counter create hit Pagan and Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Pagan and Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning

Availability: Ready to download

CONTENTS Introductory Solar Myths and Christian Festivals The Symbolism of the Zodiac Totem-Sacraments and Eucharists Food and Vegetation Magic Magicians, Kings and Gods Rites of Expiation and Redemption Pagan Initiations and the Second Birth Myth of the Golden Age The Saviour-God and the Virgin-Mother Ritual Dancing The Sex-Taboo The Genesis of Christianity The Meaning of it All The CONTENTS Introductory Solar Myths and Christian Festivals The Symbolism of the Zodiac Totem-Sacraments and Eucharists Food and Vegetation Magic Magicians, Kings and Gods Rites of Expiation and Redemption Pagan Initiations and the Second Birth Myth of the Golden Age The Saviour-God and the Virgin-Mother Ritual Dancing The Sex-Taboo The Genesis of Christianity The Meaning of it All The Ancient Mysteries The Exodus of Christianity Conclusion Appendix on the Teachings of the Upanishads I Rest II. The Nature of the Self Index Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) had a Cambridge education, and then joined the church as a curate. He left the church in 1874 and came a lecturer in astronomy. He was born into a wealthy family, but he eschewed the trappings of wealth because he believed that the first step toward Utopia, or the "New Life," was the elimination of the class hierarchy.


Compare
Ads Banner

CONTENTS Introductory Solar Myths and Christian Festivals The Symbolism of the Zodiac Totem-Sacraments and Eucharists Food and Vegetation Magic Magicians, Kings and Gods Rites of Expiation and Redemption Pagan Initiations and the Second Birth Myth of the Golden Age The Saviour-God and the Virgin-Mother Ritual Dancing The Sex-Taboo The Genesis of Christianity The Meaning of it All The CONTENTS Introductory Solar Myths and Christian Festivals The Symbolism of the Zodiac Totem-Sacraments and Eucharists Food and Vegetation Magic Magicians, Kings and Gods Rites of Expiation and Redemption Pagan Initiations and the Second Birth Myth of the Golden Age The Saviour-God and the Virgin-Mother Ritual Dancing The Sex-Taboo The Genesis of Christianity The Meaning of it All The Ancient Mysteries The Exodus of Christianity Conclusion Appendix on the Teachings of the Upanishads I Rest II. The Nature of the Self Index Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) had a Cambridge education, and then joined the church as a curate. He left the church in 1874 and came a lecturer in astronomy. He was born into a wealthy family, but he eschewed the trappings of wealth because he believed that the first step toward Utopia, or the "New Life," was the elimination of the class hierarchy.

30 review for Pagan and Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex Lee

