Friday, 17 June 2016
Confusing Genealogy And Authentic Dialogue
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (New York, 1999), p. 301.
According to the Skjoldungs genealogy on p. xv of Anderson's Hrolf Kraki's Saga (New York, 1973), Hrolf's great- (or great-great-?) uncle Frodhi was a grandson of Frodhi the Peace-Good so was Frodhi the Peace-Good Hadding's son Frodi? See comment here. They seem to have diametrically opposed personalities but people can change.
Dealings between Hrolf's grandfather Helgi and Queen Olof are so barbaric that I prefer to pass over them in silence.
A bishop says:
"'There is no harm in hearing about the forefathers, if we do not forget they were in error...Rather, it helps us to understand today's heathen, and thus learn how to bring them to the Faith.'" (...Saga, p. 4)
This is what a bishop of that era would have said but since then society has developed:
(i) different Christian perspectives;
(ii) secularist perspectives.
No harm? I would say that we owe it to ourselves to know about our ancestors. "...no harm..." is damning with faint praise. Were they "in error"? Some secularists say that any religious belief is error. I think that polytheism and monotheism are two phases of personification and were probably inevitable. They are deeper than mere errors. If someone is in error about a matter of fact and this is pointed out to him, then he accepts it whereas religious beliefs and world views are more deeply rooted. Some Christians now respect other beliefs and enter into dialogue with them rather than regarding knowledge of modern heathens merely as ammunition for proselytization.