Be you a-theist or a theist, three great links were found on the Inter-Tubes today, one is on Anne Hutchinson and the other two are on the recent archaeological find of an 11,000 year old Turkish temple complex.
It appears that religion started before the villages, agriculture, and cities did, rather than the other way around. More importantly is how advanced the sculptural art is on the T-shaped temple lintels, the photos are truly gorgeous. For as much as we love to think of ourselves as the only era who makes art and creates systems, humanity has been doing both and more for far longer than our systems of history and archaeology have accounted for:
The new discoveries are finally beginning to reshape the slow-moving consensus of archeology. Göbekli Tepe is “unbelievably big and amazing, at a ridiculously early date,” according to Ian Hodder, director of Stanford’s archeology program. Enthusing over the “huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art” at Göbekli, Hodder–who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites–says: “Many people think that it changes everything…It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong.”
Schmidt’s thesis is simple and bold: it was the urge to worship that brought mankind together in the very first urban conglomerations. The need to build and maintain this temple, he says, drove the builders to seek stable food sources, like grains and animals that could be domesticated, and then to settle down to guard their new way of life. The temple begat the city. – Newsweek.
History in the Remaking: A temple complex in Turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution.
Smithsonian Photo gallery on Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?
And then let’s move the the new world and to America’s first public heretic (not really) and feminist (yes, really, 15 kids & was willing to go out on her own and stand up to the authorities in 1630s Boston!), Killing the Buddha parsed out what it heresy means and Anne Hutchinson’s wonderful defense for any person’s direct connection / petitioning of the Divine without the need of the clergy. She out-Protestanted the Puritans:
Where had Anne Hutchinson learned such an outrageous idea–that a person can be in direct communion with God? From the Bible; from the promptings of her heart. Minister John Cotton–who would later condemn her so severely–had taught her that the inward dwelling Spirit of Christ was more than a mere metaphor or abstraction. “It is not you that speak (and consequently not you that think or do),” he had written, “But the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.”
Just as Antinomianism wasn’t something that Hutchinson had cooked up on her own, but an ineluctable (if morally and philosophically problematic) corollary of the doctrine of Justification by Grace Alone, there was ample biblical precedent for Hutchinson’s conviction that she could hear God’s voice. When the court demanded that she tell them how she knew that it was God who spoke to her and not the Devil, she answered with a question of her own: “How did Abraham know that it was the voice of God, when he commanded him to sacrifice his son?” – Killing the Buddha
The best part is the the two sets of folks that I know who descend from Anne Hutchinson are also bold, outspoken, creative people of (non-conformist) faith.