Christianity : The Rise Of Christianity

1512 WordsMay 12, 20157 Pages
Before the rise of Christianity as a major religion in the European area, Paganism was a belief that was common among all people across Europe. Paganism involved polytheistic beliefs with ritualistic tradition and animal sacrifice. This belief was common in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, which is from where the epic poem Beowulf is thought to have originated circa 550 AD. Due to the origins of Beowulf being surrounded by Pagan tradition and culture and reliance on the method of oral recitation of the story, the poem holds Pagan influences. Examples of these influences include the monsters that Beowulf faces in the story, idol worship, and burning the dead among many other elements. Also around the time of Beowulf, the rise of the Jesus Movement, which eventually became Christianity, was spreading rapidly around Europe. This also served an influence, as populations in Europe were quick to convert from Paganism to Christianity. Consequently, the story would have Christian ideals inserted within during more recounts of the story orally, where Christian monks would transcribe the originally Anglo-Saxon text into language that upheld Christian values more than it did the Pagan values. The rise of Christianity was effective in bringing the epic story of Beowulf into the spotlight, but at the cost of some historic traditions that were associated with the text. Even though this is the case, Beowulf still retains some of its Pagan elements, in conjunction with its Christian elements.
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