For all practical purposes, Christianity “converted” Western man only superficially; it constituted his “faith” in the most abstract sense while his real life continued to obey the more or less material forms of the opposite tradition of action, and later on, during the Middle Ages, an ethos that was essentially shaped by the Northern-Aryan spirit. In theory, the Western world accepted Christianity but for all practical purposes it remained pagan; the fact that Europe was able to incorporate so many motifs that were connected with the Jewish and Levantine view of life has always been a source of surprise among historians. Thus, the outcome was some sort of hybridism. Even in its attenuated and Romanized Catholic version, the Christian faith represented an obstacle that deprived Western man of the possibility of integrating his authentic and irrepressible way of being through a concept and in a relationship with the Sacred that was most congenial to him.
Julius Evola, Revolt Against The Modern World, 287
Historically speaking, Christianity has been largely corrected and mitigated in Catholicism through the aggregation and assimilation of principles from various origins (especially Roman and Classical) as can be seen in the theological domain of Thomism, which would be inconceivable without Aristotelianism. This is precisely the reason that in the past, and especially during the Middle Ages, the Roman Church was able to exercise a certain traditional and formative influence. But this was not achieved, nor could it have been, without neutralizing the original premises of the Christian religion.
Men Among The Ruins, 213
The principles: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:21), represented a direct attack on the concept of traditional sovereignty and of that unity of the two powers that had formally been reestablished in imperial Rome. According to Gelasius I, after Christ, no man can simultaneously be king and priest; the unity of sacerdotium and regnum, when it is vindicated by a king, is a diabolical deception and a counterfeit of the true priestly regality that belongs to Christ alone. It was precisely at this point that the contrast between Christian and Roman ideas escalated into an open conflict. When Christianity developed the Roman pantheon was so inclusive that even the cult of the Christian Savior could have found a proper place within it, among other cults, as a particular cult derived from a schism in Judaism. As I have previously suggested, it was typical of the imperial universalism to exercise a higher unifying and organizing function over and above any particular cult, which it did not need to deny or to oppose. What was required though, was an act demonstrating a superordained fides in reference to the principles “from above” embodied in the representative of the empire, namely, in the “Augustus.” The Christians refused to perform this very act, consisting of a ritual and sacrificial offering made before the imperial symbol, since they claimed that it was incompatible with their faith; this was the only reason why there was such an epidemic of martyrs, which may have appeared as pure folly in the eyes of the Roman magistrates.
In this way the new belief imposed itself. Over and against a particular universalism, a new, opposite universalism based on a metaphysical dualism affirmed itself. The traditional hierarchical view according to which loyalty enjoyed a supernatural sanction and a religious value, since every power descended from above, was undermined at its very foundation. In this sinful world there can only be room for acivitas diaboli; the civitas dei, or the divine state, was thought to belong to a separate plane and to consist in the unity of those who are drawn to the otherworld by a confused longing and who, as Christians, acknowledged only Christ as their leader as they awaited the Last Day. Wherever this idea did not result in a virus that proved to be a defeatist and subversive one, and wherever Caesar was still given “the things which are Caesar’s,” the fides remained deconsecrated and secularized; it merely had the value of a contingent obedience to a power that was merely temporal. The Pauline saying, “all authority comes from God” was destined to remain ineffectual and meaningless.
Revolt Against The Modern World, 284-285
The Catholic religion has embraced the biblical principle concerning the multiplication of the human species. This is one of the cases in which the Church has bestowed an ethical value on things which have only a practical, relative value that is quite outdated today. The Jewish precept was justified only considering the patriarchal conditions of the ancient Jewish tribes, composed or farmers and herdsmen, in which (as still happens today in those few rural areas where analogous situations are found) a plentiful offspring was regarded as desirable and providential because of the need for able bodies. All this has nothing to do with religion or ethics. From a specific point of view – that of asceticism – it is possible to condemn the pleasures of sex in general, as was the case of the original ascetic Christian tradition. But in ordinary life, and in general, wherever there are no ascetic vocations it is extremely unreasonable to legitimize and sanctify sexual union and marriage only when they are aimed at procreation, declaring them to be sinful in every other instance. For practical purposes, what does this mean, other than that the religious perspective here approves and even encourages the most primitive and animalistic expression of an instinct? Conception essentially implies a state of complete abandonment of man to the sexual passion, just as one of the most natural means to avoid conception implies a certain renunciation, predominance of will, and self-control vis-a-vis the most primitive impulse of instinct and desire. In every other instance besides sex, the Church praises and formally approves the latter disposition – that is, the predominance of the intellect and will over the impulses of the senses. But when it comes to sexual union, because it obtusely maintains the outdated precept of the Jewish law, either out of hypocrisy or from a theological hatred of sex per se, Catholic morality has endorsed the opposite attitude: the attitude of those who passively play into the hands of Schopenhauer’s “genius of the species” through couplings that are really more ferarum (after the manner of beasts).
Let me repeat: I could understand the precept of celibacy and chastity and the total condemnation of the pleasures of sex and the use of women from the point of view of an ascetic morality with supernatural objectives. However, it is incomprehensible to endorse the use of women and sexuality only in terms of procreation, as this amounts to degrading every relation between the sexes to an animal level. Even a libertine, who elevates pleasure to an art (not to mention a certain “Dionysism” that in antiquity enjoyed a religious sanction), is undoubtedly superior to those who follow the Catholic view to the letter.
