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Re: Conversion (was: Fealty Oaths)

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  • Alastair Millar
    Jadwiga wrote... ... Blatant generalisation. This doesn t help the debate at all. ... But it DOES indicate that the conversion is not complete, or perhaps that
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 28, 2000
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      Jadwiga wrote...

      >It's also a bad idea to assume that because little
      >old men in cassocks ;)

      Blatant generalisation. This doesn't help the debate at all.

      >were complaining about non-church
      >practices, those practices indicate an actual living pagan
      >religion, as opposed to folk customs and superstitions.

      But it DOES indicate that the conversion is not complete, or perhaps
      that the newly introduced religion is not entirely understood...

      >Christian priests and preachers up through the mid 20th
      >century had a tendency to label as pagan whatever behaviros
      >they didn't necessarily care for.

      They tended to label them as *heretic*, I think, which is slightly
      different, although of course most if not all pagans would have been
      considered heretics ;).

      Cheers!

      Alastair
    • V. Boitchenko
      I will agree with Alastair. Any religion has a dogmatic teaching and it has a way of looking at practices that do not conform with it. Otherwise it is not a
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 28, 2000
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        I will agree with Alastair. Any religion has a dogmatic teaching and it has a way of looking at practices that do not conform with it. Otherwise it is not a religion. All churches no matter what denomination incorporated all kinds of folk traditions. Generally speaking, neither of the monotheistic religions looks upon one another as pagan but rather as heretical (i.e. false). Paganism refers to worshipping any god other than the only one true God. If you go as early as Torah, you will see that starting from Abraham the Jews being the only monotheists among the rest of the Arabian tribes who all followed the Sumerian naturalistic cults of Baal and the like, looked upon those practices as pagan.
         
        v
         
         
         
        Jadwiga wrote...

        >It's also a bad idea to assume that because little
        >old men in cassocks ;)

      • Jenne Heise
        ... Not necessarily. Supersition, Fraizer to the contrary, is not necessarily religion. When you reach the point several hundred years later where people are
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 28, 2000
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          > >were complaining about non-church
          > >practices, those practices indicate an actual living pagan
          > >religion, as opposed to folk customs and superstitions.
          > But it DOES indicate that the conversion is not complete, or perhaps
          > that the newly introduced religion is not entirely understood...

          Not necessarily. Supersition, Fraizer to the contrary, is not necessarily
          religion. When you reach the point several hundred years later where
          people are doing things like putting a penny in the well to cure warts
          and priests are condemning that as pagan, the problem is not that the
          religion isn't understood: it's that the priests believe that doctrine
          supercedes supersitions and the people don't believe the same thing.

          > >Christian priests and preachers up through the mid 20th
          > >century had a tendency to label as pagan whatever behaviros
          > >they didn't necessarily care for.
          > They tended to label them as *heretic*, I think, which is slightly
          > different, although of course most if not all pagans would have been
          > considered heretics ;).

          Certainly true pagans (worshippers of the old gods) would be heretics.
          However, priests really did refer to superstitious practices, such as
          holding feasts for the dead, as pagan, rather than simply condemning the
          practioners as 'heretics'. The difference is that if someone is practicing
          some of the beahviors of the old religion but worshipping the new gods,
          they are still invovled with pagan traditions but are in the Christian
          religion nonetheless.

          Popery, for instance, was often condemned by the Protestants for pagan
          practices such as votive offerengs, smells and bells, and the like. The
          fact that the Protestents considered such practices pagan didn't make the
          Catholics followers of Roman Religion.

          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
          "And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
          With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
          Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
          And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again."
        • Shadow
          ... Actually, even the Jews weren t as Jewish as people think, because apparently the common folk of Israel were inclined to worship a canaanite-derived
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 28, 2000
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            "V. Boitchenko" wrote:

            > I will agree with Alastair. Any religion has a dogmatic teaching and
            > it has a way of looking at practices that do not conform with it.
            > Otherwise it is not a religion. All churches no matter what
            > denomination incorporated all kinds of folk traditions. Generally
            > speaking, neither of the monotheistic religions looks upon one another
            > as pagan but rather as heretical (i.e. false). Paganism refers to
            > worshipping any god other than the only one true God. If you go as
            > early as Torah, you will see that starting from Abraham the Jews being
            > the only monotheists among the rest of the Arabian tribes who all
            > followed the Sumerian naturalistic cults of Baal and the like, looked
            > upon those practices as pagan.

