Spring 2005 Spring 2005 At First Glance David Hulme Things are not always as they first appear. It’s easy to be taken in by outward appearances. Spring 2005 Messiahs! Rulers and the Role of Religion, Part 1 Men As Gods David Hulme It’s a reality with a colorful history dating back to ancient empires: Powerful leaders sometimes fall prey to grand delusions. Inventing Deities Numerous first-century Roman emperors were enamored with divinity. Perpetuating the Cult During the period between the death of Trajan and the rise of Constantine, several emperors perpetuated the imperial cult. Here's a timeline. Spring 2005 In the Depths of Darfur Rebecca Sweat The UN says the ongoing tragedy in Darfur is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. Aid workers and analysts talk to Vision about the crisis. A Worldwide Problem During the last couple of decades, there has been an upsurge in the numbers of IDPs. By 1995 there were an estimated 20–25 million. IDPs or Refugees: What’s the Difference? Besides the estimated 2.4 million IDPs in Darfur, at least 200,000 Darfuri refugees have crossed the Sudanese border and are living in Chad. What’s the difference between the two designations? The Darfur Crisis and Sudan’s 50-Year Civil War The world’s attention has been drawn to what’s happening in Darfur, with a global outcry from humanitarian organizations, government leaders and media. Spring 2005 Mary, Mary? Quite the Contrary! David F. Lloyd Mary Magdalene has been repainted to conform to modern agendas. But is her new image a truer likeness than the old? Mary Who? The Mary Magdalene who has been conveyed to the world by the Gnostics bears a striking resemblance to Helena, the companion of Simon Magus. Spring 2005 Christianity’s Tangled Roots Peter Nathan Competing philosophies put pressure on the early Christian church to change its doctrines and practices. One of these contenders was Gnosticism. Gnostics and Gnosticism What is Gnosticism? English philosopher Henry More first used the new term in 1669. Luxor’s Lost Library Nag Hammadi is a settlement on the Nile river in Egypt, where, in 1945, a peasant dug up a large jar containing ancient gnostic writings. Spring 2005 The Gospels for the 21st Century, Part 21 “It Is Finished” David Hulme Jesus’ death has been interpreted and portrayed in many ways through the ages. Yet the real story is much more powerful than anything art, literature, television or film has had to offer. Spring 2005 This Unstable Earth Donna Butler Bill Butler With the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster still haunting Southeast Asia, Vision looks at other potential trouble spots on the earth's fragile surface. Spring 2005 The Word on Earthquakes John Meakin A commonly expressed thought in the wake of natural disasters is that God must be punishing humanity for sin. But where does this belief come from? Spring 2005 An Ancient Truth: We Are Not in Control John Meakin “Where was God when the tsunami struck?” You’ve heard the question, but what’s the answer? Spring 2005 From Jew to Gentile? David Hulme James D. Tabor, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, discusses misconceptions that have surrounded the apostle Paul since mainstream Christianity’s early days. Spring 2005 Passover to Easter Peter Nathan The establishment of Easter as a key Christian festival is an example of the syncretization of Judeo-Christian and pagan celebrations. Spring 2005 Polycrates: Unity or Truth Ivor C. Fletcher Peter Nathan Early Church leader Polycrates was not afraid to hold fast to his beliefs in the face of persecution.