is known as one of the 'Four Horseman of New Atheism' along...

Channel: iqsquared

Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World (with Christopher Hitchens and Alister McGrath)

October 11, 2007 | The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs hosted a debate, dialogue and discussion with Christopher Hitchens, prolific...

Channel: Berkley Center

Debate: Religion and atheism (Dawkins vs Pell)

...In this episode, aired Monday April 9, 2012, Richard Dawkins and George Pell came face to face to answer all kind of questions about religion, god and atheism. The debaters: Clinton Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist...

Channel: Reason and Religion

Debate: Is there an afterlife? (Hitchens and Harris vs Wolpe and Shavit)

On February 15, 2011, at the Wadsworth Theatre, a discussion titled “Is There an Afterlife?” took place, featuring two rabbis, David Wolpe and Bradley Shavit Artson, and two atheists, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens...

Channel: Reason and Religion

Debate: Does God have a future? (Harris and Shermer vs Chopra and Houston)

A whopping 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit, and a vast majority say they believe in an afterlife and heaven, according to a 2008 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. But believers see...

Channel: Reason and Religion

The Greatest Story Ever Told ( ... so far) - Professor Lawrence Krauss, ISS2015

The story of our understanding of particle physics, from the atoms of the ancient Greeks to strings and hidden dimensions - it's one of the most staggering achievements of the human race. Professor Lawrence Krauss...

Channel: The Professor Harry Messel International Science School

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

What may have started as a science fiction speculation - that perhaps the universe as we know it is a computer simulation - has become a serious line of theoretical and experimental investigation among physicists, astrophysicists...

Channel: American Museum of Natural History

Davos 2013 - Open Forum: Is Religion Outdated in the 21st Century

While religions are the oldest institutions in the world, they are the slowest to respond to modern issues such as drugs, homosexuality and family relationships. As we move further into the 21st century, it is important to re-examine the place religion...

Channel: World Economic Forum

Lawrence Krauss vs Hamza Tzortzis - Islam vs Atheism Debate

The Big Debates: Islam or Atheism - Which Makes More Sense? Lawrence Krauss & Hamza Tzortzis. Feel free to discuss and debate your viewpoint. Agree? Disagree? Comment at...

Channel: iERA - Islamic Education and Research Academy

A Virus Called Fear - by Ben Fama Jr.

Very few people understand the programming of fear, and why it distorts our perceptions. While fear is a program used for our survival, fear also creates irrational beliefs that cause larger systems of fear like politics, religion and the media. "A Virus Called Fear" is...

Channel: Ben Fama Jr.

Sam Harris: Religions Are Failed Sciences

We are misled by the very term "religion," argues Sam Harris. Religion was simply the discourse humans used when all causes in the universe were opaque.

Channel: Big Think

Michio Kaku: The Universe in a Nutshell

What if we could find one single equation that explains every force in the universe? Dr. Michio Kaku explores how physicists may shrink the science of the Big Bang into an equation as small as Einstein's "e=mc^2." Thanks to advances in string theory...

Channel: Big Think

The Universe Doesn’t Give a Damn about Us | Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss on Optimism

The universe doesn't care about you, and the future is miserable. So begins theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss' guide to optimism. Optimism? You heard us right...

Channel: Big Think

Science can answer moral questions | Sam Harris

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life...

Channel: TED

IMPORTANT: These videos are on public domain and they are emanated by the original sources. Reason and Religion DOES NOT own the copyright for the videos gathered here and on its Youtube dedicated channel. This content does not have a comercial purpose, but only an educational one. Moreover, due to the fact that videos often lack description on their Youtube dedicated page, the descriptions inserted on this page for each video might not be the same as their original Youtube descriptions.

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Video Islam

Islam

Last updated: May 16, 2016

Islam: A Religion HIJACKED?

Another Ramadan has come and gone and, as usual, it has been bloody in both the Islamic world and non-islamic world. Attacks carried out in the name of Allah...

Channel: Black Pigeon Speaks

Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority

In the debut of Reality Check, Ben Shapiro takes on Ben Affleck and the myth that only a tiny minority of Muslims worldwide are radical.

