We often say at our online Mystery School that Christianity has pagan DNA, did not arise in a vacuum, is a hodge-podge of all that came before, Egypto-Sumerian-Judeo-Pagan-Hermetic-Gnostic philosophy… Evidently the late scholar Martin A. Larson agrees. Found the following bit in a review of his out-of-print classic, Religion of the Occident. R.A. Brown of San Diego wrote the review:
“[Larson] states that Christianity, like all great religions of the West (past and present), represents a fusion of what came before. This is in comparison to the more commonly held belief that religious revolutions are explosions that are sparked by the birth of some great mind (Buddha, Lao Tzu, Abraham, Mohammed and Jesus). Larson challenges this perspective. For the author, if you stand on a mountaintop and look down on the deep valley of 4,000 years of human history you will see that religious change occurs as a seamless progression of multiple faiths leading into another. This perspective makes Christianity a gigantic puzzle with multiple pieces coming from many sources that somehow came together to form a whole. This book takes on the task of breaking apart the pieces and showing how they came to fit together.
It all makes for fascinating reading. Good luck in finding this increasingly rare ‘out of print’ book.”
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I am glad he explains (away) the “bright-mind-incarnates” theory of how religions come into existence. So true, so true. A religion is mothered by its culture, not by one man’s revelations, no matter how awesome and valid.
Yeah, Christianity is a huge colorful puzzle that takes up the entire dining room table. It is Pagan Jewish Egyptian Greco-Roman Christianity and our ancestors voices are all quietly there. Some of ’em are called heretics, pagans or worse, but their thread is still there, part of the big cloth that is our inherited “faith” tradition.
The reviewer is right, the book is hard to find. Amazon has 2 used copies for $59. Yikes.