Monday, May 10, 2004

Paganism and Christianity

I started reading "The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth
and Spirit" by Patrica Monaghan and find early on in the book that the spiritual
experience of the Irish could be very similar to that of Filipinos who remain connected
with the Earth. Excerpt from pages 6-7: "The lore and love and specificity
associated with Irish places grow directly from Ireland's residual paganism.
'Scratch a bit at the thin topsoil of Irish Catholicism,' the saying goes,
'and you soon come to the solid bedrock of Irish paganism.' Ireland is still what
novelist Edna O'Brien calls a 'pagan place.' But that paganism does not conflict with
a devout Catholicism that embraces and absorbs it, in a way that can seem mysterious,
even heretical, elsewhere... The old ways were seamlessly
bonded to the new, so that ancient rituals continued, ancient divinities became saints,
ancient holy sites were maintained just as they had been for generations and generations."

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