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Stay Alive to 1975! September 4, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Stay Alive to 1975!

Messianic religions have long faced a simple problem with final calamity. If you predict the end of the world you are going to get lots of new members: that’s humanity. But, God help you when the world’s end does not come. Not, of course, that this has stopped the faithful from trying. Despite said problem […]

Protestantism, Statues and Sore Breasts/Fronts August 13, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Protestantism, Statues and Sore Breasts/Fronts

***Those idiots at the internet company are playing their games again: the signal ebbs and flows, apologies that this is late then and expect further disturbances*** A week ago now Beach mentioned the Devon folklorist Miss Theo Brown, a great talent who published in the 1960s. He was particularly interested to read yesterday an article […]

Never Forget the Church Sprite! August 8, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Never Forget the Church Sprite!

When Beach gives fairy posts (and God knows sometimes he does too many) he tries to come up with unusual accounts, peculiar perspectives. He does not do ‘normal’ folklore. But this is a little story from Sweden that filled him with the melancholy of a dying or at least a changing world. Read it, reflect […]

Crowds #4: Religion July 20, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Crowds #4: Religion

Beach has so far offered up three crowd photo collections: August 1914, Speaking to Crowds and Crowds as Art. Today he thought he’d move in a little deeper with religious crowds from a small file he’s been building up over the last couple of years. The picture that head’s this post is one of his […]

St Columba: A Medieval Clairvoyant? July 6, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
St Columba: A Medieval Clairvoyant?

***Dedicated to Paula de Fougerolles whose new book on Columba is the best historical novel on the Dark Ages since T. H. White laid down his pen*** St Columba of Iona (obit 597) is perhaps the most interesting of all the medieval Gaelic saints: and given the  strange holy fauna running around the Irish jungle […]

The Virgin and the Fairies June 28, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Virgin and the Fairies

The last fairy post for a week, we promise… Beach has noted previously here the danger of confusing fairy sightings with UFO sightings. But, as a lot of his work this summer has concerned medieval records, he realises that confusion is nothing new where fairies are concerned. There is, 500 AD – 1700 AD, the […]

Islam Creates Europe June 27, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Islam Creates Europe

Modern Europeans tend to have mixed feelings about the rise of Islam: Islam and Christianity have, after all, been butting heads for the last fifteen hundred years. What is not normally appreciated though is the fundamental role Islam had in creating Europe. Islam, it will be remembered, was born in the Middle East in the […]

The Wandering Jew in Burnley May 27, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
The Wandering Jew in Burnley

Today it is the turn of the Wandering Jew. For those who have never met him WJ refused to help Christ (as he was carrying his cross) or made fun of Jesus as he hung between the thieves. This proved a bad idea. WJ now meanders cursed around the globe and will do so until […]

The Popess: A Female Pope? April 28, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Popess: A Female Pope?

There are popes who had children, there are popes who took part in orgies, there are popes (at least one) who did not believe in God. However, Beachcombing has so far avoided the most remarkable pope of all: Pope Joan. The story is quickly told. Pope John VIII went out to bless the people of […]

Did Christ Exist? April 14, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Did Christ Exist?

Beach should start this piece with a disclaimer: he is not a Christian – ‘not that there is anything wrong with that’ – and is unlikely to ever become one. And with this bit of initial hand-wringing out of the way on to today’s question, provoked by some recent internet articles, did Jesus exist? Well, […]

Suicide and Historical Loopholes April 7, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient, Contemporary, Modern
Suicide and Historical Loopholes

Suicide has proved abhorrent to most spiritual traditions. Certainly, the great monotheistic religions and most of the far Eastern religions have condemned ‘self-murder’: cue lots of pulpit bashing and descriptions of hell or unpleasant reincarnations. This begs the question though of what you can do if you live in 500 BC or 500 AD or […]

The Valley of Sweet Bells and Dead Bodies February 19, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Valley of Sweet Bells and Dead Bodies

Usually when Christian missionaries come face to face with a pagan shrine, the vitae tells us that the axe comes out and the splinters fly. But imagine if you were one of these (perhaps God-forsaken) missionaries in the woods of early medieval Germany or the great mountain ranges of Asia. How many really felt courage […]

The Soul Zoo January 27, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Soul Zoo

So many interesting replies to recent posts to put up but little Miss B has a nasty flu so she is home from school and Beachcombing will be spending the morning with her – she is a state of such anxiety that the poor kid needs to be held at all times. Saturday seems a […]

2012 and All That January 24, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary
2012 and All That

The Beachcombings’ last aupair but one wanted to go back to school and get a degree as a midwife (which in itself begs all kinds of questions) but was holding off till 2013: ‘I don’t want to waste my time if the world is about to end’ she usefully explained. Beach should add that she […]

Jesus Lived to 114 in Japan! January 11, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary
Jesus Lived to 114 in Japan!

Beach has long been hearing rumours that Jesus Christ was actually buried in an obscure Japanese village of Shingo. But it was only this morning that he finally decided to climb up this particular mountain of madness and see what was really happening up in the mists. According to local ‘tradition’ (always a slippery word) […]

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