            Actually, even the Jews weren't as Jewish as people think, because
            apparently the common folk of Israel were inclined to worship a
            canaanite-derived goddess "Asherah" who was the consort of "El" (a
            canaanite God who sort of was another name for the 'standard" Jewish god
            Yahweh. Supposedly a great number of Asherah figures were found in
            Israel, and it's theorized that this practice was widespread at least
            till the babylonian captivity about 500 BC or so.

            (Got my information from "The HEbrew Goddess" by RAphael Patai.)

            Leya
          • Barcsi Janos
            ... I remember reading some years ago that after Charlemagne defeated the Saxons, the treaty called for their ruler to become a Christian. He, in turn,
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 28, 2000
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              --- Shadow <shadow42@...>
              > wrote:

              >I have always wondered how the missionaries were able to convert all the<BR>
              >European tribes (Goths, Celts etc.)

              I remember reading some years ago that after Charlemagne defeated the Saxons, the treaty called for their ruler to become a Christian. He, in turn, marched the whole nation through a river, "baptising" them.

              After they broke out in political and religious revolt and were again subdued, Charlemagne made them do it all over again.

              Janos

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            • MHoll@aol.com
              In a message dated 9/27/2000 8:15:17 PM Central Daylight Time, ... voluntarily ... Considering that Christianity spread quite slowly in Russia, it was probably
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                In a message dated 9/27/2000 8:15:17 PM Central Daylight Time,
                shadow42@... writes:

                > I would think one of the factors is whether the people converted
                voluntarily
                > or whether there was force involved.

                Considering that Christianity spread quite slowly in Russia, it was probably
                *mostly* voluntary (peer pressure, you know).

                > I have always wondered how the missionaries were able to convert all the
                > European tribes (Goths, Celts etc.)

                With the Teutonic knights and the Baltic tribes, it was quite simple:
                convert, burn your shrines, or else, he said, sword in hand.

                If the said Teutonic knights would have at least respected the new converts,
                they might have converted people faster, even sword in hand.

                Predslava.
              • V. Boitchenko
                That is true. Throughout all the books of Torah Jews had to fight paganism within themselves as well. And it makes very good sense. If the core of the dogma is
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                  That is true. Throughout all the books of Torah Jews had to fight paganism within themselves as well. And it makes very good sense. If the core of the dogma is that there is only one true God any worship of anything else will conflict with the dogma. There are many ocasions that Torah refers to the facts that in some tribes people worshipped Golden Calve.
                   
                  I was under impression that "El" was a Hebrew or at least Arameic word that Jews used: Isra-el, Beth-El etc.
                  I may have been wrong. 
                   
                  v
                   
                  Leya wrote:
                   
                  Actually, even the Jews weren't as Jewish as people think, because
                  apparently the common folk of Israel were inclined to worship a
                  canaanite-derived goddess "Asherah" who was the consort of "El" (a
                  canaanite God who sort of was another name for the 'standard" Jewish god
                  Yahweh. Supposedly a great number of Asherah figures were found in
                  Israel, and it's theorized that this practice was widespread at least
                  till the babylonian captivity about 500 BC or so.

                  (Got my information from "The HEbrew Goddess" by RAphael Patai.)

                  Leya

                • V. Boitchenko
                  I think so too. Considering the level of the Byzantines with their science, theology, philosophy, literature, art, and economy Russians definitely looked up on
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                    I think so too. Considering the level of the Byzantines with their science, theology, philosophy, literature, art, and economy Russians definitely looked up on them. I think it is absolutely safe to say that. It was the Episcopacy in Kiev that was established first. And for many years even as Christianity gradually spread it would be Greek bishops and scholars who influenced the development of Christianity. Even much later on Russians would send candidates for consecration to Constantinople. 
                     
                    The elite and the urban population in large cities was first to convert, so were the merchants who traded with Byzantines. But I can see how over years of active presence the Orthodox religion took over all of Russia and even blended so much into the Russian mind that it became almost an identity.
                     
                    v
                     
                     
                    Considering that Christianity spread quite slowly in Russia, it was probably
                    *mostly* voluntary (peer pressure, you know).

