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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VIII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Flying Pig, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁

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    The catholic pope aka mr. zion
     
  2. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    The British public education system? Protestant chauvinism is very deeply rooted in the British historical narrative, even those parts of it concerning the pre-Reformation era. (Agincourt still somehow manages to be cast as a battle between good Protestant yeoman and decadent Catholics aristocrats, a century before Luther.) A relic of segregated education, I suppose.
     
  3. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    Yes. They gave it as a reason why Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church, so that England wouldn't be a puppet of the pope like all the other countries in Europe, especially France and Spain.
     
  4. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The Catholic Church had a lot of influence. That's not the same thing as control. If it had control, then there wouldn't have been multiple kingdoms and countries, but rather only a single empire.
     
  5. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    I doubt Henry Six Wives would have left the Catholic Church if the Pope had given him that anullment. And possibly if his wife hadnt been the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain it could have happened. But that's just speculation.
     
  6. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That's not why he did it at all. Given that the Tudors are about the only monarchs we learn about in school, you'd have thought that they'd get that right at least.
     
  7. Imaus

    Imaus Chieftain

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    Having a lot of influence is still different from being a direct puppets. Many kings and princes said 'no' to the Church, and the Church could do little as it had little real secular power, even in the age of the militant orders.

    The Church could, however, fight back socio-culturally, especially by excommunications and the like; but that wasn't always a be-all end-all card. It sure was exhausting, however, to keep seeing the church and a secular power ***** and fight each other for centuries on end, that's for sure.
     
  8. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    We have this funny ol' King of Aragon, Peter the Catholic, which is a very ironic moniker because he died fighting to defend his Cathar vassals against the Albigensian Crusade authorised by the Pope as induced by France.
     
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  9. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    This topic may be worth its own thread, but it's just based on something I spotted on Twitter, so... is it remotely plausible that this quote (from History Of Christianity in the 20th Century) is true?

    “Since both the initial conversion of Scandinavia and its Lutheran reformation were top-down processes initiated by monarchies, the possibility exists that the majority of Danes & Swedes NEVER became Christians at a level more profound than that of formal collective adherence.”
     
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Don't stop there. By that standard 9/10ths of people of any religion have done no more than go through the motions because they were forced to. But if the first generation goes to the church because they were commanded to, does that generation have no people who legitimately converted? And if the second generation was brought up in the church, and taught the doctrine as if it were true, do none of them grow up having honest faith?

    Now personally I would think that if adherence to the form of the religion is mandatory, then you'll get a lot of people who follow the form, but don't believe the spirit of it. But saying that that may be true for many people is a different thing from saying that it is true of all, or even most, of the people.
     
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  11. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Within the parameters set by the quote? No, certainly not. Especially given that that invalidates, like, virtually all Christians.

    e.g. consider these passages from Bede:

    I can assure you, the histories recounting the conversion of the pagan Germans and Franks follow the same general path: Bishop/Saint converts king -> king punishes/eradicates idolaters and converts the nation. It should be kept in mind, though, when dealing with histories prior to the institutionalization of History as an academic discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, that history wasn't really the same thing then as it was today, viz. a documentation of facts and an analysis of the causative impact of contingent forces/events. Rather, history was more akin to a literary genre; a didactic tool largely concerned with instilling moral truths through the examination of figures both great and infamous. Any given historian was writing for a particular audience and was expected to satisfy certain expectations regarding theme, trope and narrative.

    This isn't to say that the things written in pre-modern histories are false or wholly fabricated. Rather, that it's more helpful to think of pre-modern history as something akin to modern documentary filmmaking or films which dramatize historical figures or events. The events and figures themselves are all real, and happened, or at least inasmuch as the stories which the author was reproducing were viewed as real and factual by the society whence the stories were drawn. However, the events and figures were compressed, embellished, and editorialized in order to satisfy specific tropes, and in order to highlight particular themes or moral truths (usually concerning piety, good rulership, and the power of faith, the church, the monarchy, etc.). To that end, certain characters might be inserted, aspects of a figure's personality might be emphasized, while others might be omitted, etc.
     
  12. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    It all depends on what one considers 'becoming Christian' means. If a peasant goes to church and gets baptized, but then leaves offerings for the 'folk gods' and engages in 'pagan rituals' to bring fertility to the crops, are they "Christian"? I think the author might overstate the case a bit, but we have pretty clear documented evidence that 'folk beliefs' hung around in Italy until well into the 17th century and some Muslim chroniclers wrote about Egyptian peasants leaving offerings at the foot of the Sphinx in the 14th century.
     
  13. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    I do not accept that type of cultural relativism. There may be room for embellishment in folk tales and myths, but never, never in actual history. I once heard a historian say something along the lines of "there are no statistics in antiquity, only rhetorical flourishes with numbers". Well, in modernity they are called lies.

    (Using documentaries as an analogy is also not making me any more sympathetic to them.)

    Yes, that's exactly what I meant. Did Scandinavians ever really passionate about Christianity, or was it perhaps viewed as some sort of the common cultural framework (for example, most Westerners believe that Greek statues were originally white, but aren't emotionally invested in this belief and basically shrug their shoulders when it is shown to be false).
     
  14. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Like, you do you man, by all means. I'm just relaying to you how history works.

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  15. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Yeah, we are still back where we started. If Olaf the Farmer goes to Church on Sundays and got baptized in the Church, but also lights bonfires as part of a 'pagan' fertility rite to bring a good harvest, is he a Christian? Based on the admittedly limited sources on what 'the common people' thought, we have pretty compelling evidence 'pagan' rituals held on for quite a while and quite happily alongside 'Christian' rituals.
    We have examples of clearly 'pagan' traditions existing alongside Christian traditions, such as Icelandic rune staves lasting among the peasants to almost modern times, despite Iceland being a "Christian" country for several centuries at that point.
     
  16. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Even so, that's not relevant. People believe contradictory things all the time. What would the Christian part have meant to him? If his child decided that the Bible was a lie, how would he react?
     
  17. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    It is quite relevant to your initial question:
    “Since both the initial conversion of Scandinavia and its Lutheran reformation were top-down processes initiated by monarchies, the possibility exists that the majority of Danes & Swedes NEVER became Christians at a level more profound than that of formal collective adherence.”
    The question is basically "What makes someone a Christian?" which, as should be obvious, is a devil of a question. That is made all the more messy by the well documented overlap between 'pagan' and 'Christian' rituals and identity. I highly recommend you read the wiki link I posted above about the benandanti and the mixing between 'pagan' and 'Christian' rituals - all of which was recorded by various Catholic inquisitors. (So there isn't any of the Margaret Murray 'make stuff up' take on paganism.)
     
  18. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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  19. Imaus

    Imaus Chieftain

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    That's a very old view of history. The whole field of historicity alongside is there to explicitly find and seek *what* happened, *what* existed. Few other than nationalists or fundamentalists just take the said 'history' as is, all the embellishments and myths intertwined. And we're better off for it - everything should be critiqued, double checked, triple checked. Whatever didn't happen gets thrown to mythology. Whatever did to history. It's not that hard of a divide.
     
  20. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    It is when the sources you have for ancient history all skip happily both sides of the divide.
     

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