Nine Norfolk Churches: Symbolic Sexual Bodies.

Nine Norfolk Churches: Symbolic Sexual Bodies.

In the neolithic world monuments, graves and temples were fashioned in the shape of the female sexual body and were seen as places of transformed consciousness, rebirth through death in the womb of the goddess. This sexual imagery continues into medieval churches. In Biblical theology the Church is both the body and the bride of Christ, and the churches were seen as places of marriage between Christ and the Church. Their imagery and their design are fundamentally erotic.

I argue that there are two myths that are central to human consciousness. One is the death and re-birth of the earth-goddess’s son-lover. The other is the sacrifice of the scapegoat. I seek to show that Christianity is the fulfillment of both of these foundation myths, and therefore the most natural religion of mankind. In rising from the dead Christ both brings the resurrection of the son-lover to its climax, and releases mankind from its collective sacrificial blood guilt, replacing that bond with a new communion of love.

The fact that most of the Christians one might meet in modern western society probably do not give the impression of being souls profoundly transformed by love is not the fault of Christianity but of Christians. Fonts are instruments of transformation, wombs that give birth to a new and transcendental life.

I give an account of the history, architecture and special atmosphere of nine favourite churches, some of which have seven sacrament fonts. This enables me to devote a chapter to each of the sacraments, from an angle that many people will find novel and unusual, but which in each case, I believe, is rooted in traditional practice and teaching, pagan as well as Christian.

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