Talk:Christianity and Paganism

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Good idea[edit]

I think this article has good potential, and I look forward to seeing what you develop here. -- Pastordavid 16:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

It's a good idea for an article but I think it is misnamed. Check out the wiki pagan article and you will see it is a term that would not have been recognised in the early days of Christianity. In actual fact the term Pagan is a Christian term - used in a derogatory way. None of the groups currently identified would have called themselves pagan at the time the Gospels were being cooked up. Sophia 17:54, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeh... OK, so that's my Christian background showing. But what would you title this article then? I'm at a loss to come up with a better title. --Richard 18:46, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
How about Extra-biblical influences on Christianity? George 18:55, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Nope - we'd have to write about the Pope then ;o) - I'll have a think and get back to you as I agree it's not easy. Sophia 20:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm not sure that is a problem with this aritlce. :) George 17:04, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
As extra-biblical influences on Christianity go they don't come bigger ;o) Sophia 17:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Wow, very comprehensive for a starup. I hope it does well. George 18:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Look at this definition of Pagan, I think it is appropriate to use the word for the title of this article.Kljenni 04:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey, what about something on the consumer mindset of churchgoers? Zantaggerung 20:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the above suggestion reveals a flaw in the title. What's really meant here is "Pagan influences on early Christianity". Secular influences of the 20th and 21st centuries are really out of the scope of the article as I originally envisioned it. --Richard 05:35, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Zantaggerung, I am interested, what do you propose? Ice9Tea 17:37, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

the article needs to clearer distinguish between influence on mythology and on doctrine, between influence by pre-Christian religion on 1st century scripture (gospels, acts), the syncretism with Hellenistic and Roman religion in the 2nd to 4th centuries, and the influence of pagan and Gnostic religion on later Christianity (veneration of saints, Marian apparitions etc.) Most of this is or should be treated on other articles, such as Christian mythology, folk Christianity, Christianity and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, Fathers of Christian Gnosticism, Christianity and Freemasonry, Germanic Christianity, Hellenic philosophy and Christianity and Jesus Christ as myth. dab (𒁳) 12:47, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


Tons of problems. Declares ancient Christianity a mystery religion right off the bat, which is in no way a fact. Declares the Old Testamant "mythology" which is POV, has far too many fringe conjectures not labeled as such (Buddhism, secret initiates before Paul ect...), too many weasly statements like "has been suggested" and "is being debated". I can also see nowhere where the scholarly consensus is given on any of the issues. Come on guys, clean it up. Roy Brumback 08:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

feel free to help. This isn't more than a crude outline so far, and needs lots of attention to flower into a useful article. dab (𒁳) 16:48, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no conceivable way that Christianity has anything to do with any mystery religion. Of course one would have to know the nature of Christianity to understand this. Take for example Mithra. He was born before any humans existed on earth. Mithra has nothing to do with any historical figure. This particular mystery religion changes with time. The Mithra of one year shows no comparison with the Mithra later in time. Mithra didn't die. It is basically a polytheistic religion. Let's now look at Christianity. Jesus was born in time. There were actually historical figures that come up in stories of His existance. Jesus died and was resurrected. The Christian God, unlike any polytheistic religion, is One. There are no other gods besides Him. Mithra is a myth. Jesus is a fact of life.Anathasius (talk) 04:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

A pointless paragraph which adds nothing to the page. Take your totally unproven apologetics to the Answers in Genesis page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Christianity is mythology by the definition of mythology. Wiktionary:

Mythology - A similar body of myths concerning an event, person or institution.

Myth - A story of a great but unknown age which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; an ancient story of a god, a hero, the origin of a race, etc.; a wonder story of prehistoric origin.

Negi(afk) (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I dont like that the title automatically suggests 'right off the bat' that Christianity is correct while all other are false (pagan) —Preceding unsigned comment added by KazuoBR (talkcontribs) 19:47, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Nope, it refers to the relationships between Christianity and certain other specified religions during a certain period -- not the contrast between Christianity and all other religions. AnonMoos 19:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

The simple fact is that any Roman or scholar of classics will tell you that Christianlity was, in fact, considered a mystery cult and was started as a cult within Judaism. The Old Testament is mythology. If something cannot be proven with facts and it is taken to be truth without any presence of said facts, then it is considered mythological. The evidence is very clear about Christianity borrowing extensively from so-called Pagans and the Mithraic myths of a virgin birth —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

please read our mythology article. --dab (𒁳) 18:09, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Get real[edit]

I'm afraid this article, like some of you writers, is quite mistaken. A lot of evidence shows that Christianity started in the first century AD. Mithraism, which was different from the original Persian Mithraism, was also too likely a copycat of Christianity used by the Roman Empire shortly after Christianity began. Atheism, in many ways, is equivalent to racism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevin j (talkcontribs) 21:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

