origins of religion


Caption: Moses Montefiore Temple-photograph by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.

Although many religions have lovely, loving attributes, most, perhaps all have horrific histories of oppression. I have reservations about dogmatic assertions of knowledge that cannot be known or consignment of others to hell. What I value most is the sense of community and efforts toward goodness that religion fosters.


I never met my maternal great-grandmother. When I was in my early thirties my mother confided to me that her grandmother, Amelia Katz Fenton Daly (née Katz) was Jewish. This would be my mother’s mother’s mother, which by Talmudic law would render me Jewish. I was shocked, and not aware of having heard this before, but I had somehow known this before which made it easier to integrate into my possibilities of being. Therefore, I added Judaism to my religious studies of: Christianity/Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, and many other earnest religions which might be considered cults by some. I have studied Judaism at several synagogues over the years, and took Judaic courses during my master’s studies at Ohio State University, but I have not had the time left in life to learn Hebrew, and I no longer continue in that direction.


All I know of my maternal great-grandmother is: Amelia Katz married Fenton then divorced, and married Daly; she was mother of Hazel Daly, Mary Daly, and Edward Daly. Oh, and she turned from Judaism to worship as a Catholic. Of course, I have questions, but there is no going back in time. The only thing I have of her is this photograph, perhaps the shape of our faces and line of eyebrow are the same.

Caption: Amelia Katz Daly Fenton-maternal great-grandmother of Annmarie Throckmorton.


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