Goddess Gefion Fountain vs. English St. Alban's Church, Copenhagen. Gefion wins.
St. Albans, Copenhagen. English church, right out of one of the shires. It was built in 1885.
Juxtapose the goddess Gefion in 1908, and the contrast with Christianity. Christianity presents itself with hard points and heavy walls.Then look at the old Norse Gefion, with vitality, flowing waters, might of the woman who ingeniously turned her sons into bulls so she could get more of what she wanted; would you believe. Who wins? Gefion.
Norse gods. Pre-Christian.
The Norse gods are best understood from a genealogy chart of them. See http://www.pantheon.org/areas/genealogy/principal_norse.html. Write in her name, because she is not one of the "principal" gods and goddesses. Some say she is the same as Frigg, and Frigg was a wife of Odin.
Here she is: Gefion, near Nyhavn in Copenhagen, near the place of the Little Mermaid. She is the goddess of vegetation and fertility and virgins and the plough, whose tale explains the shape of Lake Vanern, Sweden; and other large lakes of Sweden; and the shape of Zealand, of Denmark. Vanern is close to the shape of Zealand.
The Kings of Sweden themselves are descendants of Gefion, it is told there.
A King of Sweden told Gefion that she could have as much land as she could plow in a night. So she turned her four fine sons (not including that King of Sweden) into four fine Swedish oxen. She harnessed them up and dug out much of central Sweden that night, tossed it into the sea, and it became Zealand and other parts of Denmark. See http://www.copenhagenpictures.dk/gefion.html
Even the sea serpents cower.
- Diversion. And ask this: how did the old Norse know that large Lake Vanern is the same basic shape as Zealand. The perspective from the air that produces that mapping information would have to be from heavenward; or was the comparative map-producing ability of ancient navigators that good on their own.
Those sons of hers - no misbehaving, with that mom. Gee! Haw!
The Christians who forced their conversions initially accepted the presence of females in power positions, as in the stories of ancient gods and goddesses. Find many females in the large number of Christian Saints seen in the oldest churches. See http://swedenroadways.blogspot.com/2011/02/old-uppsala-gamla-uppsala-royal-burial.html However, soon that participation of women became disfavored, and later churches show mainly the male saints -- who often were later in time as well.
How did all that happen? Is culture the theology, rather than what the Founder said and did. Are we better off with the forced conversions to such a system, or could we have done better, or at least conducted moral lives, with the old. FN 1
Philosophical-religious questions ripple after conquests:
Scandinavia did not go under Christianity easily, and neither did Germanic tribes more on the mainland. See http://germanyroadways.blogspot.com/2010/02/verden-and-sachsenhain-memorial.html
At least in Scandinavia, the news of the slaughters of Charlemagne's era had spread; Danish tribes, especially the Jutes on the Jutland peninsula with Germany on the other side of the land mass, knew full well what was happening in Verden, Germany, under Charlemagne. The later Harald Bluetooth still set up his Danewerk on Jutland against Otto of Germany, but knew the military force of Rome's men (with all that Empire militaristic and organizational experience) was unstoppable.
So, Christian incursion was not as murderous in Denmark as it was in early Germany's cultural areas, but it was under threat of it all the same.
Then came further "forced conversion" (a true oxymoron: forced conversion is brainwash, is that so?) efforts through the Northern Crusades of the Pope from 1145-1505, finally stopping at the Russian frontier. See http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/thenortherncrusades.html
The twelfth century saw the Pope, after the split of the Roman Christian faction from the Orthodox Christians, deciding it is not enough that people were converted to Christianity in northern Europe. If the slavic and northern peoples had been converted by Orthodox Christians, like Saints Cyril and Methodius, then they were not Christian at all and subject to extermination.
1. When there is military-religious conquest, is the conquest "ordained" and "right" because it worked; or is the conquest merely an example of might overcoming others without the same military strength.
The conquered and the conqueror. Does the right to write history belong to the conqueror because the conqueror is right? Hardly, if we look at the merit of the religious and social-cultural systems overcome, diminished, forced to change to give power to the conqueror.
2. Western culture, Western religion.
These were imposed by religious forces early on; and later by colonials with economic profit in mind.
3. Did Christianity spread because it was "good" or because people had no choice, and once "converted," found it simpler and safer to stay in line.
Does that mean that anyone who became "Christian" under duress - pain of death - is not a convert, but a brainwash? Objective analysis needed.
Colonialism. Its earliest form was religious proselytyzing. Is that so?