wow, that's textbook non-sequitur. I just read this about four times, and can see no way this makes any sense at all. --dab (𒁳) 10:03, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeh, I don't get the "Atheism is equivalent to racism" as following from the rest, either. Nonetheless, the points made by Kevin_j could be included if he can cite reliable sources to back up this Point Of View.
--Richard 15:53, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I believe that Kevin_j was trying to directly respond to anonymous IP's comments above... AnonMoos 16:06, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
My (unlearned) opinion is that both are valid POVs. If this article suggests that Christianity IS or IS NOT a mystery cult based on Mithraism, it has gone off the rails regarding NPOV. This article should present both POVs without giving undue weight to either one, cite the sources and then let the reader decide. --Richard 16:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any dichotomy of two povs here. Mithraism and Early Christianity have influenced one another. The question is not "yes or no", but in what ways and to what extent. A position of "first there was Mithraism, and then Christianity came along and ripped it off" is silly. The actual situation is that both movements originated more or less simultaneously, and out of the same Roman vogue for mystery religions. They existed alongside each other for full two centuries as parallel and competing 'underground' cults. Influence will have passed both ways, and showing that Christianity influenced Mithraism does by no means imply that Mithraism did not also influence Christianity, much to the contrary, it establishes interaction. Christianity only took off and marginalized Mithraism in the mid-to-late 4th century. --dab (𒁳) 16:25, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
There may have been some influences, but I imagine that they were somewhat tangential as far as Christianity was concerned, because of the very great differences between the two -- such as Mithraism being an all-male mystery religion with elaborate degrees of initiation, while Christian services were always open to all men and women who had been baptized (as opposed to Catechumens); Mithraism being strongest among the professional army, while Christianity was strongest among the urban lower classes; Mithra was not claimed to have lived during any particular known historical period, while Jesus was born under Augustus and died under Claudius etc. etc. There were other influences on early Christianity (such as a general cultural climate of asceticism among those spiritually seeking) which I imagine were far more important than Mithraism.
Meanwhile, the main point of IP's remarks was actually that Jesus never existed at all as a historical person, but was a purely mythological Dying God figure like Adonis -- so in that respect IP's remarks are in fact completely incompatible with Kevin_j's remarks -- and Kevin_j appears to believe that was motivated more by a hatred of Christians than a disinterested pursuit of knowledge... AnonMoos 20:01, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Reworking intro[edit]

Although I started this article, I haven't reviewed it for a long time. After re-reading the intro today, it did seem disputable because it makes bald assertions about the origins of Christianity being in Paganism. I have reworded the intro to make it clear that this is ONE theory about the origins of Christianity and not necessarily "THE TRUTH".

I haven't reviewed the rest of the article to clean up POV issues but I do believe it should be made clear that the material presented in this article are theories (and non-mainstream minority ones at that).

--Richard 16:23, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

Since we have this article anyway, I think it would be appropriate to merge some of the content of the old Historical Persecution by Christians here. Regardless whether the article is called this or Christian debate on persecution and toleration, it would be undue to debate the relations between Christians and Pagans in detail there; But I suppose that from a Neopagan perspective there is some interest in the topic, and in this article we would have enough space for that. Zara1709 (talk) 11:10, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the Historical Persecution by Christians should be integrated into this one. After all the section in on this page that deals with the persecutions is missing all citations. Perhaps this link here might be of some use for citations, . I don't know how much credence should be granted to it, but it should perhaps be cross checked with another source, if there is one. DukeTwicep (talk) 17:08, 27 December 2011 (UTC)


OK, this is quite important. What is the intended scope of this article? With the current intro, it takes "Paganism" as a sort of reference for any ""primitive"", "tribal", indigenous religion. I don't know it that is actually a correct use of the word "Paganism", after all the word "Paganism" is a little pejorative. Hey, you dumb villagers haven't converted to Christianity yet? But - for the lack of a better term - Paganism was used in the (few) articles and books I read Persecution by Christians in the late Roman Empire, and since there seems to be a greater interest on WP to take a look at the relations between Christians and Pagans (people apparently care less about the Christian heretics), I thought that it would be best to centralize this topic here (instead of having it split out at various 'Christinization' and 'Persecution' articles. of course, there were conflicts and cooperation between Christians and Pagans and debating one without the other should be avoided (for wp:NPOV and such). The relations between Christianity and the indigenous religions outside Europe is a different topic. I really hope that I don't need to point out that there is a difference between Christianity and the Europeans in general. Probably I am going to rewrite the into to something more like the previous version. Zara1709 (talk) 17:59, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

While I agree that "paganism" is a rather biased term (unless used in as a term of endearment in the way that neo-pagans have adopted it), I don't see how the syncretism between Christianity and European indigenous religions is that much of a "different topic" than syncretism with non-European indigenous religions. Of course, each particular culture that converted Christianity brought their own unique traditions and influences to their local form of the religion, but if we're looking at broader trends, there's not much of a rift between "Western" and "non-Western" except perhaps in terms of length of time. That's not really that clear cut either, as the Lithuanians were only Christianized a few decades before, say, the Kongo or the Aztecs. Meanwhile, other non-European indigenous cultures were only Christianized within the past hundred years. If you look closely, the way in which the "pagan" Europeans interacted with Christianity and the native peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa and the New World did take on some suprising comparisons. -- (talk) 01:10, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

See comment of "07:35, 20 March 2012" below for the intended scope of this article... AnonMoos (talk) 12:12, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Opinions of those writing the article[edit]

Hi Folks, At the beginning of this article it mentioned how there are many opinions and disagreements on the content of the article. As I read over this talk page I realized that there was actually no one that took the Catholic side of the discussion. Everyone appeared to be, if not anti Catholic, then they had no sympathies with the Catholic Church. I suggest that the reason there is so much dissension in the article is because the article is very inaccurate. You unquestionably need someone on the Catholic side to balance off the topic. I do volunteer to be that person if I'm allowed to do so.Anathasius (talk) 05:30, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I fear this article and others like it are doomed to never be totally neutral. With a title like "Christianity andVS. Paganism", even with good faith intentions, you either get editors with a clearly pro-Christian bias trying to "balance" it one way, or pagans trying to shift the focus to their side. It's like a pointless religious debate. And the POV-war rages on... -- œ 11:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Well I'd say it's a losing battle to try to fight For the Catholic church. The historical records stand clearly against them, and there's little they can do to convince the world otherwise. We're not falling for the sheep clothes any longer. DukeTwicep (talk) 17:30, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

