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OK, this board looks good, but not much traffic.... maybe we can start something:
I've recently read some historical fiction that deals with the Cathars, in southwestern France, who were wiped out by the Roman Catholics/Spanish in the mid/late 1200s. Their beliefs sounded (obviously) somewhat pagan, somewhat mythological, but they did hold many christian-like beliefs of love and kindness (OK, I know that's debatable now, but not for this). There seems to be a relationship to the recently discovered Gnostic gospels, in that the Cathars seemed to practice some of what those revealed.
There also seems a relationship with Mary Magdalene, and the idea that she and Jesus were married. And that Mary is worshipped for herself.
I'm curious if others are familiar with this? Are there contemporary belief systems like the Cathars? Any thoughts at all???
I took a religious class in college after abandoning other religion, and we studied all the major religions in the world. One thing we studied was how "adaptable" Christianity is to other cultures - as in, the principles and beliefs change depending on the social climate. Some evidence they cited for this was that, until the middle ages (not sure of the exact dates) Christianity/Catholicsm stressed Jesus as the diety. But once the religion reached northern and eastern Europe, the emphasis switched to the Virgin Mary. They said part of the reason may have been to entice the local "pagans" to be more accepting of the religion.
I wonder if the Cathars are an offshoot of that? This is just speculation, of course .... But I think it's interesting to learn about the rise and fall and change of religions over the years. It just goes to show that religion is cultural, not factual.
Last Edited on: 4/15/10 6:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1