Religious Studies Reference

New PDF release: Christmas: A Candid History

By Bruce David Forbes

ISBN-10: 0520251040

ISBN-13: 9780520251045

Written for everybody who loves and is concurrently pushed loopy through the vacation season, Christmas: A Candid historical past provides an enlightening, pleasing point of view on how the yearly yule party acquired to be what it truly is this day. In a desirable, concise journey via heritage, the booklet tells the tale of Christmas—from its pre-Christian roots, throughout the start of Jesus, to the holiday's unfold throughout Europe into the Americas and past, and to its mind-boggling transformation via glossy consumerism. jam-packed with interesting tales, according to study into myriad resources, packed with insights, the ebook explores the ancient origins of traditions together with Santa, the reindeer, present giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and flicks, and extra. The publication additionally deals a few provocative rules for reclaiming the enjoyment and which means of this liked, but frequently not easy, season amid the pressures of our fast moving patron culture.

DID YOU KNOW

For 3 centuries Christians didn't rejoice Christmas?

Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal?

St. Nicholas is an elf in the recognized poem "The evening sooner than Christmas"?

President Franklin Roosevelt replaced the dateof Thanksgiving so as to extend the Christmas procuring season?

Coca-Cola helped type Santa Claus's glance in an ads campaign?

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Extra info for Christmas: A Candid History

Sample text

Worship could take on the trappings of royal processions and ceremonies, with vestments and extensive formal liturgies. Christians now had the luxury of publicly debating at length the many intricacies of theology. Christianity was now fully legal, practicing in ∂                   the open, and receiving support and encouragement from the government, which hoped that Christianity could help unify the empire. And in its newly public role, Christianity was now in a position to contend openly with its rivals, which included Roman deities and, more important for our story, Roman midwinter parties.

And it happened over and over. The most helpful image for me to represent the process is a snowball. When a family rolls a snowball through the yard, in order to create a snowman or a fort, the growing ball of snow picks up all kinds of things: autumn leaves, a mitten dropped by a child, salt thrown near the sidewalk, and who knows what else. In a similar way, Christmas rolled through Europe and elsewhere in the world, picking up winter customs as it went, incorporating them into Christmas celebrations and also spreading certain customs from one region to another.

In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been. From the beginning, the Church’s hold over Christmas was (and remains still) rather tenuous. There were always people for whom Christmas was a time of pious devotion rather than carnival, but such people were always in the minority. 10 The struggle to keep Christian meanings from being overwhelmed by other elements of winter festivity has continued throughout the entire history of Christmas.

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Christmas: A Candid History by Bruce David Forbes


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