English Pagans seek Compensation
Started by Bill. MC, 8th September 2017 16:46 in Paganism & Divinatory Arts

  1. #1 | 2047379
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    Default English Pagans seek Compensation

    Many ancient churches were built on sacred paganistic ground during the early days of the establishment of Christianity throughout Britain. Some of them were on land used as temples to the followers of Odin during the Anglo Saxon period - between mid 5th and early 7th centuries AD.

    Followers of the Odinist Fellowship asking for the return of sacred sites now occupied by Christian churches.

    http://wildhunt.org/2017/09/odinist-...tes-in-uk.html
    An open letter was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby by the UK-based Odinist Fellowship asking for the return of sacred sites now occupied by Christian churches. These ‘stolen’ buildings must be returned, writes The Odinist Fellowship leader Ralph Harrison.

    The Fellowship, established by Harrison (“Ingvar”) in 1996, was formed after a split with the Odinic Rite, an Odinist group originally established by John Yeowell. As a result of the 2006 legal case Royal Mail PLC v Holden, the Odinic Rite reportedly became the first Odinist group to be granted charitable status in the UK in 1988.

    On its website, the current Odin Fellowship states that it seeks to increase awareness of one of the original faiths present in the UK, as practiced by the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. Additionally, organizers ask for an apology for the persecution of Odinists.

    According to the open letter, the Fellowship wants two churches: one located in Canterbury and the other in York’s provinces. This will, according to Harrison, compensate for the temple grounds which were stolen “by Christian missionaries like St. Augustine.”

    Harrison states that the “snatching of pagan property equals ‘spiritual genocide,’ and He claims that huge swathes of stolen property are currently under control of the Church of England.”

    In 2016, Harrison sent a separate letter to the Archbishops of York and Canterbury. According to reports, he said at the time, “If such satisfaction is not offered, albeit that your church possesses a superfluity of ecclesiastical properties, then we most respectfully assure you, that we will persist ever more vocally in our just demands until at last they are met.”

    Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester, “responded to the claims by writing back that he remains uncertain concerning evidence for the strength of the Odinist faith in modern day Britain.”

    While the Church has reportedly responded politely, reaction in the general Pagan community has been mixed, with people expressing their views predominantly over social media.

    Those Pagans involved in academic research, including archaeology, have been pointing out that the overall issue of sacred sites being ‘stolen’ is in itself contentious. They observe, for example, that many of the alleged historically pagan temples were not converted at all.

    London, for example, has evidence of a temple of Isis, but it is not known whether it lies beneath one of the city’s churches, or elsewhere. The west country has the remnants of temples to unknown Romano-British deities. And, the complex of Aquae Sulis in Bath and the temple complex at Lydney in Gloucestershire were subsequently occupied by the Church.

    Looking specifically at the claims of the Fellowship, they seem to relate to two historical episodes: the conversion of King Aethelbert and the destruction of an Odinist temple in Goodmanham in Yorkshire.

    The first of these episodes is found in the writings of the Venerable Bede:

    It is told that the king, while he rejoiced at their conversion and their faith, yet compelled none to embrace Christianity, but only showed more affection to the believers, as to his fellow citizens in the kingdom of Heaven. For he had learned from those who had instructed him and guided him to salvation, that the service of Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion.

    Pope Gregory was pleased with the outcomes of missions to England and in 597 AD made Augustine ‘Archbishop of the English’. Augustine asked Gregory for guidance on ways of dealing with the pagans and Gregory told Augustine to gather whatever seemed best from the various churches and teach them in the way that seemed appropriate to him. ‘For things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things.’

    Pope Gregory, in the early 600s, wrote a letter to Mellitus, (the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period) proposing that pagan temples should be converted for Christian worship. He commented that since the pagans were in the habit of sacrificing cattle, perhaps they could be persuaded to sacrifice cattle to God instead. Bede goes on:

    So when almighty God has led you to the most reverend man our brother Bishop Augustine, tell him what I have long gone over in my mind concerning the matter of the English: that is, that the shrines of idols amongst that people should be destroyed as little as possible, but that the idols themselves that are inside them should be destroyed. Let blessed water be made and sprinkled in these shrines, let altars be constructed and relics placed there: since if the shrines are well built it is necessary that they should be converted from the worship of demons to the service of the true God, so that as long as that people do not see their very shrines being destroyed they may put out error from their hearts and in knowledge and adoration of the true God they may gather at their accustomed places more readily.”

    Despite that writing, it is not clear how many pagan sites were actually converted to Christian worship. Some known examples are the temple of Claudius in Roman Colchester and two of its Romano-Celtic temples.

    In an essay titled “Anglo-Saxon Pagan shrines and their prototypes,” John Blair wrote, “several hundred years of archaeological excavation have not produced a single example of an Anglo-Saxon church built over the foundations of any pre-Christian structure, let alone one recognised as a temple building.”

    Building D2 at the archaeological site of Yeavering in Northumberland is held to be an Anglo-Saxon temple complex, but this was destroyed some years after its conversion to Christianity and no church was subsequently erected on the spot.

