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To: Huber
Bless the English! They are specialists in claiming all sorts of subtle underground transmissions of Ancient Tradition, be it Druids, "ancient fertility rites", or Celtic Christianity. Even the English Wiccans continue to claim an origin handed-down-secretly-by-word-of-mouth, even though the 'religion' was invented in the 1920s by a guy named Gardiner who wanted to meet chicks.

Each and every local custom (like the Padstow Hobby Horse, or the Mummer Plays, or the Britannia Coconut Dancers) is always assigned roots in the dim, dark, British past, where blue-painted Britons and gold-torqued Druids roam amid ancient dolmens.

Don't get me wrong, it's charming and I love it, it's so quintessentially English. But it exists quite independent of and even despite any historical evidence.

20 posted on 12/30/2007 6:41:47 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother; Kolokotronis; sionnsar
Bless the English! They are specialists in claiming all sorts of subtle underground transmissions of Ancient Tradition, be it Druids, "ancient fertility rites", or Celtic Christianity. Even the English Wiccans continue to claim an origin handed-down-secretly-by-word-of-mouth, even though the 'religion' was invented in the 1920s by a guy named Gardiner who wanted to meet chicks. Each and every local custom (like the Padstow Hobby Horse, or the Mummer Plays, or the Britannia Coconut Dancers) is always assigned roots in the dim, dark, British past, where blue-painted Britons and gold-torqued Druids roam amid ancient dolmens. Don't get me wrong, it's charming and I love it, it's so quintessentially English. But it exists quite independent of and even despite any historical evidence.

More broadly, the custom is quintessentially Christian and quintessentially one of tradition. The origins of many Catholic traditions are often somewhat obscure. That does not make them incorrect.

Also, given that Christianity first spread to Brittania under the Roman empire, but experienced a break in Roman economic ties much earlier than in Gaul, Palestine or North Africa, so there was a period of separate development of Christianity in Celtic Briton prior to Saint Gregory the Great and Saint Aiden and Saint Augustine of Canterbury. All of this supports the point that K was making earlier. In terms of continuity and transmission through the time of Thomas a Becket, Henry VIII, Elizabeth and Cromwell, things get more subtle. Was England Roman Catholic during the middle ages? I believe the answer is clearly yes, but with its own cultural flavor. Did Catholicism survive in England after the reformation? Yes, but in various forms, whether under the secret Jesuit missions or simply on a local level because ties with either the East or Rome would be too dangerous. Perhaps some of the underground Catholicism took on a more eastern characteristic because of similar political conditions to those experienced by the ancient church. However, as K also points out, there remained strong and deeply ingrained traditions (and we are not talking about Druidism or Wicca here) which continue to incline many Anglicans as much toward orthodoxy as toward a purely Latin tradition.

22 posted on 12/30/2007 11:53:41 AM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Huber; sionnsar
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s charming and I love it, it’s so quintessentially English. But it exists quite independent of and even despite any historical evidence.”

Put as only an American would put it! A Greek, an Arab, a Serb, a Russian, even an Irishman would never look at a society or a culture that way, AM. What is a bit more than disingenuous about your comment is that America is particularly prone to historically groundless mythology and, dangerously, we often let it define our foreign policy.

28 posted on 12/30/2007 12:41:46 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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