Re: [eldil] Christianity, paganism and literature
>From: Steve Hayes <hayesstw@...>It's a great article so far as I've read it, Steve. I have a doctor's appointment and will finish reading when I return.
>Date: 2007/09/25 Tue AM 01:23:10 CDT
>Subject: [eldil] Christianity, paganism and literature
>Every month a group of Christian bloggers have a "synchroblog", in which they
>write blog posts on the same general theme on the same day. This month the
>theme is "Christianity and neopaganism".
>My contribution is called "Christianity, paganism and literature", and in it
>look at the relationship between Christianity and paganism as found in the
>works of the Inklings and Alan Garner.
>If anyone is interested, my contribution can be found here:
>and there are links to the others.
In the meantime, I would like to comment amount the last 2 paragraphs I read,
The difference between American neopagans of the 1990s and British ones of the 1970s was that the former were rebelling against a "Judeo-Christian" upbringing, whereas the latter were rebelling against secular materialism, and could therefore more easily find common ground with Christians who were rebelling against the same things. Those who are rebelling against a "Judeo-Christian" upbringing might on that account be more inclined to be hostile towards Christianity.
What happened to make the change?
I suspect that one cause is that in the 1970s many Western Christians rebelled against the "secular sixties", and changed. This rebellion took several different forms. One form was radical Christian "Jesus freaks". Another was the spread of the charismatic renewal, with its rediscovery of a sense of miracle and mystery. It is possible that in the 1970s this attracted many who in the 1960s might have been attracted by neopaganism.
Taking the topics in reverse order, I was an adult convert to Christianity having eached that path partially through reading Tolkien and then some of Lewis. When it came to the Chronicles of Narnia, I did as the bookstore owner suggested and read the volumes in chronological order--so, The Magician's Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
I suppose it's all a matter of past experience coloring perspective but I think I would have seen the Christian symbolism in TLWW a bit too strongly for my taste at the time. Therefore, I was fortunate to have followed the advice of the bookstore owner. ("past watchful dragons")
Now back to the first paragraph.
I was a "Jesus Freak" for several years (70's), moved on to a mainstream Protestant church (80's) and then took a shot at a Unitarian Universalist church (very early 90's).
The latter was a bittersweet experience for me. I began attendance at UU believing that we would have a lot in common and, in many way, we did. Unfortunately, at least in that particular congregation, many of the members were "refugees" from mainstream Christian churches. I had come from one too, but I wasn't a refugee and not after bitter experiences--I just wanted to see what else was out there.
Because of the background of the members of that particular church, we had services or fragments of religious rites from just about every faith of the world -- except Christianity. I found it very uncomfortable and eventually left.
I'm back to a mainstream Protestant church and I happen to also be politically very liberal. Consequently, I get "smacked from both sides: Neopagans and Neoconservations aka The Moral Majority/conservative Christians (who happen to make up a large percentage of the membership of my current church).
I don't know much about real or perceived hostility between Neopagans and Christians on the web. I'm not involved much in email lists where such subjects are discussed.
(One very recent except & we're largely drawn together -because- we share the very quandry in which I find myself, too much tolerance in a world that appears to allow none at all.)
All for now! I look forward to reading the rest of your article. I also wonder where you will place my own book when it comes out -- and should you read it.
Under the Mercy,
Seabird will be available from Gryphonwood Press, Nov 2007.
Fans of C.S. Lewis will love Sherry Thompson's novel. When Cara Marshall is transported to Narenta, she is proclaimed champion of its people against the sorcerous daemagos. Amid the grateful welcomes, Cara protests that she has been
"world-napped," and wants neither her title nor her mission.
"They've got the wrong person and they're going to get me killed because they won't admit it."
With no knowledge of weapons or magic, can she save the Tethran kingdom and find her way home?
Read a sample at: http://khivasmommy.googlepages.com/home