Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Buying Gods

"...the Church taught that God did not bargain. The pagans of Ys bought off their Taranis, Lir, lustful Belisama with sacrifices; but only offerings made with a contrite heart were acceptable to the Lord God of Israel."
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The King of Ys: Dahut, Chapter II, section 2, p. 46.

But a blood sacrifice is central to Christian belief. Maybe religions divide into four stages:

(i) blood sacrifices, (a) human or (b) animal;
(ii) other offerings of food etc;
(iii) the spiritualized, sacramentalized sacrifice of Christianity;
(iv) purely spiritual practice, (a) prayer or (b) meditation.

I am (iv) (b).

Christianity historicizes myths of sacrifice and resurrection because it stands at the crossroads between the cyclical, seasonal time of agricultural societies and the linear, historical time of urban civilizations. It is intermediate between blood sacrifice and spiritual religion.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

But I don't believe Christianity merely "...historicizes myths of sacrifice and resurrection.." Where Christianity differs from all other faiths is its assertion that God the Son truly died on the cross in an unspeakably degrading and agonizing manner and then truly rose from the dead. And we have discussed how St. Paul mentioned searching out and questioning witnesses who saw the risen Christ.