Modern scholars sometimes reject the usage of the term Dying-and-Rising God. I accept this helpful categorization as did Carl Jung and James George Frazer. It identifies important symbolic patterns appearing in myth where I suggest, for instance, earlier mythological figures are being consciously referenced in later developing myths. Indeed, in my opinion, it is clear, rejection of this term lends obfuscation and not light to the understanding of mythology, perhaps in some instances deliberately. People who consider themselves “race realist” should immediately understand the problems here as it concerns academia on such ultimately “dangerous topics.”
Here, as there, the danger is with “pattern recognition.” The Dying-and-Rising thesis certainly is challenging to the Cult of Christianity as a Religion describing original or actual events. Yet it is also one of the innovations, ultimately, that now allows JEM to become coherent to us.
Objections to this categorization, particularly as it comes to group the figure of Jesus Christ with earlier examples, often arise from tonal differences, which in tracking an “etymology of myth” are less relevant than symbolic differences. A serious film, for instance, could be remade not merely in a different tone but as a light parody of its former self, yet if the parable is faithfully repeated in its important parts, its messaging may be retained, whether gaining or losing a greater ability to charm. A Jewish lover, for instance, whether cryptically or explicitly depicted, may emerge a “moralizing” sexual victor in either film.
Thus, whether the Adonia festival would develop a more frivolous tone than that which Sir James Frazer depicted, as Marcel Detienne argued, has no relevance on its symbolic influence on an ostensibly somber Christianity. Tonal difference could be the consequence of the degeneration of a more serious cult or a censoring or self-censoring among the developers or practitioners of that cult. Tonal differences could be the tailoring-response of tepid initial or developing reactions to this cult.
Here we assume, for example, that the Greco-Roman world, if accepting a melancholy figure, would not have tolerated Adonis as something akin to the ostensibly benevolent yet terrifyingly powerful and ultimately eclipsing Chieftain God Christ. Adonis, of course, was relatively low in the hierarchy of Gods in Rome however popular his cult became.
Sometimes scholars complain about a difference in the emphasis of this or that symbol or parabolic event when comparing Christ in particular to these related Gods. However, that the resurrection of Christ features so centrally in that parable versus the often-scant surviving accounts of earlier inspiring Gods, does nothing to change the fact that Adonis, Osiris or Balder were also resurrecting Gods, spending a symbolic winter or night in the underworld or earth womb.
Further, the process is JEM, so references are necessarily veiled. Laity doesn’t realize these myths to be the repackaging of an earlier dead or dying cult which, by definition, has fallen out of favor. In the end it is convenient for detractors of the Dying-and-Rising thesis to deny clear influences and point to tonal or stylistic differences however ultimately trivial. While we must make these connections carefully and compellingly, this other instinct is an instinct toward incoherence and desiring not to comprehend these conscious, sophisticated and intelligent Religions and Myths. Rather it is an instinct to be mystified and misled children before them.
What we practice now is Roman Interpretation. He who does not is not merely without his eyes, but his mind.