Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, therefore the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology, its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation". The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon; the author names himself in the text as "John", but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Melito the bishop of Sardis, Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation. Modern scholarship takes a different view, many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet; some modern scholars characterise Revelation's author as a putative figure whom they call "John of Patmos".
The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian, the evidence tends to confirm this. The book spans three literary genres: the epistolary, the apocalyptic, the prophetic, it begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, addressing a letter to the "Seven Churches of Asia". He describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Seven Headed Dragon, The Serpent and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus; the obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις, which means "unveiling" or "revelation"; the author names himself as "John", but modern scholars consider it unlikely that the author of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John. Pope Dionysius of Alexandria set out some of the evidence for this view as early as the second half of the third century, noting that the gospel and the epistles attributed to John, unlike Revelation, do not name their author, that the Greek of the gospel is stylistically correct and elegant while that of Revelation is neither.
Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle, but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, the author never states that he knew Jesus. All, known is that this John was a Jewish Christian prophet belonging to a group of such prophets, was accepted as such by the congregations to whom he addresses his letter, his precise identity remains unknown, modern scholarship refers to him as "John of Patmos". The book has been written about 95 AD; the date is suggested by clues in the visions pointing to the reign of the emperor Domitian. The beast with seven heads and the number 666 seem to allude directly to the emperor Nero, but this does not require that Revelation was written in the 60s, as there was a widespread belief in decades that Nero would return. Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy with an epistolary introduction addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. "Apocalypse" means the revealing of divine mysteries.
The entire book constitutes the letter—the letters to the seven individual churches are introductions to the rest of the book, addressed to all seven. While the dominant genre is apocalyptic, the author sees himself as a Christian prophet: Revelation uses the word in various forms twenty-one times, more than any other New Testament book; the predominant view is that Revelation alludes to the Old Testament although it is difficult among scholars to agree on the exact number of allusions or the allusions themselves. Revelation quotes directly from the Old Testament, yet every verse alludes to or echoes older scriptures. Over half of the references stem from Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah, with Daniel providing the largest number in proportion to length and Ezekiel standing out as the most influential; because these references appear as allusions rather than as quotes, it is difficult to know whether the author used the Hebrew or the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, but he was often influenced by the Greek.
He frequently combines multiple references, again the allusional style makes it impossible to be certain to what extent he did so consciously. According to several studies including a review by Dr James Tabor and Dr J. Mass
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief. In an narrower sense, atheism is the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists; the etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος, meaning "without god". In antiquity it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods, or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods; the term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope.
The first individuals to identify themselves using the word atheist lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason; the French Revolution can be described as the first period where atheism became implemented politically. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, the argument from nonbelief. Nonbelievers contend that atheism is a more parsimonious position than theism and that everyone is born without beliefs in deities. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.
According to global Win-Gallup International studies, 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists" in 2012, 11% were "convinced atheists" in 2015, in 2017, 9% were "convinced atheists". However, other researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have a bigger sample size have reached lower figures. An older survey by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2004 recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%. According to these polls and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61 % of people in China reported; the figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force". Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism, contesting what supernatural entities are considered gods, whether it is a philosophic position in its own right or the absence of one, whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection.
Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism, has been contrasted with it. A variety of categories have been used to distinguish the different forms of atheism; some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of God and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability; the ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. This view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity. With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. Definitions of atheism vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist.
Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas; as far back as 1772, Baron d'Holbach said. George H. Smith suggested that: "The man, unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god; this category would include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but, still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist." Implicit atheism is "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it" and explicit atheism is the conscious rejection of belief. For the purposes of his paper on "philosophical atheism", Ernest Nagel contested including mere absence of theistic belief as a type of atheism. Graham Oppy classifies as innocents those who never considered the question because they lack any understanding of what a god is. According to Oppy, these could be one-month-old babies, humans with severe traumatic brain injuries, or patients with advanced dementia.
