Pagans

Last night I watched the first episode of a new Channel 4 series about Pagans.

Whilst it was dumbed down in the way that all documentaries seem to be these days (for example, the first episode went for the biggest possible audience by covering sex) it was all very interesting. What comes out of it most clearly is the fact that the current slightly pejorative meaning to the word “pagan” is simply the result of almost two thousand years of christian propaganda.

Of course, a lot of christian traditions (for example, the dates of christmas and easter, and halos in religious images) are “borrowed” from pagan religions – but the christian church don’t like to talk about that.

If you can get Channel 4 then I recommend that you take a look at the remaining three programmes – 9pm on Monday.

3 thoughts on “Pagans

  1. Having glanced at the site, it looks like these series are a grosssimplification. I tend to dismiss the term “pagan” completely, because itcovers very different religions (although they mostly all have an indo-europeancommon origin.) Can you really put in the same bag the violently rough religionof the Goths, the sophisticated Vedic religion (where some rituals last onewhole year), the very formal Roman religion and its incredibly complexcalendar, and the Zoroastrian religion from which 90% of the Christian dogmahas been borrowed? History of religions is a very interesting topic (as wellas the main weapon against today’s religious people) but it’s deserved by thiskind of folkloric reconstistutions. Please correct me if my impression isfalse, as it’s only based on a web page…

  2. Oh, you’re right of course. But in their defence, this was a UK made program so it concentrated on the pagans that were found in the UK when the christians first arrived. And then they expanded it a bit so they could look at archeological sites in Sweden and (I think) Croatia.So for “pagans” read “European pagans of the first millenium CE”.

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