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Pagan Influences on Christianity

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Presentation on theme: "Pagan Influences on Christianity"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pagan Influences on Christianity
By Edward Madden

2 What is Paganism?

3 What is Paganism? One of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, such as the ancient Romans and Greeks. A person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. An irreligious or hedonistic person.

4 History of Paganism The history of Paganism began in about 10,000 BCE during the Paleolithic Age. The men worshipped the sun, the stag horned God, and the language of the animals, as hunting was crucial to their survival. The women, who were the child bearers and the healers, were those who took care of the tribe, and were looked upon as having more power, as they were the givers of life.

5 History of Paganism In around BCE, agriculture was discovered by accident, as the food the women stored in the ground began to grow. Men did not understand their role in the cycle of life until this point. The discovery of agriculture proved that the men also had a part in creation.

6 History of Paganism After this discovery, they had to work together and they no longer needed to follow the herds for food to survive. This was when they became “paganized”, the word pagan meaning “country dweller”.

7 Druids

8 Druids The Druids were predominately men, with very few women.
Originally known as the Mediterranean Cult of the Dead. These people were very spiritual and knowledgeable on the theories of death and reincarnation.

9 Druids Why did druids shave their heads?

10 Druids Both Egyptians and Romans shaved the head of a slave as a mark of subservience. To proclaim themselves slaves of Christ, early druids began to shave their heads. And although the practice is thinning out (the Catholic Church abolished the practice in 1972) it is still used by some orthodox followers.

11 Pagans in Rome & Greece Time went on, and people migrated from many places to settle in Rome, and those who came from Greece, came with many of the same beliefs that the Romans had....and though they worshipped different Gods and Goddesses, they shared in many similarities.

12 Pagans in Rome & Greece With the migration, there also came to Rome the nomadic Etruscans from Asia Minor who were very well versed in the aspects of magic and divinations, and they brought this knowledge with them to Rome.

13 The Spread of Christianity
Then, from ACE, the Old Testament was being written in the Middle East. After the death of Christ, the people from the Middle East spread out across the land, spreading the word of Christianity, and eventually came to Rome, and this is when the mass conversion began.

14 The Spread of Christianity
They started the conversions first with the rulers, the kings and the queens first by using money and bribery. This way, the country dwellers would have to convert, as they depended upon the rulers for their survival. Pagan temples were destroyed, and Christian churches were built upon the pagan holy grounds.

15 The Spread of Christianity
When the Christians decided that the new ways were not catching on fast enough with the pagans, the Christian leaders began asserting that the pagans worshipped and consorted with “the devil”.

16 Common Christian Symbols
Many of today's customs came into Christianity through Constantine who, in 325 AD, began the process of converting the official Pagan religion of the Roman Empire to Christianity.

17 Common Christian Symbols
The cross God-fearing Christians believe that Jesus accepted crucifixion on a cross for the benefit of us all.

18 Common Christian Symbols
What was the original symbol used for Christianity?

19 Common Christian Symbols
Christians adopted the fish symbol or the trident symbol to identify their religion. Then, early in the fourth century, when Emperor Constantine publicly declared that Christianity should be tolerated, execution by crucifixion was abolished and the cross became the emblem for Christians.

20 Common Christian Symbols
AMEN The root of the word comes from Hebrew aman, which means to nourish and make strong. Emunah (faithfulness) also comes from aman. The ancient Greeks used the word (AMHN) from Hebrew to mean 'truth', 'surely', 'absolutely'. It is one of just a few Hebrew words which have been imported unchanged into Church liturgy.

21 How Did Pagans Influence This?
Amen was originally the name of a Pagan god, who was considered a form of God the Creator. But he was certainly not considered God, or Christ. Interestingly, most Pagans today tend not to use the word, preferring instead to say "So mote it be", an old Anglo-Saxon term. In Ancient Egypt, Amen was just a minor god; but by the 17th dynasty (c B.C.) he had been elevated to be the national god of southern Egypt. This position gave Amen the attributes and characteristics of the most ancient gods, and his name became Amen-Ra, that is, a supreme form of God the Creator.

22 Christmas

23 Christmas Saturnalia was a festival held between the 17th and 24th of December, which began in the days of the Roman Empire. This was a week of feasting, gift-giving and an excuse for an orgy during the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice. The objective of the debauchery and dancing around (caroling) was to give the sun a nudge and send a message to Mother Earth to begin reproducing for the spring.

24 Christmas The traditional Christmas colors of red and green, being complementary colors, represent the fertility of the male and incubation by the female. Pagan decorations still seen around Christmas include the red berries and green leaves of holly, mistletoe and wreaths. Yule festivities are a mixture of customs and beliefs going back thousands of years.

25 Christmas In the 2nd century, the winter solstice was 6th of January and Christians celebrated both the birth and the appearance of God's Son on that day, Epiphany Day. By the 4th century, the date for the winter solstice was moved to 25th of December and Pope Julius I declared that Jesus' birthday celebrations would also be on that day. This effectively transformed the Pagan occasion into a Christian holy day (holiday).

26 Pagans in 2010 In 2009 according to the census bureau the population of the United States 307,006,550. 340,000 adults chose to identify themselves as Pagan. Compared to 173,402,000 adults who identified as Christian. That’s over 50% of the United States population in 2009.

27 Pagans in 2010

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