Read e-book online The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots PDF

By Stephen Benko

The modern look for the female face of God is requiring a re-evaluation of the connection of Christianity to the pagan international within which it got here to start. Stephen Benko methods this examine as either an historian and a Christian believer. Inquiring into extra-biblical resources of Marian piety, trust and doctrine, he proposes that there's a direct line, unbroken and obviously discernible, from the goddess-cults of the ancients to the reverence paid and at last the cult accorded to the Virgin Mary. bankruptcy via bankruptcy, he seeks to set up his end that during Mariology the Christian genius preserved and remodeled the very best and noblest rules that paganism built ahead of it. instead of being a "regression" into Paganism, he argues, Mariology is a development towards a clearer and higher realizing of the female point of the divine and the position of the feminine within the historical past of salvation.

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Additional info for The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots of Mariology (Studies in the History of Religions)

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For natural reverence for parents is a bond which the most abandoned cannot ignore. A n d , accordingly, the lewd actions and filthy words with which these players h o n o r e d the mother o f the gods, in presence of a vast assemblage and audience of both sexes, they could not for very shame have rehearsed at home in presence o f their own mother. A n d the crowds that were gathered from all quarters by curiosity, o f f e n d e d modesty must, I should suppose, have scattered in the confusion o f shame.

Benko, Pagan Rome and the Early Christians, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1986, pp. 108-113. N o such ill fame is attached to the shrine of Caelestis. 4, NPNF Series 1, vol. 2, p. 25. 444. T h e rest of the story is informative about the mentality o f some Christians, which may not have been very different f r o m that o f their pagan neighbors. Cyprian, who claims to have been an eyewitness of these events, says that the bread and wine given to this child was taken f r o m f o o d that was previously dedicated to an idol.

25 Today the church of the Ara Coeli stands on the site of the temple of Juno Moneta; no sign of the temple of Caelestis is discernible. 26 See M u n d l e , op. , pp. 235-236, who argues against the thesis o f Domaszewski that it was Septimius Severus (193-211 A . D . ) and his second wife, Julia Domna, who popularized the cult. 6). 2, op. , vol. 1, p. 1, op. , vol. 2, p. 53. 34 GODDESSES I N T H E G R E C O - R O M A N WORLD salvation o f their souls and eagerly looked for answers to questions raised by the facts o f life and death.

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