The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20699   Message #218893
Posted By: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
27-Apr-00 - 10:49 AM
Thread Name: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Scholarship and comment on pagan memories and survivals has suffered, I think, from unacknowledged, semi-hidden agendas. I have a suspicion (so far supported by very slight evidence) that the work of James Frazer and Madame Blavatsky was partly motivated by a desire to discredit Christianity and/or Judaism. Anti-Jewish bias seems to have been part of Joseph Campbell's personality for much of his life, and may have been apart of his scholarly agenda as well. (That one modern pagan movement, Nazism, had such an agenda, and indeed went well beyond a desire merely to discredit, is however not just a suspicion but a very well-documented fact.) If a scholar or commentator is producing evidence of pagan survivals as a way of saying, "heh heh heh, those Christians/Jews think they are monotheists, but really they are polytheists", or "heh heh heh, those Christians think they converted the population of Russia, but really many Russians were only pretending to be Christians, while worshipping their pagan goddess under the cynical cover of pretending to honor Saint Paraskyeva" or something like that, then the scholar or commentator ought at least to acknowledge such bias.

I consider myself an interested amateur who is seeking understanding. But I own that I also have an agenda of giving no ground, even unwittlingly, to hostile agendas such as I described in the first paragraph above. Fortunately the quest for understanding and the quest against hidden anti-Christian and anti-Jewish hostility have led me in the same direction: that of trying to respect the facts, recognizing the complexity of human life and spirituality and the diverse ways the past can bear on the present; also recognizing that people are capable of rejecting the past and changing from what went before.

I don't suspect anyone here at the Mudcat of holding to hostile agendas such as I imagined in my first paragraph of this post. I think everyone here is seeking understanding, as I am. Also I have tried, in all my posts to debate-threads, to stick to the issues and avoid ad-hominem remarks. I'm sorry if I ever crossed, or seemed to cross, the line.

T.