>From: Alexis <[log in to unmask]>
><snip>They were just forgetting that for the Irish clerics, paganism was
>evil (even if sometimes, some pagan characters could have been inspired by
>God) and so what we think we know from this paganism
>was distorted by their prejudices.
I think this is *really* overstating the actual case. As the examples I
cited earlier show, there was diversity in attitude--what one cleric
regarded as evil, another found acceptable. Even your own examples showed
this diversity in attitude. The author of the OI colophon from TBC blessed
those who preserved and passed on the story; the author of the Latin
colophon said the whole thing was the ideas of demons. There wasn't a
single attitude that everything left from pagan days was evil; there were
many attitudes and they kept changing with time and place.
>Plus, I would add that acculturation is
>also a creative process, during which everything new in Irish Christianity
>is not to be understood as a survival (in a culture, nothing survive,
>everything is living and meaningful).
But a lot of what is characteristic of Irish Christianity--and Christianity
in general--is a matter of giving old practices adapted form and revised
meaning. For example, the pre-Christian British, Gauls, and Irish went to
wells for healing and to make other petitions. They didn't stop doing this
in the Roman era (in Gaul and Britain) or in the Christian era. But the
stories, the mythology, the signficance, the supernatural person being
petitioned changed, and, to some extent so did the practices. But the basic
practice wasn't discarded; it was revised and adapted.
>Right, this is called history : nothing is static, but evolves ; even the
>apparently more static things are changing and subject to negociation and
>competition. For example, the canon of the Bible was more or less definitly
>posed only in the 16th century, but there are still some discussions about
>it, and some differences among the Churches.
But when you characterize *all* medieval Irish as regarding everything pagan
as "evil," you impose a single, unchanging attitude on people for hundreds
of years. That is not supported by the very texts you quoted. Attitudes
changed, attitudes varied. Early Irish Christian society was not compleetly
And I don't know where you get the idea of the Biblical canon being settled
only in the 16th c. That may be when the Protestant Reformers settled their
*revised* canon, but consensus on the "canonical" books was achieved more
than 1000 years earlier. They just weren't bound into a single book until
later. That's different.
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