Sunday, April 16, 2006

The point and purpose?

I've argued in the past about certain elements of the hagiography of St. Patrick that demonstrate a political intent on the part of its writers. In a far more comprehensive fashion, Lisa Bitel argued for similar approaches to St. Brigit's hagiography in her essay, St. Brigit of Ireland: From Virgin Saint to Fertility Goddess. The timeline of her life story's development and the historical context are a fascinating bit of perspective into what so many of us base our beliefs upon as modern pagans. Some might argue Bitel's perspective is a bit too focused on the idea that the pre-Christian gods of Ireland were closer to a literary invention than legitimate gods, but I'd suggest they keep in mind that to those Christian writers, those gods were not as real as they are to us. Cultural context means so much in all of this.

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