By Matt Schwoebel (an amateur historical Arthur scholar/enthusiast)

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Friday, July 16, 2004

7. Religion & Christianity

The movie was quite anti-Christian and anti-Catholic.  Not surprising, this is Hollywood after all, but having every clerical person or devout Christian being either a raving lunatic or power hungry Papal pawn?  The Pope was presented as having real political influence, which was true in the medieval period NOT in the Dark Ages.  The bishops of Gaul (France) would have had some interaction with Britain.  Actually, most Christians in Britain were Celtic Catholics, not Roman Catholics, and the Pope would have had limited influence in the Islands.  It took a few centuries to bring these Celtic Catholics over to Roman adherence.  Wotan (Odin/Woden) worshipping Anglo-Saxons had overwhelmed the eastern seaboard of Britain, which made travel to Britannia more dangerous.  The Pope was rather busy dealing with heretical Arian Catholics, including the Arian Ostrogoths ruling or threatening Rome, and that pesky man named Attila with his heathen host (at least in the too early period represented by this movie).  I suppose since almost every Christian was technically Catholic at that point (only the Armenians & Coptic Egyptians had split from the Church by 450 A.D.), they felt good demonizing Christianity, and hence the Catholic Church, per usual Hollywood fashion against organized religion.

Go To 8. Woads, Merlin, & Guinevere


Anonymous spankman said...

actually, the proto - inquisition/suicide cult bit approached the surreal, Jack Chick should be taking notes.

December 3, 2006 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Valgard said...

The fact that the pagans, were presented as atheists, I found insulting to both atheists and pagans. There's quite a big difference between us! lol

March 18, 2010 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Constantine Dragases said...

I might add that at this time the bishop of Rome was still in communion with the eastern patriarchates. He was not considered the "head of our Church" (as Bishop Germanus says in the film), but the first among equals, a kind of general arbitrator with honorary first rank. He did not have universal jurisdiction over every parish, nor was he able to promulgate dogma without an Ecumenical Council. One other thing: the movie presents Arthur as a student of Pelagius. Pelagius died in AD 418, long before the movie takes place. He was also a heretic who denied the necessity of God's grace for salvation. In typical post-Enlightenment fashion, the writers present the theological conflict as one of natural slavery vs. "freedom," which is extremely inaccurate.

February 10, 2017 at 9:17 AM  

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