[Carl Jung: The antique Roman Christians didn’t need dogma; their subtle minds could deal with analogies and symbolism.]
For instance, compare the original meaning of Christ’s teaching with what has become of it in the subsequent centuries.
When Christianity was taught to a highly educated audience, it was made into a philosophy.
If you have a certain idea how men like St. Augustine or Tertullian preached, or how a learned man like Origen understood Christianity, you realize that that makes all the difference in the world.
One instance which I have often quoted is that St. Augustine compares the Virgin Mary to the earth: she is the earth fecundated by the spring rains, and from the earth, Christ, our truth, is born: he is the wheat.
That is the type of language which subsequent centuries would not have understood.
It would have led back into a chthonic cult, but those men were talking to educated people who could take these things on the wing; an idea was not leaden, it lived.
The antique Roman Christians didn’t need dogma; their subtle minds could deal with analogies and symbolism. They understood things.
Yet the same gospels taught to the barbarians became something quite different; the barbarian mind demands things cut and dried.
Originally there was no question about the communion for instance, a sort of memorial rite.
The idea of real flesh and blood only became dogma in about the ninth century when Paschasius Radbertus invented transubstantiation: that was a concession to the barbarous mind. He was the abbot of a monastery in Corbie, Picardie, one of the Frankish invaders. (The whole north of France was at that time Germanic.)
A monk in the same monastery however, Radramndus, still held that it was a memorial meal. And Scotus Erigena, the abbot of Malmsbury, who died in 889, fought for this idea. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 830-831.