Monday, July 12, 2010

Religion & Philosophy

This is a summary of the history of religious and spiritual beliefs in my family tree.

agnostic - Erik Heimann and probably many others
"Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the similarities or differences between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. Aldous Huxley's father Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1860. However, earlier thinkers and written works have promoted agnostic points of view. " wiki

amish - Zug
"The various Amish or Amish Mennonite church fellowships are Christian religious denominations that form a very traditional subgrouping of Mennonite churches. "

anabaptist - Zug
"Anabaptists required that candidates be able to make their own confessions of faith and so refused baptism to infants). "

anthroposophy - Aeppli paternal great grandfather
"Anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development—more specifically through cultivating conscientiously a form of thinking independent of sensory experience."

astrology - Aeppli paternal grandmother and Jane
"In 1975, Eva discovered astrology thanks to Jacques Berthon and the painter Eric Leraille. "

atheist - probably many
"Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."

catholic - Brennan (Greg's mother's family)
"Irish Catholics can be found in many countries around the world, the English speaking world especially. Emigration was often initiated by duress as was the case with the Great Irish Famine in the late 1840s, following which the population declined by over half in the following century (from approx. over 8 million to just over 4 million) due to the pattern of immigration begun then. "

catholic persecution - Zug

christian mysticism - Jane
"Christian mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Christian mysticism centers on the habitual practice of deep prayer (i.e. meditation, contemplation) involving the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. "


The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, The Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation. The Church of Scotland traces its roots back to the beginnings of Christianity in Scotland, but its identity is principally shaped by the Reformation of 1560. Its current pledged membership is about 9% of the Scottish population - though according to the 2001 national census, 42% of the Scottish population claim some form of allegiance to it.

congregational church - Heyman maternal great grandfather chose this denomination later
"Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs.Despite the efforts of Calvinists to maintain the dominance of their system, some Congregational churches, especially in the older settlements of New England, gradually developed leanings toward Arminianism, Unitarianism, Deism, and transcendentalism. " [The religious doctrines of John Calvin, emphasizing the omnipotence of God and the salvation of the elect by God's grace alone.]

course in miracles - Jane
"A Course in Miracles (also referred to as ACIM or the Course) is a self-study curriculum (spiritual in nature) that sets forth an absolute non-dualistic metaphysics yet integrates (its definition of the principle of) forgiveness emphasizing its practical application in daily living."

german reformed church - Heyman maternal great grandfather left this denomination
"The Reformed Church in the United States, long known as the German Reformed Church, organized its first synod in 1747 and adopted a constitution in 1793. The Evangelical and Reformed Church was generally presbyterian in organization, although it allowed for a greater deal of local congregational decision-making than more typical Reformed bodies such as Presbyterianism or the Reformed Church in America did. "

greek orthodox - Rekas (Greg's father)
"The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of the Orthodox Church, sharing a common cultural tradition, and whose liturgy is traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament."

lutheran - Krekelius
"Lutheranism is a theological movement to reform Christianity with the teaching of justification by grace through faith alone. "

mason - Campbell
"Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around five million, including just under two million in the United States and around 480,000 in England, Scotland and Ireland. The various forms all share moral and metaphysical ideals, which include, in most cases, a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being."

menonites - Zug
"The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons (1496–1561), who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders."

presbyterian - Campbell
"Presbyterianism refers to many different Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, and organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ." [The religious doctrines of John Calvin, emphasizing the omnipotence of God and the salvation of the elect by God's grace alone.]

unitarian - Heyman (grandmother)
"Unitarian Universalism is a religion characterized by support for a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning." Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the belief that an individual's theology is a result of that search and not obedience to an authoritative requirement. Unitarian Universalists draw on many different theological sources and have a wide range of beliefs and practices." "Unitarian Universalists have often been active in liberal political activism, notably the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, the social justice movement, and the feminist movement. In the nineteenth century, Unitarians and Universalists were active in abolitionism, the women's movement, and other liberal social reform movements. "

"In a letter dated 18 Feb. 1994, Dr. Gensicke tells us that Hahnstatten, Oberneisen, Flacht and Dauborn [villages in Nassau Germany] followed the Evangelical Reformed practices of John Calvin. Mensfelden, Nauheim, and Gemunden were Lutheran. The parishioners of Heringen also followed Martin Luther. Hahnstatten was a witness to the Reformation as early as 1533. Nauheim was converted by 1553. The abbey and parish of Gemunden were Lutheran from 1566. Flacht had a pastor turned completely to Lutheranism from 1567, but the village became Reformed by 1585 when the Count of Nassau-Dillenburg took over the government."

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