- Jul 4, 2009
...so who would you suggest I read to get a truer view of this field of inquiry?...rhubroma said:Apart from the brief survey I just did of the PDF version, no.
The idea, however, that Christianity arose as anything other than a continuation of sacred views already held by a number of Near Eastern mystery cults, which was then structured and propagated by official Roman imperial rituality, is to not understand the history of how and along which identity lines a religion was formed in the ancient world.
During the Middle Ages (and beyond) the continued persistence of such things as astrology and folk feast days in orthodox Europe as a cultural inheritance is thus not surprising. Christianity in its formative development, may have changed the prospect of salvation, but its means of religious expression were hardly novel, and rooted in those of a civilization against which it believed to have caused an irrevocable rupture. While none, absloutely none, of which was established by the historical Jesus (who by the way considered himself a Jew down till the bitter end), nor his immediate followers, at the time.
The Protestant Reformation believed, ingenuously, that it had somehow divested Christianity of a whole myriad of archaisms in the religious sense, and thus brought it back to its evangelical roots. When neither did those roots ever exist, besides in the fervent minds of the reformers, nor was there ever an "original" identity to reconstruct (at least as they pictured it): which is, therefore, a false historical anachronism.