Oghma's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: 2010-08-23

I would love for someone to share with me their insight on this matter. I have been stuiding paganism for a long time

and I would like to know if anyone can see how Christianity and Paganism have direct associations. To me, it seems 

that the fallowers of Christ have taken objects of Paganism and used them in their own religion.

Does anybody else see this? For example: According to the Bible, God created the Heavens and the Earth in seven days and 

rested on the seventh, Sunday is the day of rest. How can this be logical to colaborate with the bible if Sunday is 

the first day of the week? The Druids worshiped on the day of the sun, once a week. Sun-day is the day of the 

sun. Do you see my point?

Posts: 753
Joined: 2007-09-15
Re: Druid

A lot depends on the type of sources one wishes to utilise to support the relationship between Christianity and Paganism, together with a specific period in mind withiin the early evangelisation process, is likely to turn up some results. For example if one looks at the early saint lives references can be found concerning an emergence, albeit from within Ireland, Britain, Wales and even in Brittany, within the 5th & 6th Century.

Likewise in the 7th, one come onto more historical ground, for instance Bede informs us that King Eorecenberht of Kent (A Christian King) who ordered the destruction of the idols c.640. Additionally there are some discrepancies to other letters sent from Rome to the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Augustine and to King Aethelbert, the earlier one speaks of consecrating pagan shrines the latter call for there destruction. Similar instruction iirc is also given to the new Archbishop of Canterbury in c.669 relating to the consecrating shrines.

Yet to understand this further one has to be aware of a Kings position within Anglo Saxon society over his people, and also that of the Early Christian Church. Further light can also be drawn from Europe; the approach which Rome undertook could be due to a policy change which is why there are mixed messages being sent to Britannia from Rome. What had previously worked there may not of had the affect here for example. Overall the whole process is complex, a simple post here in the forum certainly will not be able to answer your question in any depth.

An example could relate to Iona been mentioned by Domhn, there range of influence spread south into England right down to the river Thames or very near; while that of Canterbury reached its southern shores and in some cases penetrated across the river in smal pockets. It’s only after the arrival of Theodore when specific inroads where made which to some extent diminished the sphere of Iona influence, yet there are other reasons for this as well.

There are also reports of King Redwarld irrc in Norfolk worshiping both pagan idols and the new christian single god jointly in a single place/shrine. Again once can only speculate why this occured. On the other hand you could also use where various folklore exists and also place name evidence which collaborates where an earlier pagan
shrine has been built on by the church, or been consecrated through such
a process.

Another thing one needs to bear in mind relates to the calendar and the ways the days are associated with deities have also changed both down the centuries and within various cultures too. So when Constantine declares Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire one has to think about what bible were they using at that time. Were the early Christians saints using the same book, as those in the 7th century? Having a little understanding on how we have arrived in the present from the past can be very helpful at times.


Eadha Deora
Eadha Deora's picture
Posts: 193
Joined: 2007-10-02
Re: Druid

Hello Oghma,

This is a rather loaded question! Technically, Christianity itself could be seen as at one time originating in pagan roots. If you mean "Pagan" in the sense of an indigenous earth tradition though, that is probably not the case. There are numerous books and academics out there who can prove to you how Christianity as well as Judaism -- borrowed from the cultures and religions around them. For example, in Genesis, you will find a lot of Sumerian similarities. With the Christ figure, early Christians placed onto him their ideas of many Classical gods. The Gospels themselves are written directed towards different nationalities and thus different philosophical backgrounds (Jewish, Roman, Greek and "Heathen").

Christianity was in many ways more a revolutionary idea with a symbolic figure (Christ) at the centre of it ..... people from many different cultures brought with them their own ideas and projected those onto the Christian message and ideology. Most Christianity today is a product of Roman culture/society ... Byzantium culture/society ... and English culture/society. We are starting to see different forms of Christianity emerge in areas like Africa too. The same thing is happening .... people understand the Christian message in ways that makes sense to them.

Of course, missionaries also take advantage of this and as Domhn said ... "import" pre-Christian ideas and images into Christianity to make it more "familiar". This is how Christianity has adapted and changed so much.

In some ways, the same thing could be said about Druidry. It is really a core archetypal layer into which many different people participate -- some are Christian, others Neo-pagan, and yet others are Reconstructionalist .... and so on ... they each bring a unique perspective with them. 

There also comes a point when you find that there seem to be "universal" truths or ideas found across the globe and in many cultures. These are not just in Christianity or Druidry or Buddhism, etc ... there is some kind of deeper truth being expressed by them. 

Having said that, we talk about "native spirituality" -- as a brain twister ... technically, ALL spirituality is "native" in the sense that we all emerge from the Earth -- we are all natives of this planet. 


'Just once let what is in your care grow wild enough to see the world through its own eyes.'



Posts: 6
Joined: 2008-09-08
Re: Druid

Blessings Oghma,

When you look at the history of the Christian Church, especially in the isles of Britiannia, you find that the priests and abbots (Columba comes to mind foremost) used the incorporation of the native pagan rites and celebrations, along with "Sainting" some of the Celtic deities, to "convert the pagans to the church teachings and dogma.

The Christians used and adpoted these to make the conversion easier for the "heathen pagans".

Now, whether we can say that the Christians "stole" these from our ancestors is a topic of much heated debate in both Christian and Pagan camps.

Whether you believe one way or the other, you must admit, for the most part, figures like Columba and Patrick were very effective in the use of the Celts' religious beliefs for the purpose of converting them to the Christian church.

In my way of thinking, it has been that way throughout history. Even the Romans were not adveerse to using this ploy to quell any unrest from their conquered lands and peoples.

So, I guess you could say that it is in the nature of the conqueror to make life easier for themselves to make the people "happy" by allowing some of the conquered to have their rites and rituals incorporated into conquering beliefs and practices.

These are just my thoughts on the subject.



Oghma's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: 2010-08-23
Re: Druid

I do appreciate the feedback, and I take in what you have said.

"Sometimes when one can see more clearly where something has

come from, a
deeper understanding of what it is now,

and where it is going, can be
more easily accomplished."

I believe this in all aspects of it .  For if you look at the Christian holidays 

and understand the Pagan wheel of the year you can 

see where the holidays came from and what they meant

and what they have adapted to, and how the meaning has changed.

Thanks again for the response, Love and Light.


Guenn Eona Nimue
Guenn Eona Nimue's picture
Posts: 53
Joined: 2010-07-18
Re: Druid

Dear Oghma,

In considering modern cultural and sociological aspects of various current religious practises, you may find two little books written by my grandfather extremely helpful in the formation of a well rounded knowledge of the origins of Christianity, and other religions as well. Sometimes when one can see more clearly where something has come from, a deeper understanding of what it is now, and where it is going, can be more easily accomplished. Enjoy!  

Google "Anglamarke" and click on "The Story Of Anglamarke" section. Near the bottom of that page click on CHISTIANITY AND MYTHOLOGY and PAGAN CHRISTS by John M. Robertson and read them both online for free! 

Dame Guenn Eona Nimue