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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in theology

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Differently Theological

Some would say that the pagan religions are non-theological.

If by this we mean that pagan religions tend not to have 'systematic' theologies, I would agree.

But I prefer to think that we're just differently theological.

Drawing on the word's original meaning (theos, 'a god' + logos, 'word') theologian David Miller defines theology as 'thinking and talking about the gods.' (Miller's 1974 The New Polytheism: Rebirth of the Gods and Goddesses was a pioneering work of contemporary polytheist thought.)

No system required, no seminaries involved. Thinking and talking about the gods.

That's something that pagans do all the time.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Other Cloaks

It's one of the more pressing questions of contemporary pagan theology.

What happened to the pagan gods during the centuries of the Great Interruption?

Did they fall asleep? Did they go away?

In the Baltics, the Old Ways lingered long. In Latvia, the Thunderer of the old pantheon—Perkons (= Perkunas, Perun, etc.)—came to be identified (among others) with “Saint” Martin.

“Martin carries nine Perkonses under his cloak,” was the saying.

Did the Old Gods abandon their people?

No, indeed. They've never abandoned us, and They never will.

They wrapped Themselves in other cloaks and waited.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    That's a great question, Anthony, with more than one answer. But one of those answers is surely the most surprising of all: They h
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm familiar with the notion that the Saints and Superheroes are the old gods in disguise. I kind of like that notion actually.
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, December 16

Last minute ideas for Yuletide gifts arrive. A new Pagan community center opens in Santa Cruz. And a Polish activist is memorialized. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, December 9

Who will be the gods of future space colonists? Should we be fearful of the divine? And what's it like celebrating a Pagan fertility ritual in Russia? It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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The Theological Aftermath of PSG: A Flood Narrative For Modern Times

"Twelve hundred years had not yet passed

When the land extended and the peoples multiplied.

...
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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, June 5

One of the primary aspects of many a religion is "theology" or the practice of studying and organizing the nature of the divine and other religious ideas. How then might theology be applied to Paganism? Or, as Gus diZerega asked recently, should it be applied at all? We take a look at theology and other forms of religious studies both within and outside of Paganism today, along with other stories. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle.

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Why Pagan theology is so unimportant among Pagans

When I first become a Pagan many years ago, I tried to find theological studies of What It All Meant within our literature.  I found many discussions of rituals, magick, and how Witches were correctives to patriarchy. But beyond some brief (and good) discussions in Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon and the Farrars' The Meaning of Witchcraft,  there was almost nothing on the underlying meaning of a Pagan reality.  As I learned more about the broad Pagan tradition I began exploring literature discussing African Diasporic and Native American Pagan religions. Here to, by monotheistic standards the pickings were remarkably thin.

In Brazil I learned most Pagan literature consisted of spell books and details about rituals.  Among the traditional Crow people in Montana, individuals had different interpretations of their practices’ deeper meaning and of the status of figures like Coyote, but no developed theology.  Within my own coven I learned my coven-mates had different beliefs about who the Gods were. Classical Pagan religious writing was rarely sectarian and the major one that could be so described, The Golden Ass, was more an adventure story than a treatise on the Gods.  Pagan cultures were not particularly peaceful, but I know of no adherents to a Pagan religion waging war on those of another for not worshiping the right Gods. Unlike the monotheisms, unity of belief didn’t seem very important in the Pagan world.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    Can you see the irony in the fact that you've defined Paganism as superlatively permissive, but then have marginalized an entire f
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Absolutely no irony here at all. None. Beginning in your first paragraph you distort my argument. I wrote Pagan religion is room
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I will add one more point about thinking theologically about our own experiences as a way to deepen them and perhaps improve on ou
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I also tried to "like" your comment Macha, but it doesn't work either. So thank you!
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks, Gus. I think I'll print this for the men in the San Quentin circle.

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