Beowulf as Christian Propaganda

Topics: Christianity, Jesus, Religion Pages: 4 (1329 words) Published: June 26, 2008
The literary work of Beowulf is believed, by many, to contain numerous attributes of Christian propaganda. Throughout the story of Beowulf, there are several circumstances and coincidences that distinctly relate to the Christian belief system. One can only imagine that these ideas of Christian propaganda; which include the use of Christian themes and beliefs in works of literary art, were strategically placed throughout the story of Beowulf to help the conversion from the old world pagan religious belief system to the Christian beliefs of the new world.

Historians believe that Beowulf was written sometime in the eighth century in England. This fact is important because during this era, society was in the process of converting from paganism to Christianity. Anglo-Saxons were already Christianized, but the pagan traditions that had dominated during this time were not in the distant past. (

As a work of fiction the legitimacy of the story of Beowulf, in a historical context, may be questionable, but it is the teaching behind the text that is important. The story is not completely converted to Christian beliefs. Throughout Beowulf, the legend contains many pagan themes and concepts, but as mentioned it also contains many references to Christianity. Even though the story is fiction, it still fits in very well with the ideals of England during this time. Even though England was mostly Christianized, it still had many pagan tendencies. Although the concepts of paganism as compared to Christianity may seem very similar, these two aspects of Anglo-Saxon life came together to create a form of Christianity that was different from that of mainland Europe. The story of Beowulf may have been a way for the Catholic Church to start introducing the ideas of Christianity to the common people.

Throughout the tale, pagan themes are displayed, but interestingly enough they are then adapted to Christianity. For example, fame and popularity, a common pagan...
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