Men Among The Ruins, 269-270
Among those who have denounced the crisis of the modern world in the most uncompromising way, there are some who have put their trust in the possibilities inherent in Catholicism. By acknowledging that if the West has ever had an order that conformed to tradition it was thanks to the Church, some have thought that Europe’s return to a Catholicism integrated with Tradition may be a way leading to a revival of the West. And yet, this too is an illusion.
First of all, how is it possible that Catholicism may have today that strength to operate a radical and universal conversion of which it has proved itself unable even when there existed material, moral, and intellectual conditions infinitely more advantageous? Would Catholicism be able to take again that body it lost so many centuries ago, a body that today has taken a life and spirit of its own and that science and lay culture have profaned in every fiber? Even when Catholicism formally professes the Christian faith, it no longer represents anything essential or decisive in the actual lives of both individuals and entire nations.
It is not a matter of adaptations and of compromises. The “game” of compromises and adaptations has lasted way too long and it did not prevent the decline of the West. Either religion becomes unanimous, absolute, and returns to manifest the live and operating power of transcendence, or it is nothing. Here too, it is not a matter of the possible marginal integrations in the person of this or that exceptional individual Catholic. It is only in the bloc of orthodoxy animated by a totally different spirit that Catholicism, despite its spurious nature, could theoretically provide a reference point to many divided and scattered forces. And yet, how could Catholicism possibly overcome the partisan and antitraditional exclusivism typical of its doctrine and elevate itself to a superior, metaphysical, and esoteric perspective, capable of freeing it from its own limitations? Is it not very obvious that Catholicism today is trying to reconcile itself in every way with modern thought and that the ascetical and contemplative element in it is increasingly neglected in favor of the moralistic and social dimension? Is it not obvious that in the political domain the Church lives day by day, dealing with this or that system, and avoids committing itself to any one and uncompromising direction, being obsessed with keeping up-to-date and staying on top of things, even to the point of engaging in a dialogue with Marxism?
Spiritually speaking, a tradition that merely amounts to a system of faith, scholarly theology, and symbols and rites that are no longer understood in their deepest meaning cannot act in a universal and vivifying fashion. Also, it is problematic to what degree the Catholic clergy still preserves some of the features of a body that is effectively invested with a power “from above.” Materially speaking, with the context of European Christianity it would first be necessary to remove the Protestant and Orthodox schisms, itself a utopian prerequisite for a rigorous return to a starting point. Moreover, an eventual defensive solidarity of the Christian churches against the onslaught of militant antireligious forces should not be mistaken for a reaffirmation of a universal idea.
Revolt Against The Modern World, 360-361
Moreover, the idea that the West owes to Catholicism all the elements of Tradition it ever knew cannot be accepted without specific reservations. The composite character of Catholicism should not be forgotten. I have previously remarked that wherever this character manifested itself as a force promoting order and hierarchy, thus providing a support for European society, this was mainly thanks to the influence of the Roman-Germanic world. Conversely, whenever the specifically Christian component triumphed, Catholicism acted in the West in an antitraditional, rather than traditional way. The lunar, priestly spirit, its peculiar dualism, the various views of Jewish origin that became an integral part of the Christian spirit, all these things represented in Catholicism an obstacle that prevented the possibility of its infusing into Europe a spirituality in conformity with and proper to what I have called the Northern Light. Moreover Catholicism has caused the more real forces, after they found the way leading upwards obstructed, to flow into the material domain and realize in it the characteristic values of the Western soul. It is well-known that it was in the terms of a reaction against Catholicism that, beginning with the Renaissance, the reaffirmation of man and life took place. This represented an evident deviation and yet it was largely precipitated by the context I have just described.
Revolt Against The Modern World, 361
Therefore we must conclude that the way is doubly blocked. The prison in which Western man is confined is one of the worst ever to be devised because it does not have walls. It is not easy to get up again when there is nothing on which one can lean and push himself up. By increasingly undermining the effective influence of Christianity and Catholicism, the West is abandoning its last references to a spirituality that is not its own; and yet, in the forms that are proper to it, the West is not pure in spirit and is also unable to create its own spirit.
Therefore it seems unavoidable that fate will run its course. It have said it before: it is likely that having reached the penultimate step, and being on the edge of the universal advent of the truth and the power of the fourth and last of the ancient castes, mankind is ready to enter the last stage and touch the bottom of the Dark Age or Iron Age (foretold in traditional teachings), the general features of which largely correspond to those of contemporary civilization.
Revolt Against The Modern World, 362-363
Comment: For those unfamiliar with Julius Evola, the talk given by Jonathan Bowden is probably the best introduction. Those who are familiar with him have to decide whether they can accept his conclusions regarding Christianity or not, and to recognize that to reject his views on Christianity, by maintaining that Christianity is the one true faith, or even that Christianity was an improvement over Roman paganism, is effectively to reject his views overall. One is of course free to do so, but in that case there is little purpose reading or commenting on anything I write regarding Christianity.
My own view is that his conclusions were correct. Christianity is and always was deeply flawed, composed of conflicting and incongruous elements, and in its current form cannot save the West. While the overall direction chosen by Europe since the Renaissance has been unfortunate, its rejection of Christianity was entirely understandable and appropriate. The Church has completely and utterly failed in its duties both to God and man. On fundamental, essential issues the Church has been in the wrong since its very beginning. If the Church continues in its obtuse, prideful, and ignorant way, I say again, it should be rejected. It must be rejected. If it is to be otherwise, if the Church is to have a place in Europe, then the burden rests on the Church to repent of its many sins, errors, and false teachings, and to acknowledge and honor Europe’s foundational and ineradicable pagan identity.