On Neo-Paganism & Helleno-Christian traditions

User Adamantios @ Serbhellenic Forums

I agree that our ancestors were not barbarians. That said, just as today some Greeks are indeed barbarians (e.g. those that engage in savage acts like abortion, those that have accepted barbaric Western belief systems, etc.), it goes to reason that there existed barbaric Greeks in ancient times as well. It is absurd to believe that every ancient Greek was enlightened (compared to other peoples), even if that was a popular belief amongst many. Savagery and barbarism exists in all peoples, in all eras. It's only a matter of how pronounced that barbarism is.

Although, again, I would not say that our ancestors were barbarians, as that implies that all of them were, I would say that many indeed were. If you deeply examine ancient Greek history, you'll find a lot of things that were very wrong with society: abortion and infanticide were very widespread, homosexuality (especially between man and boy) was accepted and somewhat popular, and people were very superstitious due to the dark religion of paganism. The thing that differentiates ancient Greeks from other pagan peoples is that, alongside with the typical barbaric practices associated with paganism, we had very enlightened scientists, mathematicians, physicians, poets, philosophers, and other thinkers. It is they and not the common Greek that gave ancient Greece its sophistication and distinction from barbarians; without these people, ancient Greece would have been no different from any other ancient pagan society. It is no surprise then that many of these enlightened ancient Greek individuals had rejected the pagan gods in one way or another -- mainly because the gods (according to mythological narratives), through their petty and cruel actions towards one another and towards humankind, gave a bad example for people to follow.

User Snake Logan says:

Keep in mind that Hellenic Polytheism is a home grown religion unlike Christianity.

This statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of both Greek neo-paganism and of Christianity. Greek neo-paganism, like all neo-paganisms, is a Western import and its roots trace directly to the Worldwide Theosophical Society that was established by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1875 in the United States. All neo-pagan movements and factions, to one extent or another, are ideologically based on this organization's principles and, all of them, without exception, originate from the creation of this organization.

Although there are numerous types of neo-pagans in Greece, most are one of two things: disillusioned leftists who have accepted a New Age interpretation of ancient Greek paganism or misguided pseudo-nationalist reactionaries who, above all, hate Jews and, consequently, have convinced themselves that Christianity is a "Jewish heresy" and that by becoming neo-pagans that they are "super-Greeks". Both groups, despite their differences, have something in common. They know as much about Hellenism as they do about Christianity: in other words, nothing at all.

As for Christianity, both theologians and secular historians agree that Hellenism played a major role in its development:

[1] "Primitive Christianity was Greek in form and character, Greek from first to last, Greek in all its forms of dogma, worship and policy". --A. Cleveland Coxe

[2] "The task of our time, in the Orthodox world, is to rebuild the Christian-Hellenic culture, not out of the relics and memories of the past, but out of the perennial spirit of our Church, in which the values of culture were truly christened. Let us be more Hellenic in order that we may be truly Christian". --Georges Florovsky

[3] "The Greek Church reminds us of the time when the tongue, not of Rome, but of Greece, was the sacred language of Christendom. It was a striking remark of the Emperor Napoleon that the introduction of Christianity itself was, in a certain sense, the triumph of Greece over Rome; the last and most signal instance of the maxim of Horace, Graecia capla ferum victorem cepit (captive Greece took its rude captor captive)". --Arthur P. Stanley

[4] "God spoke his revelation in the world of the Greek spirit and the Roman imperium and the Church guards this truth framed in the Greek speech of her sacred Book... The Church will continue to speak Greek even if... Hellas descend into the abyss of utter oblivion". --Hugo Rahner

Although contemporary Westerners (who have in modern times Judaized their false forms of Christianity) often speak of a "Judeo-Christian tradition", such a thing has never existed in genuine Christianity (which is only represented by Orthodoxy). Rather, what has existed is a Helleno-Christian tradition.