Dr Stephen Holmes, a lecturer in theology at St Andrews University, claims that for many years the Christian festival was celebrated in Britain with “anarchic reversals” of authority as Hallowe’en is now.
But it became sentimentalised by the Victorians, who wanted to shut the door on the outside world at Christmas and enjoy domesticity with families.
Dr Holmes, who has previously claimed that Harry Potter is a “Christ-like figure” who promotes Biblical values, concludes: “The birth of Jesus was a political event, through and through.
“Our celebration of Christmas should therefore be political also.”
Elizabeth Hunter, the director of the religion think-tank Theos which published his paper, added: “Christmas is undoubtedly a time for family and for generosity. But it should also be a moment when we hear and attend to a message of justice and freedom for all.
“The gospel writers repeatedly emphasise the political implications of the birth of Jesus, but we fail to hear them through the clamour of jingle bells. Read more...