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Author Topic: Term Paper time, Thoughts appreciated  (Read 4896 times)
redbaron998
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« Topic Start: April 07, 2009, 01:28:35 pm »

Well my "Origins of the Great Traditions" teacher is kind kind enough to let us pick the topic of our final paper. I did mine on Buddhism for the fist one, so wanted to something western for the 2nd. Our faith is not conisdered one of the "Great Traditions" by our course (which I kinda agree with due to our faith being an ethnic centric religion)

Anyways here is my accepted proposal:
In my thought paper I plan to take a detailed look at the influences that have left their impression on the "Great Tradition" of Christianity, specifically the influences of indigenous northern European. I plan to concentrate on the Scandinavian area and the customs and beliefs of the Norse, and similar Germanic tribes, and how their influences can be seen on the tradition of Christianity today. For sources I plan to utilize ancient sources such as the Poetic Edda, and modern sources such as ontology’s on Norse myths. By utilizing these sources I plan to establish how aspects of Christianity changed due to these influences, and what new aspects may have been added.

So some of the obvious things are Yule and Ostara, but what are some other aspects you can think of that would be good for me to write about. My paper is suppose to be half reseach, half personal thought, so I need to talk about something that has happened, and then my opinions on the impact of it.

(I did include other similar tribes, so things from Celtic and Teutonic faiths can be discussed to a point, but Norse is my concentration. Thankfully they have much in common with each other)

Much appreciated,
RB998
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« Reply #1: April 07, 2009, 04:18:18 pm »

Anyways here is my accepted proposal:
In my thought paper I plan to take a detailed look at the influences that have left their impression on the "Great Tradition" of Christianity, specifically the influences of indigenous northern European. I plan to concentrate on the Scandinavian area and the customs and beliefs of the Norse, and similar Germanic tribes, and how their influences can be seen on the tradition of Christianity today. For sources I plan to utilize ancient sources such as the Poetic Edda, and modern sources such as ontology’s on Norse myths. By utilizing these sources I plan to establish how aspects of Christianity changed due to these influences, and what new aspects may have been added.

Hmm... in early Christianity, and in some Christian traditions today, the sacrament of baptism was a full-body immersion.  However, in the ELCA Lutheran church I was raised in, baptism candidates were sprinkled on the head with a little bit of water.  I find this reminiscent of the pre-Christian naming ceremony mentioned in some of the sagas.  (There are some lines that state "He sprinkled his new son with water and named him X"... I don't have references to hand, unfortunately.)

I have heard that the baptism ceremony was originally a sign of acceptance of the faith, rather than something done for (to?) newborns.  This changed sometime between the earliest days of the faith and the middle ages, however.  I don't know how, when, or where the change happened, but it might (or might not) be relevant to your paper.  (Of course, some of the Protestants changed it back later on.)
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« Reply #2: April 09, 2009, 07:40:58 am »



I unfortunately have no specific sources to point you towards, but I do suggest doing the database search on your school library's website; sometimes there are articles and such in journals that contain the information you need and usually you can read them right there online.

Good luck with your research! And keep us informed. Smiley
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« Reply #3: April 09, 2009, 09:12:29 pm »



Good luck with your research! And keep us informed. Smiley

In the meantime if you all so wish, here is the link to my last term paper "The Denominations within Buddhism" on my myspace.
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&bID=482248278
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« Reply #4: April 10, 2009, 03:53:18 am »

One thing that I always find the most obvious (and the most humorous) is that the Christian Sabath is on sunday, SUNday, which is not the 7th day of the week, when God rested, but the 1st!  You probably already had this, but I thought I'd includ it to ammuse myself! 

Also, I've always had kind of a soft spot for Jesus even after I left Christianity, and I've recently been toying with the idea that he was divinely enlightened, but knowing that he couldn't teach those who were not enlightened the truth, he instead tried only to teach love and acceptance.  By including sarcasm and humor in some of his quotes in the gospels, I've actualy been able to interpret them to support my personal beleifs... I can share if you'd like...
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« Reply #5: April 10, 2009, 05:19:38 am »

One thing that I always find the most obvious (and the most humorous) is that the Christian Sabath is on sunday, SUNday, which is not the 7th day of the week, when God rested, but the 1st!  You probably already had this, but I thought I'd includ it to ammuse myself! 

That depends where you live in the world. Around here the week is Monday 1 - Sunday 7, not Sunday 1 - Saturday 7.

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« Reply #6: April 10, 2009, 05:36:07 am »


Just a quick note, JoWV...  Please don't forget to quote even when replying to the first message in the thread.  Wink  Thanks!

