(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Ross Arlen Tieken ross.a.tieken at gmail.com
Wed Apr 10 22:05:47 PDT 2013

I would suggest to you  "The Germanization of Medieval Christianity."

The myth is that Catholic Christianity attacked the peaceful Germanic  
tribes, who practiced a highly developed, family-unit centric, complex  
polytheistic shamanistic/mystical religion, killing them to win souls  
for the kingdom and to steal the territory. Within a few generations,  
the Old Religion died out except in a few secret magical cadres that  
kept it alive, sometimes being burned as a witch, under hardcore  
Christian suppression through the hierarchy of the Church.
Undoubtably there was Christian war with the Vikings, but the idea  
that the Christians oppressed and forced conversion on all Germanic  
peoples is actually inherited from Nazi historiography, trying to  
convince people that either 1.) Jesus is a Jewish parasite, a mind  
disease (thanks to Nietzsche for giving them that one), or that 2.)  
Jesus was an Anti-Jewish Germanic Aryan spiritual genius (see The  
Aryan Jesus by Heschl, I think).
The fact is that the conversion of the Germanic tribes to Christianity  
was decided by a complicated mixture of economics, political and  
territorial wars, and cultural crises within the Viking religion. By  
the time that Christianity got there, all evidence points to the fact  
that only some ancient traditions of the Vikings were alive... most  
had faded. They were already obsessed with Christianity because of the  
massive amount of gold they had plundered from nearly defenseless  
monasteries, and were fascinated also with the Muslims, with whom they  
had a vibrant trade. The other Germanic peoples either converted  
because their king converted or by slow process of inculturation.  
However, the rest of the Germanic religious world was already in  
crisis to some extent and Christianity really caught on quick with the  
Franks, the Visigoths (although they were Arian at first) and was the  
biggest hit with the Celts and Angles, Saxons, and Jutes of the  
British Isles, because of the fantastic nature of the Old Testament,  
the implicit acclamation of kingship, the revivified connections with  
Rome & other parts of Europe, and other factors. The Vikings were  
harder to convert but that was not the reason for the wars. The wars  
were to strike at the plundering Vikings, conversion was an excuse to  
keep some of their land, and 'idol-worship' was suppressed. Magical  
practices, belief in dwarves and fairies, and strange rituals that  
have nothing to do with Christianity lasted until very late, and were  
only really stamped out by the enterprising nature of mercantilism and  
Protestantism that really exorcised anything Pagan.
But the myth is still a very powerful rhetoric within the pagan  
groups. Having been raised by strongly Calvinist and/or secular  
Lutheran families, they have a prejudice against Catholicism in  
particular, but Christianity (and religion, actually) in general.


On Apr 10, 2013, at 1:45 PM, DAVID STOCKHOFF wrote:

> From: Ross Arlen Tieken <ross.a.tieken at gmail.com>
> To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:19 PM
> Subject: Re: (urth) Thecla's "Identity"
> Wolfe is not a "traditional" Catholic because he does actually  
> believe that other gods exist. The vegetarianism is complicated  
> though--it is a mark of those who are particularly sensitive and  
> sacrificial and is not expected for most. Remember Wolfe is from  
> Texas. Vegetarians aren't "normal" here (in Texas), but those who  
> have religious reasons to do so receive high respect.
> Also, I am a scholar of Neo-Paganism, and did some anthropological  
> work in England with them for about six weeks. Their attitudes are  
> not as simple as you recount them here; they are far more modern and  
> dependent on modern attitudes, and far more influenced by Golden  
> Dawn practices, which is sort of a hyper-modern ceremonial magic. On  
> the other hand, there are those who are trying to resuscitate Anglo- 
> Saxon or Germanic paganism, what they call Theodish beliefs or  
> Heathenry. Their magical practice comes from casting the Runes,  
> known as Asatru. But this group continues to attract members that  
> are crypto-Nazi, white power, and weird Blavatskian root-race  
> occultists. Now most of those who are a part of Heathenry are not  
> those people, and they are still tainted with the ahistorical myth  
> of the Christian Oppression of the Vikings, but in general they  
> actually have a lot in common with normal folk Catholicism. Wolfe  
> feels attracted to these people I am sure, as I did, but likely  
> wished for something a little more historically grounded. In that  
> way, he (and I) are not "traditional" Catholics, but that does not  
> mean that we are outside orthodoxy. Catholicism subscribes to what  
> used to be pagan ideas and attitudes; this is both acknowledged and  
> embraced by the modern Church (having experienced the rebirth of  
> early Church history and patristics in the 1920's and 30's.
> R
> Ross, I'm curious about this:
> ahistorical myth of the Christian Oppression of the Vikings
> I always heard it the other way around---I don't know this myth.
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