No references/citations[edit]

Just wanted to leave a note that I put the {{Unreferenced}} box on the article page. Can somebody get the references done? Cuine100 (talk) 05:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Christianity vs. Catholicism[edit]

These are not the same thing. "Catholicism and Paganism" would be a much more apt title. (talk) 21:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

what are you talking about? There was no schism between Eastern and Western Christianity prior to the High Middle Ages, and by that time there was hardly any paganism left. This is obviously about pre-schism Christianity. --dab (𒁳) 22:17, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Possibly an Alexander Hislop fan... AnonMoos (talk) 22:52, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The Nazarenes originated as a sect of first-century Judaism. The first use of the term "sect of the Nazarenes" is in the Book of Acts in the New Testament, where Paul is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Nazarene Christians and Catholicism are two different things. (talk) 15:24, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Not really too relevant to this article... AnonMoos (talk) 02:24, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Further reading, more resources[edit]

A list of books dealing with Christianity and Paganism can be found here: , good sources to use for future expansion of this article (I noticed quite a few {{expand}} tags). -- œ 05:44, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

That is actually quite a horrible bibliography, and it most definatenly isn't intending to be neutral titled "The Cure for Christianity". --Ari (talk) 07:27, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I know, I realize it's coming from a critical point of view.. Is that why you consider it to be "horrible"? I actually meant to focus on just that small section because of its relevance rather than the entire page. It's just a listing of books, which can still be used as sources in neutral articles. -- œ 11:01, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
No, it is primarily horrible because it does not reflect the contemporary scholarly discussion on the topic. And these generally antiquitated polemical works are included in that polemical bibliography for that reason. And when we come to the more modern works we have self-published conspiracy theorist Acharya S - stop the press, someone is repeating the grossly ignorance fantasy of Kersey Graves. Articles are to reflect what mainstream verifiable content, not be dominated by what 100 year old polemical writings that are unanimously rejected by contemporary scholarship. --Ari (talk) 12:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I trust your judgment. You'd know much more than I on the topic. -- œ 01:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Middle Ages[edit]

It would be great if someone with specialist knowledge on Christian relations with the Saxons and Germanic people in the period covered would assist in providing references. Much of the content seems to be uncited and occassionaly unencyclopedic in wording and voice. As this is quite a few hundred years outside of my speciality a hand would be great. --Ari (talk) 02:45, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

It is indeed time to put the shoulder to the wheel here. This article is going to be in WP:SS style, as it touches on many topics that have dedicated articles elsewhere (such as Jesus Christ in comparative mythology, Christian mythology, decline of Hellenistic paganism, Germanic Christianity, Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England, etc.) What it needs to aim for is an informed and coherent summary of how Christianity and pagan traditions have cross-influenced one another over time. --dab (𒁳) 09:22, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