    Despite the overall historical picture and whether or not temples were converted throughout the country, the Fellowship claims may still retain some merit. Goodmanham in Yorkshire used to be the site of a temple to a pagan deity, variously described as Delgovine or Wotan, and is mentioned by Bede, whose reliability as a historical commentator limited. That pagan temple site was allegedly destroyed by the high priest Coifi on his conversion to Christianity in the time of King Edwin, 627 AD.

    The temple appears to be on the site of the current All Hallows church in Yorkshire.
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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    HATSTAND!
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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    I didn't read the whole post but the gist of it seems clear enough.

    An alien religion manoeuvred itself into prominence in Britain mainly by force. That religion is dwindling in popularity while neo-pagan faddery is on the rise and they want "their" worship sites back. Mostly bollocks since people who call themselves pagan in this country are, in the main, people who couldn't actually give a toss about religion, don't know anything about it, and think knowing where Stonehenge is makes them druids, even though Stonehenge was built at least a thousand years before druids existed. But I digress. Yes, they're twats with exactly the same "esoteric means I'm clever and rebellious" mentality of the conspiracy theorist - they just want to be seen to go against the flow. Nevertheless, they do have a point, albeit not a particularly finely-honed one: Christianity is a massive hijack and if someone wants to turn the tables, well why the hell not? Incidentally, christian churches in Britain - especially in Scotland - are rife with pagan symbology. It seems likely they were built by people who paid lip service to the conquering jesusists while indicating their true feelings in a way they thought, correctly as it turns out, the christians wouldn't understand.

    The monotheistic religions all have one thing in common: They have all been repeatedly violent in the extreme. Some time ago Chris Mitchell posted a very good analysis of why this is so, and I'll try to find it. I'm not saying pagans have never been violent, but I'm pretty sure the new age lot aren't into holy war and human sacrifice, and if they want to replace the bloodthirsty religions of the desert, I for one shall not complain.
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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Awens to Bill:

    I would rather see it worked out that we could Share the Sacred Grounds with the Christians allowing them to keep their Churches so long as their Facilities are Shared with the Pagans.

    While the Cathedral of St.John (I think that was its name) in Avesbury is Built with Stones taken from the Surrounding Circle Fort at Avesbury, it SHOULD NOT BE DESTROYED. Instead the Facility should be Preserved and Shared with the Paganistic Community.

    To Destroy such Old Church Facilities would be as Bad as what was done by the Christians in the Dark Ages when they were Carving Up Pagan Structures for their own aims.

    Also, I am Amazed that Avesbury is not mentioned in Your Article.


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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Memnoch
    Christianity is a massive hijack and if someone wants to turn the tables, well why the hell not?
    Because that would Create More Bad Karma! We should Share such Facilities and Structures instead of 'Turning The Tables' as You have Advocated.

    Memnoch
    The monotheistic religions all have one thing in common: They have all been repeatedly violent in the extreme.
    You Are Perfectly Correct!


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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    I believe the church should hand all stolen property back to the original owner, if any of them are still alive.
    Then the US of A can be handed back to the descendants of the American Indians from whom it was stolen. Plenty of them still around to make valid and reasonable claims.
    Everyone is Fred until they are not
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  7. #7 | 2047475
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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Is Odinism an "English" religion? England became settled by the Anglo-Saxons beginning in the mid fifth century and became Christianised in the seventh century, and has been Christian for some 1,200 years from then to very recent times. The period of pagan England was very brief. I would have thought that Celtic pagans had more of a claim to sacred sites in this country.

    In any case "Odin" is the Scandinavian version of the God, the Anglo-Saxon version being Woden.
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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Odinism must be of Norwegian Mythology that goes back way farther than the Fifth Century.

    And the Ancient Celts had been Worshiping the Celtic Gods & Goddesses in around the British Isles way farther back than just the 5th Century. It is generally Believed that it was Ancient Pagans of some Prydain Tribe that Built The Stonehenge and that Paganistic Site goes back to around the time that the Egyptians were Building their Great Pyramids.


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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Mr Fred
    I believe the church should hand all stolen property back to the original owner, if any of them are still alive.
    Then the US of A can be handed back to the descendants of the American Indians from whom it was stolen. Plenty of them still around to make valid and reasonable claims.

    Typical

    Of course the Islamic type is the One that Advocates Not Sharing Things.


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    Default Re: English Pagans seek Compensation

    Plutonium
    Is Odinism an "English" religion? England became settled by the Anglo-Saxons beginning in the mid fifth century and became Christianised in the seventh century, and has been Christian for some 1,200 years from then to very recent times. The period of pagan England was very brief. I would have thought that Celtic pagans had more of a claim to sacred sites in this country.

    There were probably quite a few paganistic traditions in post Roman Britain. Druidry was still practised by the Picts and probably in many rural backwaters of England & Wales. Many of the Roman soldiers introduced Mithras and if you had read the entire article you would have noticed this bit:
    'London, for example, has evidence of a temple of Isis, but it is not known whether it lies beneath one of the city’s churches, or elsewhere. The west country has the remnants of temples to unknown Romano-British deities. And, the complex of Aquae Sulis in Bath and the temple complex at Lydney in Gloucestershire were subsequently occupied by the Church.'

    In recent times many churches throughout the UK have been converted into mosques and it makes me wonder how many of these converted churches were built on sacred paganistic grounds. It would interesting to seethe reaction of the muzzies if any pagans re-claimed them.
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