Saturday, June 16, 2007

Down but not out ...

... Europe’s Christian Comeback.

The use here, in the deck, of the non-word prophesize is certainly alarming. That aside, the marginalization of religion in a society may not be good for the society, but it is usually good for the religion.

1 comment:

  1. There's a misconception that Europe was ever thoroughly Christianized to begin with. Seems to me from my reading of history-- and of lit classics like "Morte D'Arthur"-- that the Christianization of Europe was never complete. What you saw instead was a kind of pagan-Christian hybrid. Which is why so much that we know today as "Christian"-- from the Christmas tree to the Easter bunny-- is actually pagan in origin.
    Much of what Camille Paglia lauds in Catholicism-- the emphasis on blood; the sensuality of artistic depictions-- might be more a European/pagan sensibility.
    Reading about the great Christian warriors of history, from Charlemagne to Richard the Lion Heart to John Sobieski, one senses the core foundation of their personality is not Christian at all, but a residue of a much deeper cultural heritage. Christianity was grafted onto that. None of these men could be said to be "Christ-like"-- which is what being Christian is supposed to mean. Yet the mix of the two religions gave the men stronger personalities than they would've had with either religion, with either sensibility, alone.
    "The DaVinci Code" and like books draw on old tales that existed in Europe probably since the introduction of Christianity; a way to mutate the creed to make it more understandable to people. Europeans were changed by the encounter but so was the religion itself in many ways.
    Where does one place Shakespeare? Christian? Kind of a stretch. The Globe was placed outside the city limits of London so as not to offend Puritans who ran the town.
    In England anyway, the people were maybe never very Christian at all, which is why the religion over the past fifty years so quickly vanished. Who knows.