At 07:05 PM 5/18/99 -0400, Jacquelyn Kestner wrote:
>On the face of it, I agree with this. However, I see one relatively major
>problem with this paradigm. Converts to Christianity need not have changed
>their burial practices, or even have possessed phyiscal evidence of their
>conversions. I'm not saying the evidence doesn't support the upper class to
>lower class progression, but I am saying we need to be careful making
>assumptions based on lack of evidence.
Let me point out to you all *AGAIN* (SOB!), that Christianity is but
a variant of the Mosaic tradition which arose in the Middle East; that
is, the tradition derived from Mosaic Law.
There is nothing new in Christianity about humility, love, compassion,
and all the rest of it. In fact the person of Christ was recognised
and accepted widely as representing values with which very many people
were already familiar. That phenomenon has not changed today.
All the traditions derived from Moses, on the other hand, seek spiritual enlightenment by biblical exegisis; through books and manuscripts. They
put their own kinsmen to the sword in establishing that tradition; not
through love or compassion, but in blood.
For me to accept the argument that Celtic belief is Christian, it must
be demonstrated that the Celtic tradition is descended from Moses, is
derived from, parallel to and congruent with Judaism, Christianity and
The Celtic tradition is plainly distinct from the Mosaic tradition. It
has its own structure, content and mythology quite readily identifiable
from those arising in the Middle East. There are only SOME Celts who
seek inspiration through studying books and manuscripts, and they are
mostly identified as priests, monks and lay people who have chosen to
pursue that tradition themselves.
It can be clearly demonstrated that the more they do that, the further
remove they take themselves away from the natural environment into the
domain of codified texts and symbols, the more they are accepted into
the Christian fraternity, to the extent where we find people actually playing Rock music backwards looking for supposed satanic verses still accepted as Christians; fundamentalists but Christians nonetheless.
What is interesting, on the other hand, is the closer people are to
the land, the more pagan their habits and outlook, the less they are
accepted as Christian. It is not literacy as such, but the extent of
people's reliance on text and symbols for their spiritual illumination
which is the distinctive feature of Christianity.
Pagans; that is, country people generally, rely for their spiritual
illumination on their reading of the landscape, the countryside, the
cycles of seasons, the behaviour of animals, the growth of trees and
vegetation, crops, their kith and kin.
That Celts accept values espoused by Christians does not make Celtic
belief Christian belief. I repeat again, Australian Aboriginal belief
also accepts values espoused by Christians, but that neither makes their
Celts, like anybody else, also accept Buddha, Confucious and Lao Tzu.
That neither makes Celtic belief Buddhist, or Confucian, or Taoist.
It can as easily be argued that the Christians are so loud in their proclamations of love and compassion, in order to cover all the blood
shed throughout their history, whereas others simply go about their
business as per normal, with nothing to hide and nothing to explain.
Once more, just to be clear about it, I have no argument that there are Celts who are Christian, who follow the Mosaic tradition. That does not
make it Celtic tradition. I can't find mention of Moses anywhere in the
Celtic sagas, whereas for Jews and Christians he is central.
Poor John Field!-I trust he does not read this, unless he will improve
by it,-thinking to live by some derivative old country mode in this primitive new country,-to catch perch with shiners. It is good bait,
I allow. With his horizon all his own, yet he a poor man, born to be
poor, with his inherited Irish poverty or poor life, his Adam's grand-
mother and boggy ways, not to rise in this world, till their wading
webbed bog-trotting feet get talaria to their heels.
Henry David Thoreau