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Encyclopedia > Virtuous pagan

Virtuous paganism is a concept of Christian theology parallel to the Righteous Among the Nations in Judaism. It addressed the problem of pagans who were never evangelized and consequently during their lifetime had no opportunity to recognize Christ, but nevertheless led virtuous lives, so that it seemed objectionable to consider them damned. Prominent examples are Socrates or Virgil. The Roman Catechism issued by the Council of Trent, based on the opinion of Thomas Aquinas, asserted that these souls were waiting in a limbo between heaven and hell, and were freed at Christ's Harrowing of Hell. Christian doctrine redirects here. ... Righteous Among the Nations (Hebrew: חסידי אומות העולם, Hasidei Umot HaOlam), in contemporary usage, is a term often used to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust in order to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... Evangelism is the proclaiming of the Christian Gospel. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... “Dammit” redirects here. ... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult), which states that Jesus descended into Hell. ...


Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy places a number of virtuous pagans to the first circle of hell, including Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, and notably also Saladin, a Muslim. Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, in Michelinos fresco. ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (November 3, AD 39-April 30, 65), better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, and is one of the outstanding figures of the Silver Latin period. ... Saladin, properly known as Salah al-Dīn Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Arabic: , Kurdish: ) (c. ...


"Virtuous paganism" became relevant to Romanticism with its Septentrionalism or enthusiasm for the rediscovered pagan ethos of the Icelandic sagas. Tom Shippey argues that the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, set in a fictitious pre-Christian past, is significantly based on such a concept of virtuous paganism, Romantics redirects here. ... Early modern publications dealing with what we now call Viking culture appeared in the 16th century, e. ... The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: Íslendingasögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ... Thomas Alan Shippey (born 1943) is a scholar of medieval literature, including Anglo-Saxon England, and of modern fantasy and science fiction, in particular the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, about whom he has written several scholarly studies. ... Tolkien redirects here. ...

writing just before the outbreak of World War II - Tolkien was also rather disturbed by Norse mythology: he saw that the ethos it represented could be used by either side, as indeed it was in the deliberate cultivation of Götterdämmerung by the Nazi leadership a few years later. Nevertheless it did provide an image of heroic virtue which could exist, and could be admired, outside the Christian framework. In some respects the Old Norse "theory of courage" might even be regarded as ethically superior to the Classical if not to the Christian world-view, in that it demanded commitment to virtue without any offer of lasting reward. [...] . He also felt that Old Norse mythology provided a model for what one might call "virtuous paganism," which was heathen; conscious of its own inadequacy, and so ripe for conversion; but not yet sunk into despair and disillusionment like so much of 20th century post-Christian literature; a mythology which was in its way light-hearted. (Tom Shippey, Tolkien and Iceland: The Philology of Envy [1]) Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... For other uses, see Courage (disambiguation). ...

See also

  • Hanif
  • Christianity and Paganism
  • Original Monotheism
  • Pagan Worthies

 
 

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