The Unlikely Concord Between Paganism and Christianity

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 27
  • Published: December 16, 2012
Read full document
Text Preview
Since early Christianity spread from locale to locale, with the assistance of indoctrinating traditional pagan beliefs as a way of making the new religion more acceptable to those indigenous people they wished to entice, to explore the beginnings of Christianity, one needs to study how regional native myths affected and altered Christianity to assist in its evangelism. We’ll first compare the similarities of doctrine between the new system of beliefs and the ancient axiom. Next, one needs to consider how age-old allegories correlate to Christianity. The association of the primal virtues of the pagans and the new Christian canon as applied to morality shall be reviewed. We’ll examine how aged customs influenced Christian celebrations and idolatry. Finally, we’ll conclude the aforementioned dimensions of religion on how paganism influenced the social structure and it’s adaptation from the ancient myths to the conversation of the new established religion – Christianity. These comparisons will not be made to the whole of Christianity, although it would be applicable on many facets, but rather of how traditional and regional myth assimilated into the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church since in a number of cases, Roman Catholic saints became successors to familiar deities giving an abundance of similarities between gods and saints. Remember, to understand a culture, you must first grasp the mythical characteristics associated within the context of that civilization – both past and present.

Before we begin however, we would be remiss if we did not provide a brief overview of the history of Christianity and its beliefs from the beginning. More than two millennia ago, a child was born to a virgin mother named Mary in Judea in the city of Bethlehem, under the authority of Roman dominance, named Jesus Christ. He, Jesus Christ, sermonized to the masses and died as a felonious malefactor after only little more than thirty years of a mortal existence. How did a Jewish peasant from humble beginnings, who never authored any document, never commanded a legion nor held any type of political office, become so revered as the savior of mankind and known throughout the world as the Son of Man and the Son of God? How did this new school of thought of Christian-Jews elevate to global prominence? What occurred when the new order happened upon other religions? Was conversation to the new and unfamiliar system of beliefs violent, or was it peaceful? Christianity altered cultures as it evangelized while adapting itself by the civilization they desired to convert.

Prior to disputes and separations, the Roman Catholic Church was the sole authority on Christianity. The Roman Empire challenged the expansion of its inevitable successor, but after the Church gained recognition from Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, the new religion was then confronted against the clout of paganism while attempting to grow in numbers. The message was delivered throughout the former Empire by the early Christian missionaries, most notably by Saul who we would later know as Saint Paul, expounding upon the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ, also known as The Nativity, is recounted within the Gospel According to Luke in 2:6-7, and also within The Gospel According to Matthew in 1:21-25 ²¹She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.' ²²Now all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: ²³Look! The virgin is with child and will give birth to a son

whom they will call Immanuel, a name which means 'God-is-with-us'. ²⁴ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home; ²⁵he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus . Later, at the approximate age of thirty, Jesus Christ conducted His ministry to His disciples with the...
tracking img