    At first glance, Carpenter seems to be heavily de-valuing Christianity as he examines how Christian rituals have precedence within pagan rituals. But in reading this book you learn this is not what he is trying to do. He is actually seeking to find the root of religion. Carpenter grounds religious understanding in the development of human consciousness... so in that sense, pagan or Christian makes no difference -- we are attempting to find our place in the world. How we do so through religion, is At first glance, Carpenter seems to be heavily de-valuing Christianity as he examines how Christian rituals have precedence within pagan rituals. But in reading this book you learn this is not what he is trying to do. He is actually seeking to find the root of religion. Carpenter grounds religious understanding in the development of human consciousness... so in that sense, pagan or Christian makes no difference -- we are attempting to find our place in the world. How we do so through religion, is by grounding validation of our social reality through various external markers. In other words, we use sacrifice and ritual to maintain a consistency with the outside world. The actual thesis comes fairly late in the book. About half way through, he notes that this humanity seeking place develops in turn from the increased consciousness that comes with the loss of drive...with knowledge. The 2nd stage is self awareness, when knowledge of the world is mobilized as functionality of the world oriented to the self. The last stage is a return to unity of humankind within the ground of Self. Where Christianity steps in, is within the increased development of self-consciousness... for instance, Carpenter notes that with the rise of self-consciousness came self-will. This will according to self came as a threat to the coherency of the group. Christianity solves this by requiring that newcomers be born into the group, or I should say, born again. This doesn't stop the selfishness though: with the rise of Protestantism and Puritanism, this tendency reached such an extreme that, as some one has said, each man was absorbed in polishing up his own little soul in a corner to himself, in entire disregard to the damnation which might come to his neighbor. Religion, and Morality too, under the commercial regeime became as was natural, perfectly selfish. It was always: "Am I saved? Am I doing the right thing? Am I winning the flavor of God and man? Will my claims to salvation be allowed? Did I make a good bargain in allowing Jesus to be crucified for me?" The poison of a diseased self-consciousness entered into the whole human system. Carpenter isn't quite done yet with Christianity. He also writes that "Sin is actually (and that is its only real meaning) the separation from others, and the non-acknowledgement of unity." After all, any sin is really the run-away of human will, for the exclusion of all else, an imbalance within human consciousness. Carpenter's final point, the rise of the ground of Self marks for him a return to past truths, half sensed within human consciousness but not fully articulated. This ground of Self is really a return to philosophy, something Carpetner shys away from, but being from the earlier part of the 20th century, this was how existence was conceptualized, along a kind of immanent ground, be it consciousness or Self. And that is my only compliant. His argument is from a structuralist framework, and it works well when dealing with other religions. Where it becomes sketchy is in that he slides from speaking of consciousness to speaking about Self... as if the two are the same. They aren't. Nonetheless he ends on a positive note. He quotes one Dr Frazer from "The Golden Bough" The laws of Nature are merely hypotheses devised to explain that ever-shifting phantasmagoria of thought which we dignify with the high-sounding names of the World and the Universe. In the last analysis magic, religion and science are nothing but theories (of thought); and as Science has supplanted its predecessors so it may hereafter itself be superseded by some more perfect hypothesis, perhaps by some perfectly different way of looking at phenomena--of registering the shadows on the screen--of which we in this generation can form no idea." Carpenter does hope that we can find out of self-conscious obsessed world, wherein we think only of ourselves, to find unity. What he doesn't mention is that science too, is a knowledge based oriented along the self, for humankind and so on.... at least in the 20th century it was viewed as such. More understanding of how we are interconnected with nature has been revealing a different picture, one in which we cannot take a self interested view only, for to only be interested in things for us, is to lose the rest of the world... and no one can live without that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terelyn

    Carpenter proposes that self-conciousness and fear led to the entire world pantheon of different faiths. "Naturally as soon as Man began to think about himself--a frail phantom and waif in the midst of tremendous forces of whose nature and mode of operation he was entirely ignorant--he was BESET with terrors...the natural defence against this state of mind was the creation of an enormous number of taboos...hardened down into very stringent Customs and Laws...avoidance not only of acts which might Carpenter proposes that self-conciousness and fear led to the entire world pantheon of different faiths. "Naturally as soon as Man began to think about himself--a frail phantom and waif in the midst of tremendous forces of whose nature and mode of operation he was entirely ignorant--he was BESET with terrors...the natural defence against this state of mind was the creation of an enormous number of taboos...hardened down into very stringent Customs and Laws...avoidance not only of acts which might reasonably be considered dangerous, like touching a corpse, but also things much more remote and fanciful in their relation to danger, like merely...passing a lightning-struck tree; ... and acts which offered any special pleasure or temptation--like sex or marriage or the enjoyment of a meal. "...Fear does not seem a very worthy motive, but in the beginning it curbed the violence of the purely animal passions, and introduced order and restraint among them. ...(F)rom the early beginnings (in the Stone Age) of self-consciousness in Man there has been a gradual development--from crass superstition, senseless and accidental, to rudimentary observation, and so to belief in Magic; thence to Animism and personification of nature-powers in more or less human form, as earth-divinities or sky-gods or embodiments of the tribe; and to placation of these powers by rites like Sacrifice and the Eucharist, which in their turn became the foundation of Morality...; observations of plants or of the weather or the stars, carried on by tribal medicine-men for purposes of witchcraft or prophecy, supplied some of the material of Science; and humanity emerged by faltering and hesitating steps on the borderland of these finer perceptions and reasonings which are supposed to be characteristic of Civilisation." Carpenter goes on to compare Christian tenets with pagan practices around the world. You can see how fear of neverending winter, starvation, and death spurred belief in magic, ritual, animism, anthromomorphism, and today's conventional religions. In his British imperialistic furor to spread civilization, Carpenter also predicts the emergence of a "Common Life" beyond self-consciousness, blasting the selfish motives of capitalism and actually hailing the practices of early Christian communities and the movements of the Communists in eastern Europe. Granted, Carpenter's book was first published in 1920, just after WWI, before we could see Communism fall, and before Ayn Rand could inspire anyone to Constructivism. But Carpenter's view of religious history is useful. It certainly predates Campell's Hero of a Thousand Faces but has similar depth and scope. I recommend this book along with: * Joan O'Grady's "Early Christian Heresies" which examines the philosophies and turning points that molded Christian tenets during its birth and growth so that it could promise salvation to the masses. The scope includes Gnosticism, Marcionites, Montanists, Manichaeism, Donatists, Arianism, Nestorians, Pelagius, and more. * Erik Davis' "Techgnosis: myth, magic + mysticism in the age of information" which proposes that forms of communication shape social and individual consciousness of reality. "It follows that when a culture's technical structure of communication mutates quickly and significantly, both social and individual 'reality' are in for a bit of a ride. ...The social imagination leaps into the breach, unleashing a torrent of speculation, at once cultural, metaphysical, technical, and financial."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike Vieira