This is very biased (talk) 12:37, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Do you have anything slightly more specific to say? -- AnonMoos (talk) 13:04, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Christians did murder alot of pagans. The germanic pagans never did cannibalism. What about the inqision, they were around to remove spiritual knowlage. In paganism they say they did ritual sex, no. It's symbolic, so what they did was pour some salt into a chalice. so, it's symbolic (just like in the christian mass, we eat his body, we drink his blood). (talk) 14:57, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Whatever -- the Inquisition (to give it the correct number of syllables) didn't come into existence until there were already only scattered lingering remnants of paganism in Western Europe, and it was actually far more preoccupied with Muslims, Jews, and heretical Christians. Furthermore, the material you added to the article page is strikingly misspelled and ungrammatical. And Lilith as the first wife of Adam is NOT mentioned in the Bible (the word occurs only at Isaiah 34:14). The material would need to be greatly rewritten and corrected before it could be considered for inclusion in the article... AnonMoos (talk) 16:24, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
That was not me. So "Whatever" -- there's a website called exposing christianity, you should read it. (talk) 20:28, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but you all have IP addresses in the 78.145.001XXXXX range, and none of you seem to be able to spell worth a damn, so the default working hypothesis must be that you're all the same. If you want to establish a distinctive identity for yourself, then get a Wiikipedia account and login. And more importantly, that material is simply not acceptable in the format in which you added it (a misspelled ungrammatical rant added in an inappropriate location). AnonMoos (talk) 04:28, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Year -- Well actually, there was alot of murder before the Inquisition ("to give it the correct number of syllables"). You should read every thing on that website Do you actually know anything about paganism? I'm not pagan myself, I'm a thiestic satanist. (talk) 14:17, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
The Christianization of Europe had both positive and negative aspects, but it most often proceeded without excessive gratuitous brutality (and what there was was mainly applied by local native monarchs against their own people), except for a few particular situations where Christianity vs. Paganism was tangled together with territorial conquests of an invading power (such as the Carolingian conquest of Saxony, and the Teutonic Knights). If you're going by the long lists of alleged atrocities contained in century-old books by people like Robert G. Ingersoll, then you really need to take it with a grain of salt. In any case, the Christians of the Roman empire learned about persecution from the pagans of the Roman empire. And disputed material added to a Wikipedia article needs a source, and if is not an acceptable Wikipedia source, then it's largely irrelevant... AnonMoos (talk) 17:04, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay... Right, you are too weak minded to read exposingchristianity. Dark age britian, DID have a writing system, because when the romans came, did they not bring thier writing system. I'm a ethnomusicologist and dark age music was always sung because the oppressers burnt all thier instruments. Year, what SHE said. Now from a spiritual point of view NOT a acedemic one. Christianity is spiritually dead religion. Poor you, I will have a black mass said for you. (talk) 12:38, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Whatever -- I read a fair amount of that type of material twenty or more years ago, and I don't know that I have a great interest in vaguely "exploring the site" in general now. If you're able to indicate a specific URL or reference to back up a specific point, then I may take a look at it. I'm not sure what you're trying to say about Romans not bringing their writing to Britain -- there are many Roman inscriptions in Britain, and they're all in the Latin alphabet, not Ogham or Anglo-Saxon runes. Anyhoo, the image I uploaded File:Satan-traditional-arms.svg is very probably a more historically-authentic Satanic symbol than anything you'll be using in your "black mass". And the assertive exclamation in English is not spelled "year" (that's how you spell the word referring to the period of the earth's rotation around the sun). AnonMoos (talk) 14:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Sources, sources, sources, etc... The evidence in right in your face. Anyway, christianity is a spiritually dead religion. Recently, thier was a scandal about pedo priests that rape little boys anally. (talk) 15:27, 13 October 2010 (UTC) P.S - I was joking, It's always fun to insult a serious, acedemic man in his 30, 40s. Oh and Ogham, and Anglo-Saxon runes are magical symbols like kabbalah. (talk) 15:28, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
1) If you want me to "explore the site" in general, that's probably not going to happen. If you have a specific URL (other than the site homepage) which supports a specific point you're making, then by all means point me to it.
2) There's very little specific evidence that early Germanic Runes had occult or mystical associations, other than a vague passage in the Germania which can be interpreted in several ways.
3) Religious insults do nothing to advance the discussion. This page is for the purpose of improving the Christianity and Paganism article, not for venting your personal prejudices and hatreds. And whatever you've concluded that I am is probably wrong. AnonMoos (talk) 15:59, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm a pracationer of magic and I use runes as yes, THEY ARE MAGICAL, I know they are. (talk) 16:07, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
That's nice -- I could be just as profoundly personally convinced that the inhabitants of the planet Tralfamadore are sprinkling pixie dust on my breakfast cereal, but without reliable sources, the whole topic would be irrelevant for Wikipedia. And in fact, the sources for the HISTORICAL association of runes with the occult or mystic are rather limited and equivocal... AnonMoos (talk) 16:14, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay here's how to save you lots of time, JUST EXPLORE THE WEBSITE. BOOM, lot's of time for both you and me, saved. (talk) 16:38, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
SAVE YOU LOTS OF TIME, just read the website, THERE, WANGO! Lots of time... saved (oh and don't delete this just like you did last time). (talk) 16:40, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Did you read anything I wrote above?? You're the one who wishes place disputed material into the article, so the burden is on you to come up with specific supporting evidence for that material. The burden is not on me to go randomly rummaging through a website in order to possibly stumble upon evidence which might support your claims... AnonMoos (talk) 16:48, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
What disputed material? (talk) 16:51, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Your article rant: [1] (Remember?) -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
That was not me. (talk) 16:59, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'm treating all the poorly-spelling anti-Christianity-ranting anonymous IPs as one and the same without specific evidence to the contrary. As I've said before, if you want to establish a distinctive identity for yourself, then get a Wiikipedia account and login. -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:46, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
JUST READ IT. Oh and difine 'Source'. (talk) 17:04, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:RS... AnonMoos (talk) 18:46, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Bias, part deux[edit]

This article is biased. It is Christianity = Good. Paganism = Bad. Wogham (talk)