(For myself, I always think of the week as ending on Sunday even though it's the first day of the week on the calendars.  Monday is when my weekly routine begins anew as I go back to work, after all.  But YMMV.)
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« Reply #7: April 10, 2009, 09:27:18 pm »



Ok here is what im looking at right now:
Holidays: Yule, Ostara
Symbols: Tresleke and adaption of other Trinity like symbols
Terminology: Hel
Ritual: Baptism for Egils Saga
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« Reply #8: April 11, 2009, 02:00:44 am »

Ok here is what im looking at right now:
Holidays: Yule, Ostara
Symbols: Tresleke and adaption of other Trinity like symbols
Terminology: Hel
Ritual: Baptism for Egils Saga

I think it might be interesting to look at holidays as well, particularly Christmas and Easter.  Many think that Dec. 25 is the date of Christmas b/c in pre-Christian Rome, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." was celebrated on this day, which followed the winter solstice.  Though the Vadican denies this, arguing that Dec. 25 was simply calculated by adding 9 months to March 25, the proposed date of Christ's conception.  March 25, strangely enough is right after the spring equinox.  Spring, nice, fertile time for a conception don't you think?   

The resurection/rebirth or Christ is celebrated on Easter, in the spring.  Resurection/rebirth myths are common in many many religions and usually take place in the spring b/c this is the time of the rebirth of the earth.  Furthermore, the word Easter (and East) is thought to be derived from the name of the German godess Ostara, known to Anglo-Saxons as Eostre and/or the Phoenician godess Astarte or Babylonian Ishtar, all fertility goddesses.  Not to mention all the eggs and rabits, even baskets, epecially filled with eggs, represents a womb...Like wise, the tomb from which Jesus arose could also be representative of a womb. 
You may have left all of this stuff out because it’s so simplistic.  Sometimes people overlook the obvious, though, so I thought I’d remind you just in case.

Also, my undergraduate degree is in biology; but I was an English minor, and editing is my passion.  So, if you want someone to proofread your paper when you’re finished, hit me up!
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« Reply #9: April 11, 2009, 06:48:51 am »

Furthermore, the word Easter (and East) is thought to be derived from the name of the German godess Ostara, known to Anglo-Saxons as Eostre and/or the Phoenician godess Astarte or Babylonian Ishtar, all fertility goddesses. 

I would be very, very wary of equating Easter with anything Pagan just because of the name, particularly in an academic context.  I suppose this link had to get posted sometime around now:
http://www.ecauldron.net/christianitystoleeaster.php
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« Reply #10: April 11, 2009, 08:12:44 am »

I would be very, very wary of equating Easter with anything Pagan just because of the name, particularly in an academic context.  I suppose this link had to get posted sometime around now:
http://www.ecauldron.net/christianitystoleeaster.php

Thanks Star, I was just about to look for that link. Smiley
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« Reply #11: April 11, 2009, 10:10:30 am »

The resurection/rebirth or Christ is celebrated on Easter, in the spring.  Resurection/rebirth myths are common in many many religions and usually take place in the spring b/c this is the time of the rebirth of the earth.  Furthermore, the word Easter (and East) is thought to be derived from the name of the German godess Ostara, known to Anglo-Saxons as Eostre and/or the Phoenician godess Astarte or Babylonian Ishtar, all fertility goddesses.  Not to mention all the eggs and rabits, even baskets, epecially filled with eggs, represents a womb...Like wise, the tomb from which Jesus arose could also be representative of a womb. 

Aside from your comment on Christmas which, iirc, is correct, the timing of Easter has more to do with Jewish Passover than any Pagan festival.
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« Reply #12: April 11, 2009, 11:08:08 am »

Aside from your comment on Christmas which, iirc, is correct, the timing of Easter has more to do with Jewish Passover than any Pagan festival.

Hmm ok, well ill move the Easter part off of Holidays and down to Terminology.

BTW I hope to have the paper done by Sunday, or Monday at the latest, and its due Thursday, so Ill post it around monday for criticism (and proof reading for those who are so kind)
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« Reply #13: April 11, 2009, 11:29:40 am »

Hmm ok, well ill move the Easter part off of Holidays and down to Terminology.

BTW I hope to have the paper done by Sunday, or Monday at the latest, and its due Thursday, so Ill post it around monday for criticism (and proof reading for those who are so kind)

I wouldn't post it here.  Teachers normally put papers into a search engine to see if they are plagiarized.  I don't know about your school's policy, but at the two colleges I went to, plagiarism was an automatic expulsion.
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« Reply #14: April 11, 2009, 11:40:25 am »

I think it might be interesting to look at holidays as well, particularly Christmas and Easter.  Many think that Dec. 25 is the date of Christmas b/c in pre-Christian Rome, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." was celebrated on this day, which followed the winter solstice.  Though the Vadican denies this, arguing that Dec. 25 was simply calculated by adding 9 months to March 25, the proposed date of Christ's conception. 

I asked Koi for some help on this one (she holds a Theology qualification).

Basically, some monks calculated that Jesus died on March 25th (how accurate this is, given changes in calendar, etc etc.  Bear with me).  Because Jesus was perfect in all ways, they reasoned that he died on the date of his conception.  So, in a sense they *did* just add on five months.

The 'proper' celebration, however, is the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6th, when the Wise men show up and Jesus is revealed as God-as-man.  It's celebrated on January 6th in the earliest Church records, and apparently no one really knows why.  The December 25th date got okayed because it was close enough to Epiphany.
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