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“Forbidden fruit” was written in the Bible in reference to the ‘apple’ of Eden that led to Adam and Eve being banished from paradise for tasting of the Tree of Knowledge. But was the forbidden fruit really an apple or some other fruit? Source: funstarts33 / Adobe Stock

Was the “Forbidden Fruit” in the Garden of Eden Actually an Apple?

The forbidden fruit reference in the Bible and the story of how Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden is well known and used in all kinds of modern contexts. But was the forbidden fruit...
Spiritual Marriage and Holy Virginity: The Medieval Practice of Sexless Marriage

Spiritual Marriage and Holy Virginity: The Medieval Practice of Sexless Marriage

The institution of marriage dates back to almost the beginning of written history, with countless variations on how it has been practiced throughout the ages in different cultures and religions. The...
A young priest listens to confession.

Penitentials - Medieval Priests Had Handbooks to Deal with Sexual Deviance

Penance has played a prominent role in religions all over the world. And the interesting thing is there are documents spanning the globe which discuss penance and provide clear opportunities to find...
The idea of suicide is complicated and controversial, and the position of the Church was less than sympathetic.

Dire Consequences of Suicide in the European Middle Ages

The cycle of life and death is an eternal and unchanging truth of human history. Yet, the attitudes around both are influenced and shaped by a number of factors. Today, dying of old age is seen as a...
A Huastec Tlazolteotl statue, the British Museum. (The Trustees of the British Museum/CC BY NC SA 4.0) Background: Aztec iconography. (CC0)

Tlazolteotl: An Ancient Patroness and Purifier for all things Filthy

Tlazolteotl was an earth goddess in the pantheon of the Aztecs, although her area of influence is a little wider and more unusual than some goddesses of the earth and fertility. Filth was her domain...
Medieval manuscript depicting the legend of the nun praying a hundred and fifty times a day Ave Maria.

Did Irish Medieval Saints Perform Abortions? Controversy Ahead of 8th Amendment Referendum

Irish citizens will go to the polls at the end of May and decide if their Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion, should be repealed or not. The topic is a heavy one, with both sides...
Sogmatar temple ruins

The Celestial Temple of Sogmatar: A Sacred Site Dedicated to Sin and the Planets

Ancient Arab accounts tell of a mysterious temple in eastern Anatolia dedicated to the planets. The ruins surrounding the modern village of Sogmatar used to be an important city during the...
India, Rajasthan, 13th-14th century (Public Domain) and A 12th-century sandstone statue of a dancing Apsara from Uttar Pradesh, India.

What Really Happened in the Celestial Palace? Daughters of Pleasure, Courtesans of the Gods

It takes much willpower to resist the temptation of the asparas ; beautiful dancing women in the court of Indra, king of the gods, in the celestial palace in Hindu mythology. They are the heavenly...
Massive 5,000-year-old monument dedicated to Moon God in Galilee

Massive 5,000-year-old monument dedicated to Moon God found near Sea of Galilee

Archaeologists have discovered an enormous 5,000-year-old stone monument shaped like a lunar crescent near the Sea of Galilee in what is now Israel, according to a report in Live Science . Its...