Philosophers such as Antony Flew and Michael Martin have contrasted positive (st
Catacombs are human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place is a catacomb, although the word is most associated with the Roman Empire; the first place to be referred to as catacombs was the system of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way in Rome, where the bodies of the apostles Peter and Paul, among others, were said to have been buried. The name of that place in Late Latin was L. L. fem. nom. pl. n. catacumbas a word of obscure origin deriving from a proper name, or else a corruption of the Latin phrase cata tumbas, "among the tombs". The word referred only to the Roman catacombs, but was extended by 1836 to refer to any subterranean receptacle of the dead, as in the 18th-century Paris catacombs. All Roman catacombs were located outside city walls since it was illegal to bury a dead body within the city, providing "a place…where martyrs tombs could be marked" and commemorative services and feasts held safely on sacred days.
Catacombs around the world include: Australia – Catacombs of Trinity College, Melbourne Austria – Catacombs of St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna Czech Republic – Catacombs of Znojmo Bosnia and Herzegovina – Catacombs of Jajce Egypt – Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa in Alexandria England – Catacombs of London and others Finland – Catacombs of the Helsinki Orthodox cemetery at Hietaniemi cemetery France – Catacombs of Paris. Mine workings were used at end of the 18th century and had no religious purpose other than as an ossuary for storing the bones of cleared graveyards. Greece – Catacombs of Milos Italy – Catacombs of Rome. Capuchin catacombs of Palermo, Sicily were used as late as the 1920s. Catacombs were available in some of the grander English cemeteries founded in the 19th Century, such as Sheffield General Cemetery and West Norwood Cemetery. There are catacombs in Bulgaria near Aladzha Monastery and in Romania as medieval underground galleries in Bucharest. In Ukraine and Russia, catacomb refers to the network of abandoned caves and tunnels earlier used to mine stone limestone.
Catacombs, although most notable as underground passageways and cemeteries house many decorations. There are thousands of decorations in the centuries-old catacombs of Rome, catacombs of Paris, other known and unknown catacombs, some of which include inscriptions, statues and other items placed in the graves over the years. Most of these decorations were used to identify and show respect to the dead. Decorations in the catacombs of Rome were decorated with images and words exalting Christ or depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Much of the sculpture work and art, other than engravings on the walls or tombs, has been preserved in places such as the Museum of St. John Lateran, Christian Museum of Berlin University, the Vatican. Three representations of Christ as Orpheus charming animals with peaceful music have been found in the catacombs of Domatilla and St. Callista. Another figure was made of gilded glass and dates back to the fourth century, featuring Jesus with the world balanced in his hand and a scroll at his feet.
Although thousands of inscriptions were lost as time passed, many of those remaining indicate the social rank or job title of its inhabitants. A common and interesting one found in Roman catacombs is the Ichthys, or "Monogram of Christ" which reads ΙΧΘΥΣ, standing for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior". In recent years unique strains of bacteria have been discovered that thrive in catacombs, inducing mineral efflorescence and decay; these include Kribbella sancticallisti, Kribbella catacumbae, three types of non-thermophilic Rubrobacter. Cemetery Crypt Ossuary "The Cask of Amontillado" Underground city Blyton, Enid "Five go to Smuggler's Top" Hodder and Stroughton ISBN 978-1-84456-678-5 Éamonn Ó Carragáin, Carol L. Neuman de Vegvar Roma felix: formation and reflections of medieval Rome Ashgate ISBN 978-0-7546-6096-5 p. 33 Nicholson, Paul Thomas "The sacred animal necropolis at North Saqqara: the cults and their catacombs" In Salima Ikram Divine creatures: animal mummies in Ancient Egypt. American University in Cairo Press, 2005 pp. 44–71.
ISBN 978-977-424-858-0 The Catacombs of Saint Sebastian The Catacombs of Naples The Catacombs of Paris Catacombs The Catacombs of Saint Callist Subterranean Britannica The Catacombs of Lima, Peru
Lunar Society of Birmingham
The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. At first called the Lunar Circle, "Lunar Society" became the formal name by 1775; the name arose because the society would meet during the full moon, as the extra light made the journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting. The members cheerfully referred to themselves as a pun on lunatics. Venues included Erasmus Darwin's home in Lichfield, Matthew Boulton's home, Soho House, Bowbridge House in Derbyshire, Great Barr Hall; the Lunar Society evolved through various degrees of organisation over a period of up to fifty years, but was only an informal group. No constitution, publications or membership lists survive from any period, evidence of its existence and activities is found only in the correspondence and notes of those associated with it.