                    Predslava.
                  • Jenne Heise
                    ... Depends on which Baltic tribe you mean, Predslava. The Teutonic knights wiped out the Prus entirely... they were not converting but clearing the land.
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                      > With the Teutonic knights and the Baltic tribes, it was quite simple:
                      > convert, burn your shrines, or else, he said, sword in hand.

                      Depends on which Baltic tribe you mean, Predslava. The Teutonic knights
                      wiped out the Prus entirely... they were not converting but clearing the
                      land. Lithuania underwent a pseudovoluntary conversion when Wladyslaw
                      Jagiello converted, of the "I'm the king and you all are going to convert
                      now and I'm going to burn the shrines."

                      Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                      disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                      "And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
                      With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
                      Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
                      And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again."
                    • Shadow
                      ... Well I guess they at least got a bath out of it. BIG FAT GRIN Leya
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                        Barcsi Janos wrote:

                        > --- Shadow <shadow42@...>
                        >
                        > > wrote:
                        >
                        > >I have always wondered how the missionaries were able to convert all the<BR>
                        >
                        > >European tribes (Goths, Celts etc.)
                        >
                        > I remember reading some years ago that after Charlemagne defeated the Saxons, the treaty called for their ruler to become a Christian. He, in turn, marched the whole nation through a river, "baptising" them.

                        Well I guess they at least got a bath out of it. BIG FAT GRIN>

                        Leya
                      • Shadow
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                          "V. Boitchenko" wrote:

                          > That is true. Throughout all the books of Torah Jews had to fight
                          > paganism within themselves as well. And it makes very good sense. If
                          > the core of the dogma is that there is only one true God any worship
                          > of anything else will conflict with the dogma. There are many ocasions
                          > that Torah refers to the facts that in some tribes people worshipped
                          > Golden Calve. I was under impression that "El" was a Hebrew or at
                          > least Arameic word that Jews used: Isra-el, Beth-El etc.I may have
                          > been wrong.
                          >
                          >
                          > No you're not wrong. "EL" means "GOD" I suppose in a generic as well
                          > as a specific sense.
                          > Leya
                          >
                          > PS. sorry I can't figure out how to work this weird e-mail which puts
                          > everything in italics.
                          >
                        • Shadow
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 29, 2000
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                            "V. Boitchenko" wrote:

                            > >I think so too. Considering the level of the Byzantines with their
                            > science, theology, philosophy, literature, art, and economy Russians
                            > definitely looked up on them. I think it is absolutely safe to say
                            > that. It was the Episcopacy in Kiev that was established first. And
                            > for many years even as Christianity gradually spread it would be Greek
                            > bishops and scholars who influenced the development of Christianity.
                            > Even much later on Russians would send candidates for consecration to
                            > Constantinople. >The elite and the urban population in large cities
                            > was first to convert, so were the merchants who traded with
                            > Byzantines. But I can see how over years of active presence the
                            > Orthodox religion took over all of Russia and even blended so much
                            > into the Russian mind that it became almost an identity.
                            >
                            > ---------------------------
                            >
                            > One writer wrote about Khazars, "one of the reasons why their empire
                            > collapsed was because they did not have religious cohesion". In other
                            > words, because they didn't force everyone to convert/become Jews, so
                            > they didn't have a 'unifying factor'. So, religious freedom was a
                            > liability for them!
                            >
                            > By the time 'religious freedom' became an accepted concept many
                            > centuries later, religion had been replaced by a secular religion
                            > called 'patriotism/nationalism' which required universal allegiance
                            > just as the Church had earlier.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Leya
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • MHoll@aol.com
                            In a message dated 9/29/2000 11:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Yes, I forgot that. However, officially, they were converting those tribes. It was a
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 30, 2000
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                              In a message dated 9/29/2000 11:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
                              jenne@... writes:

                              > Depends on which Baltic tribe you mean, Predslava. The Teutonic knights
                              > wiped out the Prus entirely... they were not converting but clearing the
                              > land.

                              Yes, I forgot that. However, officially, they were "converting" those tribes.
                              It was a "crusade" sanctioned in the early XIII century by the Pope (IIRC it
                              was Innocent III -- what a name!).

                              > Lithuania underwent a pseudovoluntary conversion when Wladyslaw
                              > Jagiello converted, of the "I'm the king and you all are going to convert
                              > now and I'm going to burn the shrines."

                              Again, IIRC, Lithuania underwent several "conversions" (and reversions to the
                              old ways) as they sought the best allies. Very practical people.

                              Predslava.
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