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Who’s Going to Tell the Kurganists?

It looks like original sin predates the rise of Western civilization. The Ice Man was a murder victim. Christian theology would have predicted that any society composed of humans has dark, unpleasant aspects, but those who hold romanticized notions about “Old Europe” before the Indo-Europeans came and mucked everything up might need to clarify their views.

Actually, if memory serves I even read something similar in Walter Wink‘s Engaging the Powers. The book is in a box in my attic right now, so someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember an early chapter in which Wink traces the rise of what he calls the “domination system” in human societies and comes within a hair’s breadth of implying that these early, pre-Indo-European cultures were untainted by the Fall.

No, that’s not quite the way it works. “There is no one who is righteous, not even one” (Rom 3:10). Not the bronze-age warriors who gave me my linguistic and cultural heritage, and not the neolithic farmers who provided the lion’s share of my DNA.

That’s why all of us need God’s grace.

(Also, on a somewhat related note, Native Americans didn’t always care for the natural environment, either.)

technorati tags: ice man, marija gambutas, old europe, ??tzi, walter wink



  1. Wink does, indeed, buy a little too much into the “old Europe” romanticism, true enough. That’s the weakest part of his otherwise fine trilogy. However, he doesn’t argue that sin or even murder didn’t happen much earlier, but only that the organized violence of the Domination System is much more recent (and datable) than usually thought. He’d agree with you that we all need grace and redemption.


  2. D. P. says:

    I’m sure he would, Michael, but that passage stuck in my memory as a perfect example of the kind of romanticism (nice word) some people have towards any culture that is not “western.”

    As a preacher I once heard said, “God isn’t prejudiced, he says ‘ALL have sinned…'”


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