I don't see anything in the article which is remotely as gratuitously opinionated as most of your statements are. The Roman persecution of Christians takes up a significant amount of space because that was a significant historical phenomenon extending over almost 250 years from Nero to Diocletian. If there's something else which you specifically object to, feel free to point it out. AnonMoos (talk) 22:24, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
What about the witch hunts? Wogham (talk) 12:08, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
That's certainly persecution by Christians, but it raises the question of whether most of the victims were really Pagan in any meaningful sense. In the early 20th century, Margaret Murray made a number of sweeping claims which have tended not to be accepted by the consensus of mainstream historical scholarship... AnonMoos (talk) 13:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
So what what your saying is the there was no witchhunts? Wogham (talk) 13:24, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Dude, you certainly have problems with reading sometimes. It was a historical situation which was grim enough, but which mostly had only tangential connections to Paganism, and which was greatly exaggerated by Margaret Murray. Not sure why you're not satisfied with history as it actually was, (as opposed to highly embellished and over-dramatized semi-crackpot theories of 75 years ago). AnonMoos (talk) 13:33, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Err... I don't know who is Margaret Murray is. So 'Dude', Read this: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wogham (talkcontribs) 17:02, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a neo-pagan, I'm a proper pagan. I agree that the historical facts with neo-paganism are mass-dabated over by historians and neo-pagans alike. Wogham (talk) 17:05, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
"over-dramatized semi-crackpot"? - Right -- but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky. Wogham (talk) 17:08, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
This whole thing will go much more smoothly if you don't attempt to tell me what my beliefs are (something about which you have very little evidence to validly base any statements). And the doctrine of the Virgin Birth (which I may or may not believe in) may or may not be a wacky religious belief, but its alleged wackiness is not relevant to this article -- and in any case, it is not a theory about the unfolding of historical events which has generally been rejected by reputable professional historians. You may have never heard of Margaret Murray, but the loose claims about a "pagan witch holocaust" or whatever are all rehashed warmed-over Margaret Murray.
And I took a look at and it was even worse than I was expecting -- the website author's command of expository syntax and standard English writing conventions is on the level of a mediocre 3rd-grade book report, and there's all the same standard rehashed warmed-over material from late 19th-century "freethinking" books, except that the late 19th-century freethinkers often knew something about history, while the website author has a very tenuous grasp of basic chronology, in which the centuries seem to merge together in his mind. In any case, even if all of it were true, most of it would have little or no relevance to the topic of Christianity and Paganism, and improving the article is supposed to be the purpose of this talk page... AnonMoos (talk) 22:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Give me the source. Wogham (talk) 12:48, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Christians did kill pagans and cats, and what about all the christian propoganda, thier is a alot of it. Wogham (talk) 13:43, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Source for what? If you're referring to the "pagan witch holocaust", then there are plenty of sources at Witch-cult hypothesis which I already linked to above. And medieval peasants who killed cats certainly didn't do so following Christian doctrine; there's nothing in the Bible about killing cats (in fact, nothing in the Bible about domestic cats at all). AnonMoos (talk) 16:47, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Read this: "This group, unlike their cousins that went to England, practiced human sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism[citation needed]." that is biased and that christian propoganda. In the christian mass, "we eat his body, we drink his blood". Wogham (talk) 13:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
At last, a specific well-founded objection to the article itself! If it's false, or cannot be supported by sources, then it certainly should be removed from the article. (However, the Aztecs did in fact practice human sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism...) -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:47, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
But, the teutons did not. (talk) 23:51, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I really don't know what the facts or evidence are about the Saxons of the early Carolingian period (and I'm not reverting your deletion); I was just pointing out that it's not "Christian propaganda" that some peoples practiced human sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism. AnonMoos (talk) 07:31, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Who cares about witch hunts? If you wanna talk about christainity and Paganism why isnt the fact that Christains stole many pagan traditions and beliefs. Take Christmas for example, its celebrated on december 25 every year and we give each other gifts to celebrate jesus. Yet pagans were already doing this. They celebrated the Winter Solstice which takes place on.....december 25th. The pagans gave each other gifts and even put up a green tree! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
The Winter solstice actually occurs around December 20th/21st (not the 25th). In any case, gift-giving and trees were not commonly associated with Christmas until the 19th century in English-speaking countries. If there was any pagan influence, it was from the day of Sol Invictus (which also did not involve gift-giving and trees), and those who set Christmas on the day of Sol Invictus more probably had the idea that they were aggressively taking over the day for Christianity (not that they were adopting any pagan customs). AnonMoos (talk) 20:39, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
There are solid, academic arguments to made for the continuum of numerous Yule customs into modern day Christmas. Are you not familiar with these? :bloodofox: (talk) 17:48, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
See comments of "18:29, 20 March 2012" below... AnonMoos (talk) 23:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Witch Hunts[edit]

Why is there NO mention of the witch hunts? --Unencyclomancer (talk) 11:16, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Because this article is titled "Christianity and Paganism", not "Persecutions by Christians". See the article Witch-cult hypothesis linked several times above... AnonMoos (talk) 11:28, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I know it's not titled "Persecutions by Christians", but it should mention witch hunts anyway, even if it is debatable. When writing it, just make a link to Witch-cult hypothesis. Oh, and not everybody on wikipedia is a scholarly person, some general person may be looking for pagan and christian related things and type in Christianity and Paganism. --Unencyclomancer (talk) 11:32, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
There's no problem with a simple "see also" link (added), but any extended exposition would probably be out of place for this article... AnonMoos (talk) 00:42, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Err...why? Christian bias? --Unencyclomancer (talk) 16:34, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Because the mainstream consensus of scholarship is that there was little real paganism involved, according to accepted definitions... AnonMoos (talk) 23:10, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Rewrite tag[edit]