Channel: TruthRevoltOriginals

Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology

Is radical Islam our generation's most dangerous ideology? Is it comparable to what Nazism and Communism were in the 20th century? Or are Islamists no more dangerous than extremist Christians, Jews, and Buddhists? Raymond Ibrahim, author of...

Channel: PragerU

By The Numbers - The Untold Story of Muslim Opinions & Demographics

By the Numbers is an honest and open discussion about Muslim opinions and demographics. Narrated by Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, this short film is about the acceptance that radical Islam is a bigger...

Channel: Clarion Project - Challenging Extremism | Promoting Dialogue

Islam: Violent Reaction to Criticism

The mark of a failed ideology is one that refuses to accept any level of criticism. One such religious ideology is that of Islam which in recent years has been growing more intolerant and violent towards not only those...

Channel: TheVeganAtheist

Brigitte Gabriel: Values Voter Summit 2015

Author Brigitte Gabriel speaks to the dangers of political correctness and the history of radical Islam at FRC Action's 10th annual Values Voter Summit hosted by FRC Action in Washington, DC.

Channel: FRCAction

Islam and the future of tolerance

Panelists Sam Harris, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Project Reason and Maajid Nawaz Founding Chairman of Quilliam, joined moderator Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, for a panel discussion...

Channel: Harvard Institute of Politics

The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America - HD Version

"The third jihad: Radical Islam's vision For America" dwells on idea of alleged threat of radical Islam in the United States, and centers around a Muslim Brotherhood document, accepted as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and...

Channel: Clarion Project - Challenging Extremism | Promoting Dialogue

Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West - HD Version

Obsession explores growing Islamist ideology among Muslims in the West, the rejection of notions of tolerance and inclusion, and the role of Jihad (the religious duty of Muslims to engage in a Holy War against infidels).

Channel: Clarion Project - Challenging Extremism | Promoting Dialogue

Q&A - Radicalisation, Religion & Recognition

Panellists: Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist & Cosmologist; Anne Aly, Counter Terrorism Expert; Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Opposition Leader; Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner; and Paul Kelly, Editor-at-large The Australian. Our panel...

Channel: abcqanda

Q&A - Free Will, Free Speech and Criticising Islam

Panellists: Kate Tempest, Award-winning poet and rapper; Jean-Christophe Rufin, Co-founder, Medecins Sans Frontieres; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Controversial Somalian feminist and author Heretic; Julian Baggini, Philosopher; and Emma Sky, Former adviser...

Channel: abcqanda

Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan Debate: Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan Debate: Is Islam a Religion of Peace? Moderated by Laurie Goodsteing, October 5, 2010 at 92Y.

Channel: 92nd Street Y

Islam is a Religion of Peace- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Is the rise of terrorism and violence justifiably traced to the teachings of Islam, or is this call to war a twisted interpretation of the true Muslim faith? Most of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims are moderates who see Islamic terrorism as a violation of...

Channel: IntelligenceSquared Debates

Documentary - Meeting ISIL (PressTV goes deep inside the terrorist group)

Everyone who is not us is the enemy and should be branded as infidel. This seems to be the prevailing ideology of the extreme Takfiri terrorists known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Their aim is said to be the establishment of an...

Channel: PressTV News Videos

The Islamic State (Full Length)

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced...

Channel: Vice News

Isis: On the frontline

In the past several years, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has forcefully taken a stronghold in regions throughout the Middle East, and the prominence of their singular brand of terror continues to expand on a...

Channel: Ahlulbayt TV

Isis - "Islamic" Extremism? | Full Documentary - HD

Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Mojtaba Ali investigates extremism and ISIS. What threats do they pose to the world?

Channel: Ahlulbayt TV

Lawrence Krauss vs Hamza Tzortzis - Islam vs Atheism Debate

The Big Debates: Islam or Atheism - Which Makes More Sense? Lawrence Krauss & Hamza Tzortzis. Feel free to discuss and debate your viewpoint. Agree? Disagree? Comment at...

Channel: iERA - Islamic Education and Research Academy

Tom Holland 'De-Radicalising Muhammad'

Tom Holland delivers the 'Christopher Hitchens Lecture' from Hay Festival 2015.

Channel: Hay Festival

ISIS Women Unveiled (Terrorism Documentary) - Real Stories

Penetrating the secret ISIS circles in Britain, this undercover investigation exposes the secret circles of British women who support ISIS. Led by two young female British Muslim reporters the production team manages, over 12-months...

