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CELTIC-L  May 1997

CELTIC-L May 1997

Subject:

Re: Christianity and the Druids

From:

James J Cain <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Thu, 1 May 1997 01:30:36 PST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines)

On Wed, 30 Apr 1997 09:25:36 -0700 "Troy O'Fallon" <[log in to unmask]>
writes:
>My impression is that the native celtic religion (which I prefer to
>> term Druidism as it doesn't seem to have had much in common with the
>> germanic paganism of the saxons and norse) adopted christianity very
>> quickly - the Druids thought this was what they'd been looking for
>> all along, and it fitted well with a lot of their pre-concieved
>> ideas, so they took Christianity on board with gusto. I keep finding
>> references to saints like Columba being termed "Druid" - as a mark
>of
>> respect by the celts and as an insult by the Roman church! I dont
>> think they saw it as an "either/or" dichotomy - Christianity brought
>> news and ideas that were largely laid over what was already there.
>>
>> So, without anyone actively argueing AGAINST the gospel, I see no
>> reason why it WOULDN'T have taken over quickly - and don't forget,
>> 100 years doesn't seem a lot on paper, but it's 3 generations to
>> them. Within 100 years, nobody could remember a time WITHOUT
>> christianity - it would be like finding people who could remeber a
>> time before aircraft.
>>
>> Paul
>>
>Hmmmm....well...see I have a problem with the notion of full immediate
>acceptance of the Church by ALL of the Druids.
>
>I think we need to be very careful in assuming that just because
>certain historians (Especially Church Historians...or Religiously bent
>Historians)wrote it...then it is gospel so to speak (pardon the pun).
>
>I have to wonder if everyone went along with that at the time???
>I also wonder if the High King of Ireland really went for Christianity
>all because St Patrick showed him the Seamroc (Shamrock) and pointed
>out the Trinity to him...and that he was so taken by this as to decree
>that everyone become Christian????
>
>Also Knowing the nature of the Celts of the time...would everyone have
>agreed so readily to that???
>
>Also....wouldn't that have meant the end of the Authority that the
>Druids held and were so proud of????
>
>Did the Druids really have this kind of power and authority???
>How do we know one way or the other??? I mean how do we really know
>how things were???
>
>Plus....there is a story I heard about the Celts in
>England....Boudicca??? uhm....The old Christians were not very
>Friendly to those that would have chosen to hold on to their pagan
>beliefs.
>
>Certainly history records some awful and bloody events on the
>continent.
>
>I just have a hard time imagining that everyone just said ..oh...how
>wonderful...this is just what we were looking for....
>
>This is not to say that some were obviously taken by it...just as in
>all times with anything...some people are willing to accept change and
>go for it..and others are not so willing.
>
>Case in point...Look at the History of Christianizing many Indian
>tribes here in the USA...successful right??? Complete conversion
>right??
>I don't think so....hahaha...not some of the ones that I have
>met...haha
>
>Also Look at the thing about this cloning stuff...Our Government over
>here isn't so willing to go full spead ahead on that....
>
>I just have difficulty accepting things...especially from the past as
>the absolute truth as written or expressed by others...of course..we
>have to believe that SOMETHING happened...we need more open minded
>research on these things...I think...
>
>What do you think Paul and Maeve..or anyone else????
>
>I am not slamming anyone...I just want to learn and I have a Lot of
>questions...ok?? :o)<-----my smiley face
>
>Sla/n agus le beannacht
>
>_____________________________________________________________________
>Sent by RocketMail. Get your free e-mail at http://www.rocketmail.com
>
Troy

My impression is the same as Paul's...Maeve has problems with that and I
agree with both ye and she that it do sound awfully easy...BUT...that is
the very reason given for the lack of antagonism shown by the Church to
the "pagan" literature like the Ta/in, so non-antagonistic that the Church actually wrote them down for prosperity. So...'tis a puzzlement.
It has occurred to me that...well, the story of Patrick and the shamrock
has been pretty much consigned to apocrypha for a long time.  But, just
the other day, after looking at this stuff for years, it hit me that the
Celts and the Celtic Irish wouldn't need that story to understand the
Trinity...triads are found all over Celtic art and literature...it's part of, or was, the territory.
As to converting the First Americans...it took better than you
think...but it also took kind of like it took with the early Irish.  You've no doubt heard of, seen or read "Black Elk Speaks", written by John
Neihardt, a sort of biography of the Lakota wicasa wakan - holy man...which is also Black Elk talking about Lakota religion.  Black Elk was a wato'ks/u canupa - a pipe carrier.  He was also a Waonspekiya - cathechist -
in the Sinasapa okodakiciye - Roman Catholic Church.  Most people don't know the latter.
His greatgranddaughter, Charlotte Black Elk, who appears in several
documentaries about First Americans [the Ted Turner series titles, I
believe, The First Americans is one...in the part talking about the people of the Plains], told in one that she and her husband had gone back to
the old religion.  But she also said...and this is the very same kind of
stuff that sold the ancient Irish...that people like her greatgrandfather
saw Christ as a Lakota man.  Christ hung on the tree for all people,
Lakota men hung on the tree [sun dance pole] for their people.
I sometimes think we are too trained to put things in little boxes [a
place for everything and everything in its place] and so fail to see how
someone could become a Christian and still "be" what they were
before...yet many have done just that and that, I believe, explains how
the statement could be made that the Irish were almost completely
converted to Christianity in 100 years...they weren't and they were.

Sla/n

JimC

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