Recently I placed a rewrite request tag on this article, the reasons for which AnonMoos (talk · contribs) asked me to elaborate on. Below it stood (and continues to stand) a series of other tags placed by other users, pointing out rampant issues with synthesis, neutrality issues, and poor referencing throughout. Now, if these issues weren't enough to make passer-bys proclaim "yikes, I think it would be a Hell of a lot easier if someone just came by and rewrote this mess", then allow me to elaborate; as it stands, this article is extremely sympathetic to Christianity and heavily downplays or ignores the modernly inconvenient side of Christianity—the fact that, in medieval Europe, the pyramid structure of the church was, sword in hand, a handy machine to subject all who resisted under a single, church-backed banner—while basically violating every principle that makes a Wikipedia article at all worthwhile (see above). Therefore, I suggest, the simple solution is for someone with some time on their hands rewrite this article with transparent, neutral, academic sources at hand, with which they would neutrally detail the interactions between Christianity and the various types of "paganism" (i.e. all non-Abrahamic religions) it has encountered through its history. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:44, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Medieval European society had many injustices, but those injustices are mostly irrelevant to this article if they don't impinge on the declared subject matter of Christianity and Paganism. See my comments of 7:04, 11 October 2010 above... AnonMoos (talk) 22:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
P.S. It is simply not verifiably true that "that almost all of Europe was Christianized by the sword" (and it is obviously false for the conversion of a substantial percentage of the population of the European and non-European territories of the Roman empire before 325 A.D.), so if that's the line that you're going to attempt to impose on the article, the ride will end up being bumpy... AnonMoos (talk) 23:02, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
First of all, I have yet to mention anything here that does not deal with the interactions with Christianity and paganism, so let's put that baby to bed. But let's be clear here: by and large, the Christianization of Europe boiled down to the medieval church's focus on Christianizing all that it encountered, and eagerly doling out second-class citizen laws and/or death sentences for those who refused. Secondly, I might suggest to you a map, where you will find that the Germanic language-speaking areas and the Slavic language-speaking areas of Europe make up the majority of it, regions that resisted Christianization until late dates (in the case of Lithuania, for example, as late as the 14th century). Further, the Christianization of the Roman Empire was also anything but a bloodless process, as is well documented. The common Christian conversion narrative of pagan savages, who, while unknowing, have Christ in Their Heart, and who drop to their knees, teary-eyes, upon having The Gospel brought to them, happily throw out their ever-vile, ancestral polytheistic belief systems (ancient, sure, but really they were tricked by demons, of course!) in no way reflects what the record shows. As a result, a proper plotting of the record is crucial for an article of this scope. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Whatever -- you seem to be willfully ignoring the fact that it is commonly estimated that at least 10% of the population of the Roman Empire (far more in urban areas) had already converted to Christianity before 325 A.D., when Christians didn't have the power to persecute anybody. There was very little which can be meaningfully called persecution of pagans by Christians until the final few years of the 4th century, by which time the balance within the Roman Empire had already shifted. Furthermore, let's examine the case of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, which you singled out. There was no possibility of any Roman military intervention there, and in fact no evidence of any outside military intervention. Any force which was applied would have been applied by the local native monarchs against their own people. This was in fact the common pattern, except in a few cases when the issue of Christianity vs. Paganism was tangled up with foreign invasions (i.e. the Carolingian invasion of Saxony and the Baltic crusades). If you picture 6th-century Anglo-Saxon monarchs as wearing 15th-century plate armor while wielding the power of some kind of consolidated military-ecclesiastical complex to brutally crush the funky grooving peaceful hippie eco-Druid communes, or something similar, then your views would appear to be anachronistic and un-historical. AnonMoos (talk) 13:14, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Given your apparent need to dip into personal fantasy at the end of your last comment and evident ignorance of the record, I'm not finding this conversation with you here to be fruitful. Anyway, when I have some more time, I'll gladly go through the article and work to bring it to standard. In the mean time, unless someone else wants to put in the time or effort, it continues to need a rewriting. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:07, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Removing the rewrite tag now, since you have conspicuously failed to substantiate it with any meaningful relevant specific historical details, other than your generalized uninformed ranting tirade about your mostly irrelevant personal fantasies about what you imagine the tyrannies of medieval societies speculatively might have been...
Hope always springs eternal, so you might be able to achieve some article improvement -- but if your edits end up being based mostly on rehashed warmed-over material from historically-dubious late 19th-century "freethinking" books, or your approach to editing is similar to that on the "Triskelion" article (where you conspicuously fell short in being able to constructively collaborate with others to achieve article improvment), then the ride will be a bumpy one, as I said. AnonMoos (talk) 00:51, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, fortunately, our edit histories do speak for themselves. Where you pull this blather about "historically-dubious 19th-century 'freethinking' books" I don't know (red herring?), but I would be interested if you can find an instance where I've done exactly that in any of the hundreds of articles I've rewritten (many brought up to GA specs). Then we can talk about it. Otherwise I advise you stick to what you know, Anon; you've raised enough red flags here for most readers to connect the dots, and so far you're not doing yourself any favors.
Now, as I said, I don't see conversing with you here to be fruitful, but for what it's worth, Triskelion still needs a rewrite and also falls into my general scope. I thank you for reminding me of that. I'll add that to my list for future work. Regarding the tag, you can remove it if it somehow makes you feel better—the need for the rewrite is obvious enough. :bloodofox: (talk) 07:32, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
If you start editing Triskelion from the point of view that all references to fraternities should be purged from all Wikipedia articles (like you did last time), then the results will probably end up being more or less the same as last time around. Meanwhile, this article may need rewriting, but you've conspicuously failed to provide any concrete evidence for this (only your purely subjective opinionated ranting tirades). AnonMoos (talk) 18:08, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, the tomfoolery continues. If anyone is unfortunate enough to be reading this sorry exchange, this hotlink here leads to the exchange, where, all over the talk page, your actions and comments well speak for themselves. Now, as is quite plainly stated, my complaint there was the huge list of cruft that made up much of what was—and remains–a poor quality article, including the fraternity mention, which I specifically pointed out as a typically unreferenced ultra-minor pop culture quip (I believe this was around the time I rewrote valknut). Anyway, I see no point in repeating myself to you but, yea, while the rewrite cometh, AnonMoos, I'm not sure when I'll be getting around to it (I've got some higher priority rewrites on the list). I do, however, welcome you to hold your breath in the mean time. :) :bloodofox: (talk) 00:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
If you edited Triskelion for reasons other than a personal dislike of fraternities, you certainly failed to convey any explanation of those reasons that the rest of us monitoring the article at the time could reasonably understand... AnonMoos (talk) 23:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I think I made that point pretty clear. And by "the rest of us", you mean yourself and another user who resorted to repeatedly calling me "bloodofucks" who thereafter went around vandalizing several articles I was associated with—both lines of behavior you evidently had no problem with as long as he was backing you. As a result triskelion still needs exactly the attention I gave to valknut years ago. It remains a poor article covered in exactly the cruft I mentioned before. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:33, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Whatever, dude -- I called you that exactly zero (0, null, nil, zilch) times, so you would seem to be being "economical with the truth" (as they say). And your previous approach of editing based on your personal antipathies and/or deleting large chunks of text which are not controversial or disputed solely on the basis that they're "unsourced" (without explaining what the difference is with versus equally unsourced text which you left in place) was simply not found to be a productive basis for improving the article, as discussed in excruciating detail at Talk:Triskelion. AnonMoos (talk) 02:43, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I said the other user repeatedly used the term, not you, yet that you were perfectly fine with it as long as he agreed with you. The talk page and article history records it all; cruft was repeatedly removed by me and restored by you and the user repeatedly referring to me as "Bloodofucks" who went on to repeatedly vandalize several articles I had a hand in. This included the completely un-notable fraternity mention, which I made mention of as a prime example as to what the article suffers from. Deletion of unsourced material is policy, restoring content without providing source is against policy: WP:PROVEIT—and you should well know that by now. Of course, the result wasn't that it was found to be "simply unproductive" (by a grand panel of you and Mr. "Bloodofucks", of course), but rather that my attention was/is diverted elsewhere, and you weren't willing to assist in getting the article in shape (yet more than willing to engage in long talk page threads, of course). In time I'll quite simply flatly rewrite the article from scratch to WP:GA standards but it's not on my priority list of articles at the moment. :bloodofox: (talk) 03:52, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Whatever -- I refused to get involved in the purely personal aspects of the dispute between you two, and only commented on the discussions about actual article editing. As I already said several times before, it is always highly desirable to have sources, but if there was a blind indiscriminate blanket exceptionless immediate approach to removing all unsourced text, then probably close to 75% of Wikipedia article content would disappear overnight. Your approach to editing Triskelion was found to be unproductive because it generated great antagonism and talk-page turmoil, without any ascertainable improvement in article quality -- and also because you were incapable of providing any very useful explanation of the specifics of your edits (other than vaguely appealing to broad generalized policies and/or your personal dislike of fraternities). AnonMoos (talk) 16:33, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
"Whatever"? Is that flippant, third response of "whatever" in this thread alone the best you can say for yourself? And as for the rest, I suppose that was the long way of saying "as long as the other user agreed with me, I was perfectly fine with whatever names he was calling you along the way and whatever he was doing in relation to the situation". The conversation consisted solely of you, myself, and that guy, and I made it quite clear that unreferenced material needed to be removed, citing the frat mention as a prime example. You were quite happy to revert war with "bloodofucks" instead of showing a moral backbone and risking losing your revert buddy by telling him to knock it off. No good troll wasted, eh? I certainly wouldn't have stood by while another user repeatedly unleashed ad hominem attacks on you in a discussion that involved me, no matter what side we were on, or how it would have advanced my position.
And again, my opinion of fraternities and academic honor societies is besides the point, and you may be surprised to the extent in my involvement with them. And, indeed, "roughly 75%" of Wikipedia does need to be rewritten (as would be evident to any objective, academically-minded observer). Fortunately, that's slowly but surely happening by the hands of many users actually out to improve Wikipedia, including myself. Step one to any improvement is to demand flatly-stated, transparent sources. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:36, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Christian Bias[edit]