Historians therefore disagree on what qualifies as membership of the Lunar Society, who can be considered to have been members, when the society can be said to have existed. Josiah Wedgwood, for example, is described by some commentators as being one of five "principal members" of the society, while others consider that he "cannot be recognized as full member" at all. Dates given for the establishment of the society range from "sometime before 1760" to 1775; some historians argue that it had ceased to exist by 1791. Despite this uncertainty, fourteen individuals have been identified as having verifiably attended Lunar Society meetings over a long period during its most productive eras: these are Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Samuel Galton, Jr. Robert Augustus Johnson, James Keir, Joseph Priestley, William Small, Jonathan Stokes, James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, John Whitehurst and William Withering. While the society's meetings provided its name and social focus, they were unimportant in its activities, far more activity and communication took place outside the meetings themselves – members local to Birmingham were in daily contact, more distant ones in correspondence at least weekly.
A more loosely defined group has therefore been identified over a wider geographical area and longer time period, who attended meetings and who corresponded or co-operated with multiple other members on group activities. These include Richard Kirwan, John Smeaton, Henry Moyes, John Michell, Pieter Camper, R. E. Raspe, John Baskerville, Thomas Beddoes, John Wyatt, William Thomson, Cyril Jackson, Jean-André Deluc, John Wilkinson, John Ash, Samuel More, Robert Bage, James Brindley, Ralph Griffiths, John Roebuck, Thomas Percival, Joseph Black, James Hutton, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Banks, William Herschel, Daniel Solander, John Warltire, George Fordyce, Alexander Blair, Samuel Parr, Louis Joseph d'Albert d'Ailly, William Emes, the seventh Duke of Chaulnes, Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond, Grossart de Virly, Johann Gottling. and Joseph WrightThis lack of a defined membership has led some historians to criticise a Lunar Society "legend", leading people to "confuse it and its efforts with the general growth of intellectual and economic activities in the provinces of eighteenth century Britain".
Others have seen this both as real and as one of the society's main strengths: a paper read at the Science Museum in London in 1963 claimed that "of all the provincial philosophical societies it was the most important because it was not provincial. All the world came to Soho to meet Boulton, Watt or Small, who were acquainted with the leading men of Science throughout Europe and America, its essential sociability meant that any might be invited to attend its meetings." The origins of the Lunar Society lie in a pattern of friendships. Matthew Boulton and Erasmus Darwin met some time between 1757 and 1758 through family connections, as Boulton's mother's family were patients of Darwin. Darwin was a poet who had studied at Cambridge and Edinburgh. Despite their different backgrounds they shared a common interest in experiment and invention, their activities would show Darwin's theoretical understanding and Boulton's practical experience to be complementary. Soon they were visiting each other and conducting investigations into scientific subjects such as electricity and geology.
Around the same time the Derby-based clockmaker John Whitehurst became a friend, first of Boulton and subsequently of Darwin, through his business supplying clock movements to Boulton's ormolu manufacturing operation. Although older than both Boulton and Darwin, by 1758 Whitehurst was writing to Boulton telling excitedly of a pyrometer he had built, looking forward to visiting Birmingham "to spend one day with you in trying all necessary experiments". Boulton and Whitehurst were in turn introduced by Michell to Benjamin Franklin when he travelled to Birmingham in July 1758 "to improve and increase Acquaintance among Persons of Influence", Franklin returned in 1760 to conduct experiments with Boulton on electricity and sound. Although Michell seems to have withdrawn from the group when he moved to Thornhill in 1767, Franklin was to remain a common link among many of the early members
Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
Christ Church, Birmingham
Christ Church, was a parish church in the Church of England on Colmore Row, Birmingham from 1805 to 1899. The church was built by public subscription; the site was donated by William Phillips Ing. The foundation stone was laid on 22 July 1805 by 3rd Earl of Dartmouth; the Earl of Dartmouth was representing King George III, who had intended to lay the foundation stone but was prevented from doing so by illness. The King gave £1,000 towards the construction; the final cost was £26,000. It was consecrated on 6 July 1813 by the Bishop of Lichfield, it was unusual in that all of the seating on the ground floor was free, it came to be known as the'Free Church'. It was built in stone in the Classical style with Doric columns dominating the west front; the square west tower, completed in 1814, supported an octagonal spire. The catacombs beneath the church were believed to contain the re-interred remains of John Baskerville; the parish was assigned from St Martin in the Bull Ring and St. Philips' Church in 1865.
