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Thread: How 'Pagan' Was Norse Paganism?

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    Post How 'Pagan' Was Norse Paganism?

    I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

    “Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
    --Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



    So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

    “Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
    --Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



    So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.
    Perhaps you ought to balance this by quoting from the book "The Germanisation Of Early Medieval Christianity" by James C.Russell?
    It states the case very well for modern European xtianity being influenced as heavily by Germanic heathenism as the other way around.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by AryanKrieger
    Perhaps you ought to balance this by quoting from the book "The Germanisation Of Early Medieval Christianity" by James C.Russell?
    Ok, care to post any quotes from your source, cause Im certainly not doing your homework for you!

    It states the case very well for modern European xtianity being influenced as heavily by Germanic heathenism as the other way around.
    I'd like to see how he makes that argument. Considering that Richard Fletcher in his The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity, notes that we know very little about Germanic paganism(or paganism in general outside the Greeco-Roman religion) and thus its hard to tell what exactly the pagans converted from. He makes this argument repeatedly. He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds(cause after all, we know very little about pre-christian religions, largely because the pagans forget to invent something called writing).

    It is interesting how Fletcher along with Birgit and Peter Sawyer note about how the notion of the Germanics(or more specifically the Vikings) as being staunchly anti-Christian is a total myth. In fact worship of Christ was quite common and well respected among the Germanics. Fletcher, Birgit and Peter Sawyer also refute many of the arguments concerning how Viking merchants only converted to Christianity just to make it easier to trade with other Europeans, for they eagerly brought the worship of Christ back to their homelands and spread it among their communities. No, it wasnt worshipping Christ that was the problem, it was worshiping Christ ALONE that was the problem.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    No, it wasnt worshipping Christ that was the problem, it was worshiping Christ ALONE that was the problem.
    Afaik Hindus think the same way today. Sounds just logical and not that new. In fact even the Romans would have been tolerant as long as Christian would have accepted and tolerated other gods as well, which they dont...
    Magna Europa est patria nostra
    STOP GATS! STOP LIBERALISM!

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agrippa
    Afaik Hindus think the same way today. Sounds just logical and not that new. In fact even the Romans would have been tolerant as long as Christian would have accepted and tolerated other gods as well, which they dont...
    Thats also what prevented the Romans from worshipping the Jewish god.The Romans were more than willing to worship the Jewish god(and Kirsch notes a 2nd century "craze for judaism" among pagans where synagouges were so filled with pagan visitors special quarters had to be built for them), but since the Jewish god demanded hes the ONLY god, the Romans became supicisious of them(only for a while).

    “We’re alike in all of our religious practices, except you worship one God and we worship many gods. In all other ways we’re alike.”
    -- Julian the Apostate comparing paganism to Judaism

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

    “Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
    --Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



    So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.
    Ι know some views like this and I believe that present-day Odinism is not really pagan.
    "Ragnarok" is also a myth which is influenced by the last book of New Testament.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Japetos
    Ι know some views like this and I believe that present-day Odinism is not really pagan.
    Well the truth is we dont know what "paganism" really was. It had no consistent doctrine, it changed constantly generation after generation. Greeco-Roman Paganism by the fourth century AD was completely different from paganism of Classical times, in fact it was heavily Christianized.

    As for non-Classical paganism, we know little. Almost everything we know about non-Classical paganism is based on what Christian writers wrote often generations after conversion. As Fletcher said, we dont really know for sure what the pagans converted from. As for pagan "survivals", Fletcher deals with that brilliantly, saying that the Church often allowed them so as to make the transition for the pagans easier.

    "Ragnarok" is also a myth which is influenced by the last book of New Testament.
    Exactly, I cant believe somebody(not here, but elsewhere) actually claimed Revelation is based on Ragnarok. How is that possible? Revelation was written in the first century, and was officially added to the canon at Nicea. This just doesnt make sense.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    I'd like to see how he makes that argument. Considering that Richard Fletcher in his The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity, notes that we know very little about Germanic paganism(or paganism in general outside the Greeco-Roman religion) and thus its hard to tell what exactly the pagans converted from. He makes this argument repeatedly. He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds(cause after all, we know very little about pre-christian religions, largely because the pagans forget to invent something called writing).
    But from the survival of its elements in folk religion, which can be compared to similar survivals in Celtic, Baltic, and Slavic religion, especially among the Balts who were Christianised the last, there are common themes in northern culture which are distinct from those anywhere in the Mediterranean, but which tie Europe to the cultures of the shaman belt, which mostly speak Uralic and Altaic languages, as well as to the Americas. Even in Britain shaman belt elements survived until after the Reformation, which can be shown by the account of Robert Kirk in Scotland.

    Although the majority of people in the Christian north would have considered themselves to be Christians, the religious situation was like the one in Mexico or Peru, where the local folk Christianity has mostly pre-Christian elements, and at least in the rural communities it probably wouldn't be recognised by outsiders as Christianity.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    Thats also what prevented the Romans from worshipping the Jewish god.The Romans were more than willing to worship the Jewish god(and Kirsch notes a 2nd century "craze for judaism" among pagans where synagouges were so filled with pagan visitors special quarters had to be built for them), but since the Jewish god demanded hes the ONLY god, the Romans became supicisious of them(only for a while).

    “We’re alike in all of our religious practices, except you worship one God and we worship many gods. In all other ways we’re alike.”
    -- Julian the Apostate comparing paganism to Judaism
    Don't forget there were other exclusively monolatrous cults, like Sol Invictus, which were tolerated by the Romans, and that some other imported cults like the cult around Isis were sometimes disfavoured as much as early Christianity. Its also almost certain that the so-called persecutions by the pagans were exaggerated by the literalist Christians.

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    Post Re: How 'pagan' was Norse paganism?

    Quote Originally Posted by atlanto-med
    But from the survival of its elements in folk religion, which can be compared to similar survivals in Celtic, Baltic, and Slavic religion, especially among the Balts who were Christianised the last, there are common themes in northern culture which are distinct from those anywhere in the Mediterranean,
    I dont know what this has to do with the topic. Im arguing that we know very little about pre-Christian religions outside the Greeco-Roman religion. Im not debating the cultural differences between Celts, Balts, and Slavs.


    Even in Britain shaman belt elements survived until after the Reformation, which can be shown by the account of Robert Kirk in Scotland.
    So shaman belts prove paganism survived? I consider this irrelevant.

    Although the majority of people in the Christian north would have considered themselves to be Christians, the religious situation was like the one in Mexico or Peru, where the local folk Christianity has mostly pre-Christian elements, and at least in the rural communities it probably wouldn't be recognised by outsiders as Christianity.

    Ok this doesnt really refute what I said. I've even addressed that even if this was true, so what.

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