Why does Christian mythology have a lot of bizarre/unsettling imagery?


Growing up in a very Catholic environment, I was repeatedly told about the so-called benevolent deeds of the Christian god and his son Jesus Christ which since I was young, I was given (or sometimes I would prefer call it being indoctrinated because having religion ingrained in your culture also meant being taught about certain group think and taboos) this very/overly optimistic view of the world under the image of God according to Christianity.

But over the years, as I read through history and how Christianity was taught, I realised that Christianity of before was more different and maybe even more bizarre.

Apart from the hypocritical actions that Christian people did in the past (Manifest Destiny, the Crusades, persecution of heretics, Popes acting like rulers and egocentric kings, pre-Protestant Christianity acting more like a bank or a business than a religion that is meant to bind a group of people together, the Fourth Crusade, and so on), I encountered so many bizarre, crude and sometimes even unsettling imagery of the Chriatian mythology.

I am talking about

  • the different kinds of demons that were presumed to exist and their own names,

  • the crude depictions of hell by Dante Aligheri,

  • the superstitious beliefs that were presumed to be avoided/sought after during the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages and sometimes even till modern day (like something that I learned once that one of the many speculations of the origins of why we blow candles on birthdays is of ancient Christian origin where it was believed that blowing candles help ward off evil spirits, or the phrase "God Bless" originated during the times of the plague and one of the symptoms was sneezing and Pope Gregory, the pope at that time, used to bless these people with the holiness of God to hopefully protect them from death);

  • debates about certain practices or rituals such as circumcision or penises ( I am not joking about this one. Apparently this was a thing)

  • Medieval Christian monks and tonsures

Obviously I have gotten a bit out of subject and added some other things that I came across when I delved into the history of Christianity but my point is still the same – how come Christianity is earlier times was more weird, bizarre and sometimes even more scary than how it is taught today? (At least how I was taught growing up)

Note- Just to clarify, I do not want this to be a religious war. Just curiosity of how the teaching of Christianity changed over the years

Source: reddit post


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