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Published on Jun 25, 2014
Discussion The Pagan Roots of Jesus and the Virgin Mary: An Atheist Perspective Books Recommended For each class May be found On AtheistScholar.org This lecture is concerned with the pagan origins of the Christian Jesus Christ and of his mother, Mary. Mary has been linked to pagan goddesses, such as the Great Mother, Cybele. Mary has also been associated with Greek, Roman, and Egyptian goddesses, such as Isis, Athena, Venus and Diana. We shall see how some of her epithets, as well as her pictorial images, were based on earlier sculptures and depictions of pagan deities. Last month we discussed the various manifestations of the Virgin Mary's image with the changing tenets of the Catholic Church over the centuries. This month we shall concentrate on the Virgin's origins in the mythology of pagan cultures. The relationship of the Jesus myth with much earlier dying-and-rising god worship, has been discussed, disputed and reaffirmed many times during the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. The Church Fathers of the 2nd Century responded angrily concerning the resemblance of the Jesus tales with pagan mythology and the debate has been ongoing since the early years of the Church. The Mediterranean world was replete with such tales of dying and resurrected gods.