Re: Mithra

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 17:06:00 EDT

You can visit at least 2 mithraeums in the UK, one at Hadrian's wall and one in London. The latter provides an amusing but unfortunate example of the need for care in visiting archaeological sites. It was found while foundations were being dug for the offices of an insurance company, and the company generously moved & rebuilt it. Unfortunately they failed to consult experts and got part of it put together backwards! (This may have been fixed. It's been awhile since I was there.)

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Robert Schneider
  To: ASA ; Dick Fischer
  Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 4:49 PM
  Subject: Re: Mithra

  I visited the Church of San Clemente in May of 1995. Beneath the present church are the remains of a 4th century church, including some wall paintings from that era. Then below that are the remains of a street. One one side of the street are the remains of a Roman house dating from the first century AD. Archeologists have speculated that this was the original "house church," on the site of which were built the later churches. Across the street is the Mithraeum John Haught also saw. It is a small, rectangular room with a rectangular dressed stone structure with a peaked top. It appears that the members of the cult sat or stood along the walls of the room while the rituals were performed. The whole complex is quite impressive. (According to tradition St. Clement (fl. c 96) was the second or third successor to St. Peter as Bishop of Rome, though the matter of episcopal succession was probably pretty fluid and not fixed at that time. In the collection of writings known as the Apostolic Fathers, the letter 1. Clement is probably genuine. It appears in some NT canonical lists, and is found at the conclusion of the Codex Alexandrinus of the NT, though it did not survive the cut, as we know.)

  Bob Schneider
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dick Fischer
    To: ASA
    Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 4:02 PM
    Subject: RE: Mithra

    I contacted John Haught at Georgetown. He said this:

    "I visited San Clemente in Rome and saw the rooms where the Mithraic brotherhood met (it was a pretty macho cult, but very moving in terms of expressing the need to bond around a heroic figure)."

    Glenn wrote:

      The differences you describe pale in comparison with the differences between Christianity and Buddhism etc. You have basically, in microcosm, made my point about fideism. If belief is the only basis for determining truth, rather than some observation, then clearly it is very easy to fool oneself. In which case, refusing to risk that the Bible might be false is quite reasonable because the answer is already known.

    Hey, if a religion comes along with better data and evidence than mine, I'll jump ship. As Sgt. Friday used to say, "Just the facts." I can sort them out for myself.

    I've discovered, however, that the ability to sort out the facts and reach logical, consistent conclusions varies from individual to individual. Agendas and preconceptions are formidable impediments. Add to that misconception, misunderstanding, and misinformation and it can be a confusing milieu with which we try to sort out how we can attain eternal life and escape hellfire and damnation.

    Your either/or, right or wrong, way of looking at things isn't how I look at things. I weigh everything and sort them out into likelihoods. Then choose what seems most likely, based upon the accumulation of data, and follow that path. That might not work for everybody.

    I used to argue with a Catholic friend of mine. He bought into every church dogma without equivocation. Transubstantiation (wine of the Eucharist turns into the blood of Christ in your tummy), the Immaculate Conception (Mary had no natural father), the appointing of saints (Pope calls the shots) were irrefutable beliefs in his mind and open to inquiry in my mind. I don't think Catholicism is "wrong," it just has some baggage I can't buy into.

    If eternal life and a right way to live are goals, then Christianity in its many forms is good for that. For those not interested in those goals, there are plenty of alternatives. Mithra might do just as well as anything else.

    Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
    Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
Received on Tue Apr 5 17:06:47 2005

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