First of all "the old testiment" IS mythology! It isn't POV. Is there a historical basis? Yes. But there are historical basis for most myths. And this article seems keen on highlighting Pagan attacks on Christians while leaving Christian massacres on Pagans out. And it briefly whisks by the Pagan influences on Catholics and other early Christians (such as Gnostics) for instance, turning Yule into Christmas, turning Samhain into All Souls Day, and changing Asther (a Babylonian spring holiday) into Passover and eventually Easter. Not to mention influences such as Zeus' appearance and later interpretations of God's appearance. Resurrection myths from Egypt, Babylon, and Greece. Of coarse Greece and Rome had a million myths about human children of dieties, so Jesus doesn't score originality points there. And who could forget the Osiris and Isis mythos of Reassurection. Christianity is Clearly a mythos build on its predecessors. But that's ok. Because all mythologies are. Christians just need to get over it. Instead of whining about Pagans, Christians might want to research inconsistencies in their own religion. Like genesis and the pesky mention of a woman before Eve. There's a million reasons to rip Christianity apart. Christians shouldnt be so concerned with why people persecute their faith. If you killed millions of people in he inquisition, the crusades, the slaughter of Gnostics, and The Children's Crusade, you'd have people investigating you too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

First off, if Christmas had an early pagan influence, it was dies natalis solis invicti (as I just now said directly above) -- and hardly anything Germanic! The rest of your comments appear to be largely rehashed from late 19th-century "freethought" books, such as The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors (which is full of complete nonsense, and which even some knowledgeable atheists now find to be somewhat embarrassing). Another false claim in your remarks is that "Easter" has any linguistic etymological connection with "Ishtar". It doesn't (as previously discusssed at Talk:Ishtar). -- AnonMoos (talk) 22:35, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
While the anonymous user above is certainly confused on numerous points, it should be noted that the huge influence and role that indigenous Hellenic religion had on Christmas is very difficult to dispute, and is perfectly mainstream in modern Classical Studies. As for the Yule-Christmas question, the influence of Yule on Christmas in Northern and Northeastern Germanic regions is also well documented, perfectly mainstream, and difficult to dispute. I concur that this article still retains a heavy Christian bias. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:14, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Germanic influence had absolutely no validly ascertainable role in setting the date of the observance of the birth of Christ on December 25th in the Julian calendar. Some Germanic winter solstice customs obviously did influence the observance of Christmas in Germanic countries -- but only centuries after the date of the observance of the birth of Christ had already been established on December 25th in the Julian calendar. The Christmas tree was almost unknown in English-speaking countries before the 19th century, etc. etc. So claims that Christians "turned Yule into Christmas"[sic] are simply unmitigated blatant nonsense if this is meant to imply that Germanic customs were somehow supposedly the original basis for setting the date of the observance of the birth of Christ on December 25th in the Julian calendar.'s comments are a mass of errors and nonsense and irrelevancies which do not point the way towards any improvment of this article. AnonMoos (talk) 18:29, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
If that is what the IP user is attempting to claim, that is indeed nonsense. As for the Christmas tree, tree veneration was a well documented aspect of Germanic paganism, and references are on record to trees growing in or placed within dwellings evidently for fertility-related purposes (i.e. Barnstokkr and numerous other references). As a result, such a continuation would be no surprise; it would fit right along with many of the other Yule traditions that continue to live on into the modern era. Tree veneration and folk belief in beings in trees was widespread in Scandinavia up until very recent (Swedish vårdträd, Danish Hyldeqvinde and Hyldemoer; I believe there were some English examples on record somewhere as well) and therefore I wouldn't be so hasty in excusing it. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:44, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

