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Synopsis

Pagan & Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning
By Edward Carpenter

An excellent early book on the beginnings of god worship and the interweaving of paganism and Christianity.

"The different religions being lame attempts to represent under various guises this one root-fact of the central universal life, men have at all times clung to the religious creeds and rituals and ceremonials as symbolising in some rude way the redemption and fulfilment of their own most intimate natures--and this whether consciously understanding the interpretations, or whether (as most often) only doing so in an unconscious or quite subconscious way."

It is clear that there have been three main lines, so far, along which human speculation and study have run. One connecting religious rites and observations with the movements of the Sun and the planets in the sky, and leading to the invention of and belief in Olympian and remote gods dwelling in heaven and ruling the Earth from a distance; the second connecting religion with the changes of the season, on the Earth and with such practical things as the growth of vegetation and food, and leading to or mingled with a vague belief in earth-spirits and magical methods of influencing such spirits; and the third connecting religion with man's own body and the tremendous force of sex residing in it...

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