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 Religious 'doubling-up'

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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Religious 'doubling-up'   Wed 19 Apr 2017, 19:56

In the confused Christian history thread nordmann wrote:

nordmann wrote:

The Norfolk find is obviously of huge significance, but maybe not so much in its being "one of the first Christian burial grounds" as being one of the first which indicates an unconflicted Christian community as we understand the term today - "modern" Christians, as it were. And all those other burials dating back to Roman times - including maybe more Saxon burials than we have hitherto cared to assess as anything other than "pagan" - may contain within them evidence of the true nature of Christianity's entrance into British society, exemplified by people for whom Jesus may simply have been a new and important addition to an established pantheon in their own heads (be it Roman, Germanic or Celtic in character), claiming pride of place in that structure but not to the extent that he necessarily completely displaced the existing gods and goddesses and the various rites and beliefs associated with them.

It seems quite reasonable.  Religions don't always have the best record for tolerating each other, but nevertheless it has happened in ancient history.  The Romans quite often adopted/adapted local gods into their own beliefs, and sometimes this worked the other way.  It would a relatively easy process with a polytheistic religion (except perhaps for the true hard-liner, what's one more god when you already have a hatful?)  It would inevitably be more difficult with a monotheistic religion, but not impossible.  Those adopting the new religion may well - as nordmann suggests - have just seen it as a new addition to their existing pantheon.  Elements of the old religion could be incorporated into the new, either off the converts' own bat, or because a missionary has worked out it would be a good way to bring about conversion.

However, we do not just have to look into history to find this.  One remarkable living example (living being perhaps an ironic term, given that this primarily concerns the dead) can be found in Toraja region of Indonesia.  Until around a century ago the locals followed an animist religion.  Now about 80% are Christian, and there is some Islamic influence.  However, a strong streak of the old faith survives in the way they treat their dead.  Bodies are preserved and kept in the house for months or even years; they are regarded as sick and/or sleeping, not dead, and regularly provided with food, cigarettes, changes of clothes etc.  Eventually, when the relatives feel the time is right and they have the money, an elaborate funeral (including animal sacrifice) is held and the soul is finally allowed to leave the body, which will be typically interred in tombs or caves.  Even then they will be regularly brought out to be cleaned up, reclothed and perhaps have a photo taken for the family album.  Although, partly through the influence of Christianity, these traditions are beginning to die out, many still see little conflict between these practices and their declared Christian faith.  More in this BBC article - since the article does, I'd better warn that it contains images some may find disturbing, of semi-mummified and decomposing corpses.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Religious 'doubling-up'   Wed 19 Apr 2017, 21:08

Interesting article from you. I read the whole BBC link. Hmm, and then I try to "feel" the reality. In the first month their are to be smells I think, or are the corpses embalmed, mummyfied?

Kind regards, Paul.

PS; After all those years after my visit to Jersey I still receive advertisements on my computer from the Channel Islands...they seem to be a tough race overthere... Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Religious 'doubling-up'   Wed 19 Apr 2017, 22:48

From the article it looks like the main smell is from the embalming product!
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