Nabilah Binte Rosli
Professor Katherine Hindley
HL4015 Advanced Medieval Literature
22 March 2018
Christianity as the Superior Religion in The Passion of St. Bartholomew the Apostle and The Early Medieval ‘Medicus’, the Saint - and the Enchanter
Paganism, as defined by Owen Davies in his book, Paganism: A Very Short Introduction, is a notion “created by the early Christian Church. It was a label that Christians applied to others, … As such, throughout history it was generally used in a derogatory sense.” The boundaries are made clear between the Christians and the non-believers of Christianity, with the latter being categorised under the group “paganism”. Anyone who believes in religions and practices other than Christianity are thus swept under this category, and looked down upon.
Both Christianity and paganism practice magic, prayers, and rituals to aid in the healing or resurrection of sickly victims. In Christianity, a figure appointed by God, a saint for example, carry out the healing and resurrection of sickly victims. This figure not only serve as God’s messenger, but through God’s power surging through him, is able to provide healing and power to his victims, seen as miracles. However, paganism, despite performing the same practices, are looked down upon. Rituals and magic used by pagan figures are usually coined as acts of dark magic, with negative connotations such as harmful and devilish attached to them. These pagan figures are not viewed as righteous and superior, such as the figures appointed by the Christian God, and are instead viewed as the devil’s workers.
This is evident in both Ælfric of Eynsham’s The Passion of St. Bartholomew the Apostle and Valerie J. Flint’s The Early Medieval ‘Medicus’, the Saint - and the Enchanter. Ashtaroth, a devil that exists...