Christian Religion In Beowulf

648 Words 3 Pages
Throughout history, people have lived, and died, for religion. It has influenced art, music, politics, and even science. In the past, religion has permeated every aspect of life. While religion is still an important aspect of many people’s lives, it is now largely separate from other facets of society. During the time period that is inhabited by the world of Beowulf, religion was extremely important. Unlike the Christian monk who transcribed the poem, the characters of this realm practice a pagan religion. Throughout the text, there are glimpses of this pagan belief, however much of it is obscured by the many seemingly out of place Christian references.

Although there are Christian themes and allusions present throughout the text, it is clear
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The people respond to this event by worshiping idols in an attempt to seek refuge, which clearly demonstrates their pagan beliefs, and counters the idea that they may be of Christian faith. The pagan religion of the characters of Beowulf is also largely demonstrated indirectly, both through their actions, and by what they value. One of the values that is the most prevalent throughout the text is the concept of glory. The actions of many characters are “Inspired…by the thought of glory,” the foremost character being Beowulf. While the concept of glory is found throughout the bible, the principles behind it are not aligned with those found in Beowulf. In Beowulf, characters seek to earn glory for themselves, and their kings, through their own human actions, however, from a Christian perspective, glory is not something that should be sought for oneself, but rather something that should be given to God: “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (New International Version, Psalms 115:1) This emphasizes the contradiction between the supposed Christian beliefs that are declared through the characters speech, and the culturally appropriate pagan beliefs, which are demonstrated through their actions. Another idea that is key to understanding the lives of these characters is fate, or wyrd. The term wyrd is an Anglo-Saxon word, which translates to the English word doom. Beowulf makes frequent references to his fate, and often credits his victories to

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