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Pagan and Christian Creeds Hardcover – August 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0554307294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0554307299
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 9.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,209,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was a well-regarded English poet and scholar. He studied at Brighton College and then entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Carpenter was close friend to E. M. Forster and Laurence Houseman and was a member of The Fabian Society. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I love how they bring it ti life!!!
brandy herrera
Got the book for my wife as an Xmas present and I have started reading it.
Joe A. Clark
It has some very eye-opening ideas and well worth the time to read.
D. Avery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By contentgrrl on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Carpenter proposes that self-conciousness and fear led to the entire world pantheon of different faiths.
"Naturally as soon as Man began to think about himself--a frail phantom and waif in the midst of tremendous forces of whose nature and mode of operation he was entirely ignorant--he was BESET with terrors...the natural defence against this state of mind was the creation of an enormous number of taboos...hardened down into very stringent Customs and Laws...avoidance not only of acts which might reasonably be considered dangerous, like touching a corpse, but also things much more remote and fanciful in their relation to danger, like merely...passing a lightning-struck tree; ... and acts which offered any special pleasure or temptation--like sex or marriage or the enjoyment of a meal.
"...Fear does not seem a very worthy motive, but in the beginning it curbed the violence of the purely animal passions, and introduced order and restraint among them. ...(F)rom the early beginnings (in the Stone Age) of self-consciousness in Man there has been a gradual development--from crass superstition, senseless and accidental, to rudimentary observation, and so to belief in Magic; thence to Animism and personification of nature-powers in more or less human form, as earth-divinities or sky-gods or embodiments of the tribe; and to placation of these powers by rites like Sacrifice and the Eucharist, which in their turn became the foundation of Morality...; observations of plants or of the weather or the stars, carried on by tribal medicine-men for purposes of witchcraft or prophecy, supplied some of the material of Science; and humanity emerged by faltering and hesitating steps on the borderland of these finer perceptions and reasonings which are supposed to be characteristic of Civilisation.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed reading this book, which, for its age, has held up rather well. I had always known that Early Christianity 'borrowed' from pagan religions some holidays and practices, but it was not until I read this book did I know the depth of theft. Almost like a plaigarism of faith intended to convert the masses (which it sadly succeeded in doing). The only part of the book I disliked was the final material, in which the author offers a new religion of sorts which is very metaphysical and a little dull. But the rest of the book is a keeper.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Avery on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading the first few chapters of this book online, I had to get an actual copy of the book, and I'm glad I did. Despite the age of the text, it still holds up great today. It reads well and the ideas come across rather easy. Ideas are presented w/ just enough examples and refrences (unlike Frazer's "Golden Bough" were it seems like there are fifteen examples of everything), however in acouple places I wish there were acouple more, but thanks to great footnotes and bibliogrophy it's not hard to do your own research (however, see the next paragraph about the footnotes).

The only problem I have with this book though is the format that it comes in. Footnotes appear before the next available paragraph and ends up getting in the way of the actual text, Certain words are capatalized rather then in italics, and a few mispellings (which I don't really believe is the fault of the author). There is copy of the book online (it's public domain and no longer subject to copyright laws) and it seems like the publisher just found an online version of the book and copy and pasted it, as there are a few things...that look more like HTML code then actual words. Also the chapter on astronomy should have acouple of graphics that are missing but are still alluded too in the text.

All in all, this is an amazing book on religion and the origins of christianity and is highly recommended to everyone. It has some very eye-opening ideas and well worth the time to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Magickal Merlin on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This text is a classic work on the creeds of both Paganism and Christianity.Eventhough,it was first published in 1915,it still rings true today.It provides the 'Mythos' and the 'Logos' concepts for the topic of religion.The first cults were fertility cults,with spiral phallic monoliths erected to the heavens.Some are still active today,in the countries of Africa and Asia .Next mankind moved on to cult-worship of Magick and the divine earth-spirits.The next and final stage is the formation of God-figures (anthropodeism) that descended from the heavens.These Gods and Godesses were human-shaped and not animal-horned in structure.Lastly,the monotheistic concept progressed and the belief of mankind created in the image of a single supreme God-figure developed.
The most interesting concept presented by Edward Carpenter is the 'Three stages of the Consciousness of Man'.The first stage being the 'Simple Conscious stage',where man's thoughts were instinctive and no different than the actions of a wild animal.The middle stage is the 'Self-Conscious stage',where modern man's actions are based on rational logic (logos),that rises above impulsive behavior.Where man developed language ,followed by laws,the passing of rules,and the ownership of property.Once the earlier two stages are secure then mankind can progress to the third stage,the 'Golden Stage of Enlightenment of Mankind".this lofty stage is false.Mankind is in a constant struggle between the first and second stage.Between the base 'Mythos' stage and the structured 'Logos' stage.The abandonment of the self-consciousness in favor of a global utopian pacificist world,has yet to be realised and perhaps impossible.Between ethnic warfare,religious beliefs,and scarcity of resources this final stage seems quite remote.Yet,it is these struggles that impell mankind forward towards that 'final stage' ironically.After all these years,the words of Edward Carpenter are still valid and quite prophetic indeed.
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