The Study of Man: Pagan Ideas and the Jewish Mind
Almost everybody knows by now that Christmas and Easter and many of the saints’ days of the Church go back to earlier heathen festivals, and that several of the saints themselves are but Christian transformations of pagan gods and heroes. Often, indeed, the latter still appear on the Christian stage without appreciable change of outward trappings, as when Cosmas and Damian still ride the white horses of the Heavenly Twins and are surmounted by the morning and evening stars.
To what extent the same process has taken place in Judaism is, however, far less well known; for although it has been the subject of considerable study, the conclusions at which scholars have arrived have not yet percolated to the popular level. Consequently, the average Jew still adheres to a somewhat one-sided conception of how his faith really evolved.
About the Author