"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lord and Thane

The relationship of the Christian to Christ is often portrayed as that of a servant to a master. The parallel is good and true, but for those who find the metaphor of slaves either stale or repellent, consider this description of old Germanic kings and their followers taken from The Norton Anthology of English Literature:
When a warrior vowed loyalty to his lord, he became not so much his servant as his voluntary companion, one who would take pride in defending him and fighting in his wars. In return, the lord was expected to take care of his thanes and to reward them richly for their valor; a good king, one like Hrothgar or Beowulf, is referred to by such poetic epithets as “ring-giver” and as the “helmet” and “shield” of his people (25).

Abrams, M.H. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors 7th. ed. W.W.Norton and Co. 2001

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