Channel: Real Stories

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Is Islam a religion of peace? Is it compatible with Western liberalism? Or does Islam need a reformation, just as Christianity had the Protestant Reformation? Somali-born author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains. Join Prager United to get new swag every quarter...

Channel: PragerU

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque - Real Stories

'Undercover Mosque' reveals how a message of hatred and segregation is being spread throughout the UK, inspired by Saudi Arabia, a country our government calls its principal ally in the Middle East.

Channel: Real Stories

Dispatches - Undercover Mosque: The Return - Real Stories

After the first 'Dispatches: Undercover Mosque' witnessed the rise of extremist Wahhabism within UK mosques, 'Undercover Mosque: The Return' explores further the terrifying beliefs of a rising ideology within the UK.

Channel: Real Stories

Ben Shapiro: First They Came for the Jews

President Obama does not stand up for Jews murdered by Islamic Terrorists. President Obama does not stand up for Christians murdered by Islamic Terrorists. Is there anyone President Obama will stand up for? Ben Shapiro explains why...

Channel: TruthRevoltOriginals

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Mohammed, the Anti-Innovator

Early on, it seemed as if Mohammed's ambition was simply to go from door to door from person to person and say leave alone and what you believe in. Believe in the one God, the one who spoke to me through the angel Gabriel, that's how you...

Channel: Big Think

Would Ben Affleck Play Mohammed? Ayaan Hirsi Ali Wants to Know

"Islamic extremism is an assault on the ideas of liberalism, on the idea of innovation, on women, on gays, on tolerance, on civilization," says the author and social activist. She says if American cultural leaders like Ben Affleck can't see this, it's...

Channel: Big Think

IMPORTANT: These videos are on public domain and they are emanated by the original sources. Reason and Religion DOES NOT own the copyright for the videos gathered here and on its Youtube dedicated channel. This content does not have a comercial purpose, but only an educational one. Moreover, due to the fact that videos often lack description on their Youtube dedicated page, the descriptions inserted on this page for each video might not be the same as their original Youtube descriptions.

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5.6. The Turkish doom

5.6. THE TURKISH DOOM

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 caused a deep feeling of insecurity and various theological reactions within Christianity. God’s plans for the Church seemed to be grim. In De pace fidei the German Nicolaus Cusanus appreciated that the end of the world would happen sometime between 1700 and 1734, probably through the destruction of Christianity by the Ottomans.617 The Dominican Giovanni Nanni da Viterbo had a different opinion; in Tractatus de futuris christianorum triumphis in turcos et saracenos from 1480 he debated the issue of identifying Muhammad with the Antichrist, concluding that Christians would reclaim the lost territories through their own efforts or through Christ’s intervention. The Ottoman Empire was the seventh angel of the Apocalypse and the pouring of the vial of wrath, while the Turkish military successes were a necessary divine punishment for Christian unfaithfulness.618 Same as Viterbo, Luther saw the Ottomans as a “plague” sent by God to punish Christians:

“A time, and times, and half a time.” I do not know whether it refers to the Turk, who began to rule when Constantinople was taken, in the year 1453, eighty-five years ago. If I calculate a time to be the age of Christ (thirty years) this expression would mean one hundred and five years, and the Turks, would still have twenty years swing to come ... I believe that the angels are all up in arms, are putting on their harness, and girding their swords about them. For the last judgment draws nigh, and the angels prepare themselves for the combat, and to strike down Turk and pope into the bottomless pit. ... The predictions of the apocalypse are accomplished already, as far as the white horse. The world cannot stand long, perhaps a hundred years at the outside. ... The Turk will go to Rome, as Daniel’s prophecy announces, and then the last day will not be very distant.619

Luther, in particular, regarded Jews, Muslims, the Papacy and heretics as a sort of a wicked coalition assembled against the true Church.620 The Ottomans, in his opinion, were nothing more than a blind multitude which was executing the directives of a false religion invented by “a devil, and a first-born child of Satan” (Muhammad).621 In 1529,

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4.1.2. The demonization of Muhammad