    This is a fascinating book, though written in a somewhat archaic style. I recommend this to those who are willing to examine the history of religion with an open mind. If you think Christianity sprang out of thin air, with no influence from earlier religions, and wish to keep thinking that, this is probably not the book for you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alicen

    This book was a challenge for me to read and understand, but I learned so much. I usually was only able to a few pages at a time before my thoughts began to wonder. I'd also need to reread pieces to make sure I understood his arguments. I know very little on the subject, so it was all new to me. I did have to remind myself the book was written in the early 1900s, which explained the how it was written. It would be interesting to read more modern texts on some of his subjects. I'm sure some This book was a challenge for me to read and understand, but I learned so much. I usually was only able to a few pages at a time before my thoughts began to wonder. I'd also need to reread pieces to make sure I understood his arguments. I know very little on the subject, so it was all new to me. I did have to remind myself the book was written in the early 1900s, which explained the how it was written. It would be interesting to read more modern texts on some of his subjects. I'm sure some information has changed in the last 100+ years. Overall I enjoyed it and I am happy I did not give up on the text.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    The book was a great read for understanding how the different religions all borrowed from one another. The author gave great anecdotes from both the Pagan and Christian perspective that covered egyptian, Roman, and many other faiths that were both poly and monotheistic in nature. I would recommend this to anyone interested in religious studies. The last couple sections were a bit bland and I found myself pushing through it until I got done but the main text itself was good. This book took me The book was a great read for understanding how the different religions all borrowed from one another. The author gave great anecdotes from both the Pagan and Christian perspective that covered egyptian, Roman, and many other faiths that were both poly and monotheistic in nature. I would recommend this to anyone interested in religious studies. The last couple sections were a bit bland and I found myself pushing through it until I got done but the main text itself was good. This book took me abotu a month to finish but it was worth it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peter J.

    While I saw holes and a few unsupported assumptions in his theory of spiritual evolution, I greatly enjoyed this work by Carpenter. The end, to be specific, where he discussed some concepts of rest and self from the Upanishads was staggeringly brilliant.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I almost wish this had been an audio book. I kept imagining myself in a lecture hall as I read. I really liked the book overall. It was written so long ago, I wonder what he would have thought about the changes since then.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The author did a very good job of comparing the rituals and symbols of ancient religions and how they relate to modern day Christianity. This was a well thought out, organized, and researched book. I thouroughly enjoyed reading it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sga

    Edition 1920 Harcourt Brace & Howe/The Plimpton Press

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Outstanding book. This opened up my eyes to a better understanding of christianity and myths. Should be required reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

    Very good explanation. The style of writing bogged me down at times.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    An excellent and I think mostly overlooked book on the history of religion. Written with no apparent agenda, unlike some of the more modern voices of atheism. One of my favorites on the subject.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Greg Bowen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leyna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hansen

  17. 4 out of 5

    patricia Highfield

  18. 4 out of 5

    Latasha Pierce

  19. 5 out of 5

    Parker Marcroft

  20. 4 out of 5

    Raine Gaize

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Blake

  22. 4 out of 5

    Athena Divine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wickedly Twisted

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brett Houser

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  26. 4 out of 5

    Frances Mihulec

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lealand Parsons

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Pillay

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dec

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.