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Christianity and Paganism

Christianity and Paganism Early Christianity typically built on existing pre-Christain tradtions and feasts. This point was made by Sir George Frazer: “Now the death and resurrection of Attis were officially celebrated at Rome on the 24th and 25th of March, the latter being regarded as the spring equinox, and…according to an ancient and widespread tradition Christ suffered on the 25th of March…the tradition which placed the death of Christ on the 25th of March…is all the more remarkable because astronomical considerations prove that it can have had no historical foundation…When we remember that the festival of St. George in April has replaced the ancient pagan festival of the Parilia; that the festival of St. John the Baptist in June has succeeded to a heathen Midsummer festival of water; that the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin in August has ousted the festival of Diana; that the feast of All Souls [following Halloween] in November is a continuation of an old heathen feast of the dead; and that the Nativity of Christ himself was assigned to the winter solstice in December because that day was deemed the Nativity of the Sun; we can hardly be thought to be rash or unreasonable in conjecturing that the other cardinal festival of the Christian church—the solemnization of Easter—may have been in like manner, and from like motives of edification, adapted to a similar celebration of the Phyrigian god Attis at the vernal equinox…It is a remarkable coincidence…that the Christian and the heathen festivals of the divine death and resurrection should have been solemnized at the same season…It is difficult to regard the coincidence as purely accidental” (The Golden Bough, Vol. I, pp. 306-309). An explicit awareness thereof goes back to Saint Augustine: In the sense of the principle of St. Augustinus (De doctrina cirstiana), Christianity did not remove them as far as they did not contradict its doctrine. These elements, because of their spiritual message, were integrated in quotidian Christian life. In this way, they have been preserved until our times. http://www.carantha.net/kresnik__the_god_of_fire.htm This survival of ancient traditons (Das Nachleben der Antike) was one of the seminal ideas that inspired Aby warburh to create the Warburg Institute. Warburg focussed on Europw in a narrow sense. This trend is often more marked in greater Europe, e.g. Scandinavia, the Baltic Countries, Russia, which were not affected by Chrstianity during its first millenium. cf. Saint Vlas, Ziva.
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