4.1.2. The demonization of Muhammad

The lack of information about the mysterious and mystical East outlined an erroneous image of the “great enemy” in Western Europe. Christians had a precarious image of Islam because their only intention was to dismantle it, not to understand it. Accordingly, the similarities between the two religions were explained in the worst light possible, while Muhammad turned into in a veritable dark legend, being depicted as a heretic, false prophet, renegade cardinal or founder of a violent religion.249

Christianity gained additional information about Muhammad in the 11th century due to the crusade or the Mozarabs of Spain such as Petrus Alphonsi. Later, during the 12th century, Peter the Venerable managed to obtain a translation of the Quran in Latin and a collection of information about Muhammad, so that the Christian scholars may doctrinarily refute the Islamic teachings. For Peter the Venerable Muhammad was not the Antichrist, but the successor of the heretic Arius of Alexandria and the precursor of the Antichrist. This wretched triad – which copied the Holy Trinity – had begun with Arius the heretic and the Arian heresy,

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4.1.1. The First Crusade

4.1.1. The First Crusade

The crusades were a series of military and religious campaigns carried out by a good part of Catholic Europe, especially by Frankish kings and Holy Roman emperors. The crusades were a reaction to the Muslim conquest of the Near East at the time of the Rashidun Caliphate. Thus, they were meant to restore the Christian control over Jerusalem and Antioch (regions generically called the “Kingdom of Heaven”). The crusades were carried out over a period of approximately 200 years, between 1095 and 1291. However, crusading campaigns were also carried out in Spain and Eastern Europe until the 15th century against the pagan Slavs, the Jews, the Mongols, the Cathars, the Hussites, the Waldensians and other political enemies of the Papacy.

Ever since Islam arose in the 7th century, Christians constantly lost territories in favor of the new religion. When the crusade was preached for the first time, Muslims had already conquered the largest part of the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. Islam threatened to destroy the Byzantine Empire and to invade the old continent. On the other side of the barricade, the idea of a single offensive formed from the combined efforts of all Christian nations meant to free Jerusalem

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4.1. Islamophobia

4. THE APOCALYPSES OF THE SECOND MEDIEVAL PERIOD

4.1. ISLAMOPHOBIA

The most important apocalyptical prophecies, theories, calculations and movements of the first millennium were tied to the fate of the Roman Empire. But, after the failure of the years 1000 and 1033 and the Great Schism between Catholicism and Orthodoxism, the concept of the revived Roman Empire or of the Christian Empire was gradually abandoned.

The image of Nero who had to come back as the Antichrist shared the same fate. In the 16th century, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants identified the Antichrist with the Papacy, while Catholics said he that would be a future Jewish tyrant. However, in our days there is a trace of the connection between Nero and the Antichrist: in the Armenian language “Antichrist” is pronounced Neren.218

The millennial week theory was also discarded as scientific knowledge developed and in the 21st century almost all the initial apocalyptic structures can be categorized as theological errors. In any case, in the 11th century the schism between Rome and Constantinople and the rise of Islam changed the religious and apocalyptical paradigm.

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2.1. The religious decadence and the beginning of the conflict with Islam

2. THE APOCALYPSES OF THE FIRST MEDIEVAL PERIOD

2.1. THE RELIGIOUS DECADENCE AND THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT WITH ISLAM

The dissolution of the Western Roman Empire threw Western Europe into chaos, causing regress on all plans. The Middle Ages started brutally; during the Early Middle Ages (500-1000 AD) Europe had to endure the highest waves of migratory people, a decrease of population, the lowest level of commerce since the Bronze Age, a drastic decrease of resources, of the standard of living and of the level of culture. But the collapse of the empire left a political and administrative void that, in one way or another, had to be covered. There was an acute need for a unifying system that could revive the Roman organization, but the only thing that could gain the obedience of the people in that context, no matter the language, skin color and culture, was the belief in divinity. So, the only institution capable to impose itself in Western European society at the beginning of the Middle Ages was the church. The problem was that the filling of this void of power came at a price: the extension of the institutional features. While in the southeastern part of Europe the Byzantine Empire performed further on the role of regional stabilizer and protector of the church, in the western part of the continent the institution of the church was forced to assume a dual role: a political and a religious one. This meant that the religious structure copied the political one. The need for centralization granted authority to the Bishopric of Rome over the other Western bishoprics, which ultimately led to the establishment of the Papacy.

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