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Isis

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Isis
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« on: April 23, 2007, 02:07:43 am »



On the right is Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a famous medieval icon of Mary and Jesus; on the left is a bronze statue of Isis nursing Horus dating from the Ptolomeic era of Egypt.

Parallels in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
 
On the right is Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a famous medieval icon of Mary and Jesus; on the left is a bronze statue of Isis nursing Horus dating from the Ptolomeic era of Egypt.Some scholars believe that Isis worship in late Roman times was the an influence behind Catholic development of the cult[2] of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Evidence suggests that this allowed the Catholic Church to absorb a huge number of converts who had formerly believed in Isis, and would not have converted unless Catholicism offered them an "Isis-like" female focus for their faith. Iconographically the similarities between the seated Isis holding or suckling the child Horus (Harpocrates) and the seated Mary and the baby Jesus are apparent.

Some Christian writers find fault with these claims, and suggest that by the time devotion to the Virgin Mary arose, the worship of Isis had greatly evolved from the Egyptian myths, and her relationship with Horus was no longer a major factor. However, this view is overshadowed by the fact that Late Roman beliefs regarding the attributes of Isis are almost identical to early Church beliefs regarding Mary. One has only to read the quote from Apuleius above, to see that Isis was worshiped in Roman Times as a Universal and merciful mother figure. Though the Virgin Mary is not worshiped (only venerated) in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, her role as a merciful mother figure has parallels with the role formerly played by Isis. Critics point out that stylistic similarities between iconography of Mary and Isis are not proof of syncretism, since they could represent a "type." That is, a "good mother" would most naturally be represented by a woman holding a child in her arms. Similarly an exalted female figure would naturally tend toward identification with that of a Queen.

Certain Fundamentalist Christians[2] have popularly promoted and even exaggerated the Isis-Mary similarities as part of anti-Catholic polemic, asserting that Catholicism is therefore syncretic, tainted by paganism.

The veneration of Mary in Orthodox[3] and even Anglican tradition is often overlooked[4]. The traditional images (Icons) of Mary are still popular in Orthodoxy today[5]. See also Christianization and syncretism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis
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