Wednesday, September 7, 2022

English Christians Choose Classical Culture and Gods (1700s)

Classical cultural movement (1700s)

If Rococo art characterized Latin Christian Europe in the 1700s, English Christian Britannia found expression along more classical lines. Funereal art, for example, expressed in classical style, lines the interior walls of church buildings constructed during this time. Sculptures portray calm, satisfied, confident men, some even dressed in togas, mourned by stoic women and commemorated in recitations of standard virtues.

Classical movement: worship of Vulcan

Vulcan replaces Jesus

If, in the 1700s, Latin Christian Europeans (Olympians) replaced Jesus primarily with Bacchus (false god of consumption) and Venus (sex), English Christian Olympians preferred Vulcan (technology). English church leaders, with the upper and middle classes of English society, came to understand God, above all, as rational. When they spoke the name of God or even Jesus they meant Vulcan. John Locke (1632-1704) affirmed the popular perception of God as rational with his publication of The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695).

Olympians: confident, optimistic

This belief in Vulcan, understood as a reasonable god and the source of all reason, had emotional consequences for believers. They became supremely confident about their present abilities and equally optimistic about the future.

Scientific discoveries: rapid growth

This led, beginning in the late 1600s and continuing through the 1700s, to scientific discoveries occurring with increasingly frequency. The natural sciences advanced rapidly in knowledge, coherence, and comprehensiveness.

God as clockmaker

Scientists understood each new advance in knowledge as proof of the rational design of Vulcan’s world that expressed the reasonableness of its creator. In a manner most suitable to Vulcan, god of technology, they imagined God to be a cosmic clockmaker. In the beginning, Vulcan created the clock of the cosmos and set it in motion. It now obeyed those natural laws with which it was created. Vulcan now calls and enables human beings to discern those natural laws and prosper by governing themselves accordingly.

God: clockmaking vs. being crucified

If God indeed was the cosmic clockmaker—creating the cosmos, setting it in motion, then letting it operate according to the laws he built into it—then he wasn’t the god being born in a stable, healing the blind, preaching good news to the poor, and dying in our place only to be raised on the third day. He was Vulcan and not Jesus. 

Copyright © 2022 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.