The Other: Religious Diversity and the Social Order
Human beings seem to have a natural inclination to separate people into “us” and “them.” Among some Christians, particularly fundamentalist or evangelical Christians, this dichotomy often tends to be equated with good and evil. Catharine Cookson (2001) points to the wilderness myth as a metaphor. Drawing on biblical imagery, as well as European folklore, she reminds us that the Old Testament wilderness was a place where unholy pagans carried out evil rituals in homage to false gods. Harking back to the efforts of the early and medieval Christian missionaries to the tribes of northern Europe, “Christians judged their work to be successful when they … cut down the sacred groves where the pagans held their rites” (Nash, 1967, 17–18). The pagans were then persuaded, by one means or another, to become Christians.
KeywordsDust Europe Assure Palladium Nash
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