Wednesday, 27 August 2014

If I were a Pagan

I would per definition not be a Christian. But would I have any specific reason to reject Christianity?

In parts of the world where Paganism is prevalent, it seems the main objection to Christianity when it is met is "this is not the religion of our fathers". As a part of the Western world I could not make that objection. Indeed, the principle would turn in favour of Christianity: this IS the religion of my fathers.

But though that is true, Christianity is not just that, it involves claims that claim to oblige also those who do not have it as the religion of their fathers. Such claims of truth is why I could not stay with EXACTLY the kind of Christianity I met as a child - and I became a Catholic. Because one of the truth claims is Apostolic Succession guarding Apostolic Tradition in the right reception of the Books in the Scriptures.

So, what would my philosophical background be and how would it interfere with my accepting Christianity, if I were a Pagan? Note, not a Pagan of a certain school, like New Agers rejecting Christianity out of reverence for witches who were martyred for medical knowledge and such.

I would very probably if I were a Pagan without any definite antichristian prejudice conclude as Chesterton "if a Hill can be Holy - why not that Hill?" (Calvary) and "if a tree can be Holy, why not that tree?" (the Cross) and even if a man can be holy or divine (several Pagan gods are claimed to have appeared among the rest of us as men - Romulus, Odin and Thor and Frey, Krishna and Rama) why not that man, Jesus from Nazareth?

Not that I would want to try forgetting Christianity to be in a position to try this out, of course!

But if I had not yet accepted Christianity and was looking for answers, I would look quite as readily to Egyptian and Chinese and Sumerian claims the world was 40.000 years old as to claims by Vikings the world started and then we see a lot of heroes from around the Centuries following Christ (whom Odinism basically ignores, or its assessments of Him have not been preserved) and Caesar (whom Odinism did not ignore - East Anglia had a dynasty starting with 1) Woden - 2) Casere (=Caesar) - 3) Tydda, which unlike the Norse line looks less like Odin having actually lived "there"* and more like considering Caesar a "son of Odin" because he was an upstart). I would look at the Norse claim and see there was recorded history well before the Norse heroic saga begins. I would see the Egyptian claim and see there were lots of centuries for which we have no corresponding records of history. I am not sure how, without the light of the faith, my reason would have reacted on C14-method.**

But as we are dealing with a hypothetic Pagan I could recognise myself in rather than a real person, I might (though I came to these conclusions well after accepting Christianity, a full year or so, which is long time during a childhood, or for details even longer and with help from Creationist writer Edgar Andrews) that I would understand the problem of calibrating C14 in prehistoric times and reject as unwarranted optimism the solution offered "we know C14 content fluctuates and by how much". I could also hope I would be on my way to seeing how much better Hebrew line of history agrees with recorded history (especially after realising moot points about Egyptian and Babylonian chronologies), how it falls pretty much between Greco-Roman and Norse chronology on the one hand and Egyptian and Babylonian on the other hand, and how it is - as with Apostolic Succession for Catholicism beside the Protestantisms - adorned with a succession that if genuine warrants with high credibility though not mathematical certainty, the truth of its origins. Someone would then ask if I don't believe in Odin being a god and having created the world Marduk style? Well, his stay in Uppsala which is behind the Yngling Dynasty, involved no particular miracles of creation, no credible evidence he was what he claimed to be. Unlike the recorded life of Jesus from Nazareth. Which if believed involves a Creation which was not Marduk style at all.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
St Narnus of Bergamo***

* Not meaning East Anglia, but where the settlers of East Anglia came from. Of course, not saying they were right in considering Tydda as son of Caesar either. Of course, Odin could have named a son Caesar after the contemporary, after seeing he was lucky, perhaps trying to capture his soul in his son by rebirth after the Ides of March. In that case Wodans - Kaisars - Tuddion (to wager an early Germanic reconstruction of Tydda's name) would be correct as a genealogy, but the Caesar in it a namesake rather than identical to the man who died on Ides of March. But it is more probable (or at least more prosaic, which does not automatically mean greater probabilty) that the Tydda in question was a nobody, known to be a nobody and as having left no record of his father and retroactively called son of Caesar because his family didn't stay nobodies. He is probably the reason why a genealogy site has placed Odin and Casere in the centuries after Christ, not recognising that Casere means Caesar. And if so, their date for Tydda's life may be roughly correct.

** I might have rejected it on similar lines as Christian creationists even while bargaining more for Norse Paganism.

*** If anyone is looking for St Monica, she is celebrated 4th of May.

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