What is the intent of this article?[edit]

Reading over the article and browsing through the talk page, I'm concerned that the arguments are perpetual becaue there is no defined purpose of this article. It currently carries a wide range of subjects from the origins of Christianity to the persecutions of accused witches, among others. Any definitive encyclopedia article should have a specific focus. I propose this article should be reevaluated with a single topic in mind. A good start might be the introduction of a thesis statement. Off the top of my head, two finite subjects that this article could be steered towards include the historical interactions & relations between the adherents of Christianity and paganism or the similarities and differences between their respective beliefs and practices. Either subject would be a benefit to the article and can easily be sourced from "both sides of the aisle" to provide a clearly neutral point-of-view. Gawain VIII (talk) 19:07, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't see any real major problem of definition -- the article is (or should be) about the interaction of Christianity with non-Abrahamic religions in the Roman Empire and Europe from the beginnings of Christianity down to the time when there ceased to be significant pagan communities in Europe outside of remote arctic regions (i.e. the late middle ages in the Baltic, earlier elsewhere). The talk-page disputes are more because people have strong opinions which are not accepted by the mainstream of current historical scholarship (e.g. derived from books authored during the Golden Age of Freethought or from Margaret Murray's Witch-cult hypothesis), rather than because of unclarity of purpose... AnonMoos (talk) 07:35, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Anon, I certainly hope you're not referring to the exchange between you and I above. If so, that is most certainly not the case, as all of my edits and comments here are grounded in scholarship that I can produce at any time. If not, I suggest you adjust your statement. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:44, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I was actually referring mainly to / / Wogham (the most extended and pointless debate on this page), though some other discussions here have displayed certain similar tendencies in less extreme form (however, was actually more extreme...). -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:09, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Christianisation of the Germanic people[edit]

Why is the Christianisation of the Germanic people only described as using violence? There were instances of non-violent conversions, take Iceland for an example. If the purpose was to show that they were brutal methods of the Germanic people then granted, but shouldn't it be renamed then? Because, despite what many modern Scandinavians might say, there are several examples of peaceful converts in the Germanic people, like I mentioned, Iceland. I'm just asking why only the violent version is included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

As I said above, any violence was mainly applied by local native kings against their own subjects, with a few exceptions such as the Carolingian conquest of the Saxons. AnonMoos (talk) 01:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree with this: the conversion discussed is very negative in tone, and would have been more balanced had the author presented this fact as well. (The vast majority of conversion of Germanic peoples - and there were too many ethnic groups and tribes for one article - was peaceful.) There are some blatant factual errors: a few that popped out at me were the assertion that the Saxons were some of the last peoples to be christianized - something I'm sure would surprise scholars of Scandinavian history! Fact is, although the Saxon conversion post-dated that of neighboring Celts such as the Welsh and Irish, it occurred far earlier than that of the Scottish and the invading Norse and Danish tribes. I think the problem with an article like this is that too often the author is a product of the last few decades of a university system that is biased toward the left and secular. Unfortunately that bias and its accompanying revisionist history presents a poor picture of 'facts'. Someone else asked what the overall purpose of this article even is, since it isn't focused and contains more conjecture than fact about anything related to actual Christian history. I would have to agree. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:23, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

First, the article is poorly referenced and poorly constructed. Second, throughout the history of higher education, this material has been presented as if Christianization was an extremely positive and even inevitable development. Bellyaching about leftists isn't going to get you very far here.
The solution is simply a well-written article. While apologists love to stress the "peacefulness" of the conversions where they're attested, the simple fact is that our records regarding the subject are as full of holes as Swiss cheese. This would be extremely evident in a version of this article article written to Good Article standards. Unfortunately, we're nowhere near there yet. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:46, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

First of all, part of the section about the forcible conversion of the Saxons is obviously (incorrectly) in the section on the Anglo-Saxons - although it does seem to be (oddly) sourced to an article about the latter. I'm fixing this now.
To address your other assertions, though: the Saxons were one of the last groups to be Christianized, of course depending on how you define "groups" (if you treat the Balts, pagan Slavs and Scandinavians as "groups"). But the fact Scandinavia was christianized later doesn't disprove the Saxons being one of the last groups.
The Norse and Danish weren't distinct groups until long after they had been christianized. They definitely were not "tribes". Likewise, "Scotland" did not exist during Christianization - the process of Gaelicization of the previous Pictish inhabitants proceeded in conjunction with Christianity, although exactly when is unclear - but it was probably roughly contemporaneous with the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons and well before the mainland Saxons.
As for the peacefulness of conversions of Germanic peoples, we don't really know how it happened. I'd obviously point out that where decent primary sources do exist for Christianization - namely, of the pagan Balts and Slavs - it was conducted by war and in an intrinsically violent fashion (incidentally, I'm going to try to add material on this fairly soon). So while I certainly agree the article has its problems, your objections miss them and shouldn't be used as the basis for changes. Rwenonah (talk) 03:15, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Bede and other authors tell us plenty about the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. And Balts and Slavs are not Germanic. AnonMoos (talk) 02:36, 8 May 2017 (UTC)