Wednesday, January 12, 2022

On Medium: How Christians Misunderstand the Nature of Religion

Read on about history, the Christ Myth theory, and how Christianity's Roman politicization led that religion to favor literal over mythic (profoundly subjective) truth.


  1. Demytholigizing the gospels may have served a purpose in a world overrun with mythical figures like Osiris & Dionysis. But that many denominations still cling to strict literalism in an age where almost everything we know disproves a literal reading Bible is stupid & will (I hope) be Christianity's undoing. Even if they can't see the parallels between Jesus & figures from pagan mythology, it must still be obvious to any Christian who who's read the pentateuch that the gospels are rich in allusions to those books. Do they really believe it's a coincidence that both Jesus & Moses narrowly escaped being murdered by a tyrant? Or that they both walked up a mountain & returned with commandments from God? I'm just scratching the surface here.

    Even if Jesus were a historical person & the gospel accounts of his life were largely accurate, we would still miss their significance by denying their mythical form. Much of real life is merely the playing out of mythic themes. Just as there are really a finite number of archetypal stories out there that authors flesh out & sell as unique, so is every human being driven unconsciously to act out the myth that suits them best. If Jesus saw himself as a messianic god-man, then it should be no surprise that his life played out the way it did.

    1. It's hard to imagine Christianity being undone. It's like that saying that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than an end of capitalism. Christianity is like capitalism. Even as either system morphs as it coopts new technologies or oppositions, the synthesis is still called "capitalism" or "Christianity." If the Church can continue after being adopted by the very Roman Empire that executed its founder, and not surrender to that absurdity, it's hard to imagine anything phasing Christianity. When you have no shame, you can't really be beaten in the sense that your mind might never be changed.

      There's a video interview I saw recently on comparisons of Jesus to Greco-Roman gods, in which the historian points out that Judaism is supposed to be blocked off from pagan inputs, whereas Judaism was part of the Hellenistic world at that time. So identifying Jesus with Moses or Elisha doesn't stop the chain of influences.

      The Jungian interpretation certainly explains the universality of the mythic themes.