Perception of Christianity by the Pagan Polabian Slavs
By Roman Zarof
Studia Mythologica Slavica, Vol.4 (2001)
Abstract: The article explores the question of how the pagan Polabian Slavs could perceive Christianity at the time of its expansion to the East. An attempt is made here to distance ourselves from our Christian background, and to analyse how other people can see beliefs that we often have no doubts about ourselves – a difficult task indeed. The article looks at how the ordinary people saw this new religion and concludes that their general perception of Christianity was negative. It shows that such an attitude was due to the association of Christianity with imperial subjugation, economic exploitation and destruction of the old ways of life. What the new religion sometimes offered was hardly acceptable and understood by the Polabian society. Also, the article explains why Christian conversion gained ground much quicker with the members of the Polabian Upper class and the rulers.