By Philippe Walter
Finds how Christian mythology has extra to do with long-standing pagan traditions than the Bible
• Explains how the church fathers knowingly integrated pagan components into the Christian religion to ease the transition to the hot faith
• Identifies pagan deities that have been included into all the saints
• exhibits how the entire significant vacation trips within the Christian calendar are modeled on pagan rituals and myths, together with Easter and yuletide
In this wide learn of the Christian mythology that lively Europe within the center a while, writer Philippe Walter finds how those tales and the vacation traditions attached with them are according to long-standing pagan rituals and myths and feature little or no connection to the Bible. the writer explains how the church fathers knowingly integrated pagan parts into the Christian religion to ease the transition to the recent faith. instead of tear down the pagan temples in Britain, Pope Gregory the nice instructed Saint Augustine of Canterbury so as to add the pagan rituals into the combination of Christian practices and remodel the pagan temples into church buildings. rather than spiritual conversion, it used to be easily a question of convincing the population to incorporate Jesus of their present spiritual practices.
Providing large documentation, Walter indicates which significant calendar days of the Christian 12 months are based on pagan rituals and myths, together with the excessive vacation trips of Easter and yuletide. interpreting hagiographic bills of the saints, he unearths the beginning of those symbolic figures within the deities worshipped in pagan Europe for hundreds of years. He additionally explores how the identities of saints and pagan figures turned so intermingled that a few saints have been remodeled into pagan incarnations, similar to Mary Magdalene’s conversion into one of many Celtic women of the Lake.
In revealing the pagan roots of many Christian figures, tales, and rituals, Walter presents a brand new knowing of the evolution of non secular belief.
“Walter writes in a extraordinary educational culture that is going again to Jesse L. Weston and Sir James Frazier. He describes a wealthy advanced of pagan, ecu traditions that tell Christian ritual. In doing so, he illuminates ideals that underlie a few of our such a lot loved tales and practices. i'm going to suggest this publication to my students.” (Steve Harris, affiliate professor of English, collage of Massachusetts)
“It is mostly understood that Christianity bolstered its place early on within the well known brain by means of usurping and bending pagan rituals and sacred locales. during this formidable scholarly treatise, professor of medieval French literature Walter marries the pagan and Christian calendars in nice aspect by way of interpreting historical myths, saints, and celebrations. He visits All Saints Day, the Twelve Days of Christmas, Candlemas, Easter, Ascension, St. John’s Day of summer time, St. Peter’s Chains Day, and St. Michael’s Day to discover that those each year rounds, approximately forty days aside, percentage a legendary realm with the dates of Carnival, top understood as ‘a religion--it was once even the faith previous Christianity.’ Walter’s assets comprise acts of councils, confessors’ manuals, literary texts akin to Arthurian romances, hagiographic works, and medieval iconography. whereas he doesn’t assault Christianity on its non secular benefits, he concludes boldly that ‘Christianity may have had no probability of enforcing itself within the West if, on definite issues of dogma and rites, it had now not replied to the non secular wishes of the switched over pagans.’ . . . This quantity makes a robust scholarly contribution to knowing the evolution of trust, the place ‘it is necessary to appreciate that not anything has been misplaced or created.’” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Philippe Walter is a professor of medieval French literature on the Université Stendhal in Grenoble. He has released a variety of books concerning the heart a long time and has overseen the enhancing and translation of the Grail romances for the celebrated Bibliotheque de los angeles Pléiade. He lives in France.
See all Editorial Reviews
Christian Mythology - The Revelations of Pagan Origins by means of Philippe Walter. Painstakingly researched, Walter starts off initially of the yr, explains the Pagan origins of each vacation or banquet day and the way the church attempted to hide them up, Christianize them or break them. He explains what percentage Pagan Gods and Goddesses and different deities have been switched over to Christian “saints” in an try to entice the Pagans into Christianity. Very fascinating e-book and a must-read for somebody that has ever wondered the credibility of the Christian faith or for Pagans attracted to studying concerning the roots of Pagan ideals and practices. I learn it correct after i stopped Pagan & Christian Creeds, Their that means & beginning by means of Edward chippie which was once additionally an excellent booklet regarding Pagan ideals and their origins. I enjoyed this booklet and provides it five stars.
Thoroughly researched and dense with info, this publication sheds mild at the origins of Christian vacations, saints, or even the lifetime of Jesus. there was a lot dialogue in fresh a long time approximately what's truth (and what's poetic license) within the time-honored tales approximately early Christianity. Professor Walter takes all of it a step additional as he files the facts assisting the speculation that a lot of Christianity used to be merged into latest pagan ritual and symbolism. He explains how the necessity to deliver pagan worshippers into the recent faith superceded the necessity to competently list old events.
Some readers should be distressed by means of those revelations, yet i feel such a lot of you can be intrigued to solve the mysterious roots of 1 of the world’s significant non secular traditions. for plenty of New awareness readers it will likely be a reduction to determine that the faith within which they have been raised is absolutely tied to traditional cycles and customary transcendent stories in the end. I hugely suggest this booklet for its perception and a focus to aspect. It definitely offers readers a lot to imagine about.
Comment 7 humans chanced on this useful. used to be this evaluate necessary to you?
Good e-book on heritage of faith. convinced, Christianity DID include parts of prior religions. faith is part of tradition and civilization which evolves as do others.
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Extra info for Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins
Once the sources of medieval Christian practices have been identified and studied we must organize the results of a comparative investigation within an explanatory context that will not overly alter the source we have uncovered. In fact, if a living mythology existed in the Middle Ages, it was celebrated in rites and festivals. It is not possible to separate rite from myth. Thus, in order to avoid all artificial theoretical constructions, it is preferable to adopt a calendrical or chronological inventory rather than an alphabetical inventory of rites and myths, despite the recurrence of the same rites on different dates.
Throughout France and the rest of Europe, other saints and illustrious figures are supposed to have left similar imprints on stones, suggesting the survival of old mythic beliefs that, over the years, human imagination has applied to saints or heroes. In the twelfth century, the writer Beroul mentions the Tristan Stone in Cornwall, where, it was said, Tristan left his footprints. As with this place in Cornwall, beneath a site glides the image of a myth maintained by the shadow of a rite. For ages people have come to such stones to pray for the birth of a child or for healing, as if these natural monuments were the true containers of the power of life thanks to the "holy" memory that has given them life.
In many regards it provides the key to an understanding of the rites and myths according to the calendar. 0bviously this Otherworld should not be understood in terms of an exclusively Christian model, al though Christian beliefs eventually penetrated it. The Otherworld is the place of choice for ghosts and is primarily the world of fairies, for it is ex plained by Faery and it explains Faery, which itself is only a lesser form of a divine magic. The Otherworld forms a major theme in literature of Celtic origin and is especially emphasized in medieval Arthurian liter ature} In 998, Odilon, the fourth abbot of Cluny, instituted the Commem oration of the Dead, or the Day of the Departed, on November 2.