The building and site were sold in 1897. The church was demolished in 1899. Part of the parish was given to Birmingham. Since the building was not well liked, it earned the nickname "Ten thousand tons of stony ugliness". An organ was installed by Thomas Elliot, of London
Wolverley is a village. It is 2 mi north of Kidderminster and lies on the River Stour and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. At the time of the 2001 census, it had a population of 2,096. There are 13 Listed Buildings within Wolverley, three of which are grade II*. One of the unusual features of the area are rooms cut into the sandstone cliffs behind some of the houses. In the centre of the village, next to the Queen's Head Public House car-park are some caves which reflect this usage. Wolverley has one of the few remaining animal pounds in the area. Woverley's Church of England and parish church is dedicated to St. John, it is claimed as a tradition that there has been a church or chapel on the site since Anglo-Saxon times. The first documented evidence of a church was the mention of a parish priest in the village in the Domesday Book. A church on the site of the current parish church site has been in deanery of Kidderminster since the 13th Century; the current building was consecrated on 20 September 1772, belongs to the Church of England.
Wolverley was recorded in the Doomsday Book under an ancient spelling of Ulwardelie. John Atte Wode is recorded as holding land at Wolverley prior to 1357. According to ancient legend a crusading member of the Attwood family was rescued from a dungeon and returned to his home Wolverley Court by a swan. Wolverley was the birthplace of William Sebright, who as a Town Clerk of London accumulated an estate in Bethnal Green, which he left in his will of 1620 for the foundation of a grammar school in Wolverley; the site of the original Wolverley Grammar School is still in the centre of the village: the grammar school changed its name to Sebright School in 1931 when it moved to a new site. The new school was opened by Bewdley-born Stanley Baldwin. Between 1948 and 1970 Sebright was a public school, from 1965 to 1969 the sculptor Fritz Steller was the Head of Art. Sebright School closed in 1970 and reopened as Wolverley High School, now called Wolverley C E Secondary School, a state run secondary school.
However, the junior wing, Heathfield School, continued in existence and now includes pupils up to 16. Over the years the endowment left by William Sebright has grown to millions of pounds, the original scope of the educational foundation he set up has been broadened to include grants to local schools, to former pupils of those schools. Wolverley Lower Mill, established in 1670 by Philip Foley and Joshua Newborough, helped the village play a key role in the early tinplate industry; the village was the birthplace of John Baskerville, the celebrated printer. During the Second World War the US Army Medical Corps opened its award-winning 52nd general hospital at Wolverley Camp. Castle Hill, the site of Medieval ruins. Drakelow Hillfort, a small multivallate Iron Age hillfort, located on a promontory Richard Baxter Monument, was built around 1850 in memory of Richard Baxter, a Kidderminster-based English Puritan church leader and hymn-writer; the monument resides on a hilltop on Blakeshall Common. Sebright Baronets Allies, Jabez, On the Ancient British and Saxon Antiquities and Folklore of Worcestershire, Kessinger publishing's rare reprints, Kessinger Publishing, p. 307, ISBN 9780766162259 King, P. W. "Wolverley Lower Mill and the Beginnings of the Tinplate Industry", Historical Metallurgy, 22: 104–113 Sebright Education Foundation – Chapel fund, Old Wolvernian Association, 5 July 2006, retrieved 3 May 2015 Parish Website and parish church of Saint John the Baptist and link River Stour Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Wolverley and Cookley Historical Society S&W Canal Attwood Family Information Wolverley article in Wyfopedia Sebright's Educational Foundation