[personal profile] doomjazz
Hi there.

(Hope I'm doing this right, I'm new to DW, my apologies for any mistakes.)

I'm starting a story/novella/thing which is about mortality and how people deal with it. It will probably be magic realism and have some spiritual elements. (One of the characters will be the personification of death, another willl be immortal, there will be ghosts etc.)
Right now I'm just in the early stages and trying to immerse myself in as much info as possible.

What I want to know is this: How do different religions and cultures conceptualize death and dying?

For example:

Is death viewed as something bad or evil, something positive, or something neutral, that "just happens"? 
Is it possible to avoid it? How does the religion view immortality?

Does your religion/philosophy have a personification of death, and what are they like?
Is there a concept of a "soul" ?
What are the rituals around honoring the deceased, and why are they performed?

What happens afterwards?

I've already trawled Google, but I also wanted to get some reliable info from people who actually belong to different faiths.
Any resources and info would be much appreciated! :)

dragonfly: (BT white shirt)
[personal profile] dragonfly
Can anyone recommend a good source for information about how people practiced their Catholicism on a daily basis in the late Middle Ages?

More specifically, I am wondering what the English royal family in the early 1500s would have considered pious behavior.

I am writing Henry Fitzroy from Blood Ties, who is now a vampire, but was born in 1519. He is still (even as a vampire) a practicing Catholic, and, while I assume his worldview and practices would have changed with the Church somewhat over time, I'd like to follow that journey and need to know where he would have started.
heard_the_owl: made by lj user mediocrechick (Default)
[personal profile] heard_the_owl
I'm so grateful for this group since it seems like just the place to find an answer to my question!

One of the characters in  my story is a Roman Catholic Priest but I'm not sure where he would live (or if there are even such places).  I know that I don't want him living in a Seminary nor do I want him to be a Parish priest with his own church. 

Are there communities where vested Roman Catholic priests live and study together? Would this be a Monastery or is that only for Monks?

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much in advance!
waldo: (Lizard Wink)
[personal profile] waldo
Okay, I joined this group because I've had the idea rattling around in my head for a few years to write some young adult books that feature girls of various religions. I've finally started sitting down and doing some character sketches and such, so of course, I've hit my first few questions:

* I know there's a branch of Christianity somewhat popular in the African American community that requires girls to wear skirts. Can someone tell me the name of that denomination and, if you have them, any links to good websites on their other practices?

* From what I've found online Muslim girls start wearing the hijab at puberty. Is there any kind of ceremony or tradition observed at that time? (My first thought is that may be something roughly analagous to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish faith - a ceremony to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood.) Again, links with information would be great. :)

Thanks for any help!
naraht: Orthodox church in Romania (art-RomaniaPantocrator)
[personal profile] naraht
The main character in my current story attends an Anglican public school. The time period is just before World War I. I'm trying to figure out how old he might be when he gets confirmed. His faith is not particularly strong but I suspect he would view confirmation as the Thing To Do, especially since he's in a religious environment. Any help would be appreciated.
elf: Smiling South Park-style witch with big blue floppy hat and inverted pentacle (Witchy)
[personal profile] elf
I've been annoyed at the lack of information about Paganism for people who aren't planning on joining a Pagan religion. Almost all of the Pagan information websites are aimed at either new members of Pagan religions (most commonly Wicca), or are apologetics trying to explain why Paganism isn't evil and shouldn’t be discriminated against. Neither of those approaches is much use for someone wanting to know about one or more types of Paganism. They're especially not useful for authors who may want to write good Pagan characters or situations, but haven't any idea where to start looking for accurate information. (This doesn't go into that, but it does try to indicate which topics would need what kind of research, depending on the writing goals.)

Disclaimer: I'm only one person, and this is only one list. (Set of lists. Whatever.) This is no doubt biased by my experiences and beliefs, and is necessarily incomplete, because "complete" involves a monograph on each term, plus probably a couple of videos and maybe a stack of original source texts. Please take this as a starting point for research, rather than a definitive source. I've deliberately been vague in spots to encourage that. I've also left out a number of terms that are mostly used by only one tradition/sect/type of Pagans, except for some Wiccan terms that are so commonly-used they needed a mention.

Every one of these terms has been the subject of debate and controversy; with a bit of time, I could probably scrounge up a link to an online screaming match about the exact meaning of every one of these terms. (So when I say a term is "controversial?" That means the average never-heard-it-before person could Google for those controversies. Nonpagans are not likely to be able to find the debates on the differences between a "stang" and a "staff.")
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
How would a woman who wanted spiritual advice and/or support from a scholar go about doing this? Where would she find an imam? Do they have regular, uh, office hours?

This is related to the question from my previous post. The character in question is high in the resistance movement, and the imam she wants to speak with is a secret member. It's preferable if they meet in a relatively neutral location (say, a mosque) as opposed to her home, because the government has her on their shit list, and they trust this imam. But she *could* call him over, if she needed to, because her daughter was beaten in a riot and her son-in-law is in prison.

(Also, if there's anyone here willing to read the finished product (in, like, 6 months or more) for cultural sensitivity, I'd be truly grateful.)
dragonfly: (no idea)
[personal profile] dragonfly
In the movie, The Thirteenth Warrior, Ahmed says he is prohibited from drinking the fermentation of grape or grain (wine and beer) or something like that. He then learns mead is made from honey and so it falls outside the religious prohibition.

Is there any truth to that? I've read all I can find on the subject, and don't see any corroboration of it.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
Let me give a little background for the novel I'm working on. It's a space opera, set about 500 years in the future, and the story draws heavily from the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup in Iran.

The countries of the world have allied into various economic unions, federations, and consortiums, like the Western European Alliance, the Central European Federation, the Sino-Russo Federation, and the Central and South Asian Consortium. (I haven't listed all of them, and I haven't yet worked out exactly who's allied with whom.)

The space station/colony where the coup happened and martial law has been instated has, naturally, a resistance movement. The former leaders are in exile, on stations without extradition treaties. The station is in Central and South Asian Consortium territory, and many of the inhabitants are Muslim. One of the semi-leaders of the resistance is a Muslim cleric, but it's secret from the rulers.

Is it plausible that the government in exile would communicate with this cleric through coded messages? I'm envisioning sending, for example, a message to keep strong by sending a discussion of a sura about strength, or (more relevantly, for the purposes of this story) "help is on the way, get ready."

Then the cleric could pass on that information by teaching that sura one Friday.

Is this a plausible scenario? Also, does anyone have recommendations for a good sura or two for "help is on the way"? I tried google, but it didn't work very well.
quinfirefrorefiddle: Sophie from Leverage, in black and white, looking over her shoulder. (Default)
[personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle
Hi!  I'm your friendly neighborhood moderator, and my intro paragraph is in the community profile.  Please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments!
quinfirefrorefiddle: Sophie from Leverage, in black and white, looking over her shoulder. (Default)
[personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle
Hi, thank you for your interest!  Please follow these rules and we'll get along fine.  For further information about the community, please check the profile.

Community Rules:
1. Follow the Dreamwidth Terms of Service.  No stalking, no threats, no tar and feathering, etc.
2. You may not insult anyone on the basis of their religion.  That said, feel free to insult one another on any other basis you like.
4. Anyone acting like a prick will probably get thwapped for it.
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