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In eighth century Anglo-Saxon society, history was passed down as oral stories, as writing historical events was too troublesome as there were too many dialects. In addition, in eighth century Anglo-Saxon society, there was an important transition from the old pagan traditions to the new theology of Christianity. Thus, as new stories were being told, to make them apply to the audience, Christianity had to be incorporated. Coming out of this age of transition, Beowulf has various Christian colorings along with the pagan traditions of old. Consequently, there have been debates over the ages whether the poem is a wholly Christian or Pagan poem.
ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost, accessed January 31, 2014. Price, James L. The New Testament: Its History and Theology. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987. Pp. 352-354.
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The two major societies presented in Beowulf are the Danes and Geats and they are supposed to completely represent Christianity and just that, however; paganism was seeped into the epic poem purposely by the author. As they have to suffer under Grendel’s constant attacks, the Danes “turn to their heathen gods for help” and “at pagan shrines they vowed offerings to idols, swore oaths that the killer of souls might come to their aid” which are all things that Pagans would do (175-177). Because the author has Christian rulers but has them doing what Pagans would do in this same situation his goal in presented. This is exactly what Pagans do, they worship Gods and ask them for materialistic things such as winning wars and battles.
7 Feb. 2014. https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=4676. Thevathasan, Dr. Pravin. "Christianity according to Sigmund Freud ." Theotokos Catholic Books:. N.p., 21 Jan. 2014.