The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
October 23, 2020, 08:08:51 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2020, 08:08:51 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: How important is reconstruction?  (Read 33774 times)
Sylvan
Journeyman
***
Last Login:June 10, 2011, 08:37:24 am
United States United States

Religion: Currently reevaluating
Posts: 103


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #15: July 21, 2010, 11:32:44 am »

I think here it's important to draw the line between "reconstruction" and "replication".  We can't exactly replicate what the ancients did.  What we can do is use what information we have as a foundation on which to build (or construct, as it were) a modern religious practice.  Ideally that will include practices and beliefs that are as close in form as possible to their ancient counterparts.  It also means understanding why those things were done so that when necessary you can find a modern practice that is in the same spirit as the ancient one even if it doesn't take exactly the same form.

What you've articulated here is the main attraction that a reconstructionist approach has for me. But I have difficulty with the finding "a modern practice that is in the same spirit as the ancient one" part. My tendency is to get wrapped up in seeking out sources, history, etc. to the self-defeating extent of paralyzing my practice.

This has been a timely thread for me as I'm trying to balance out the role of a recon approach in my spiritual life.
Logged

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

UlsterYank
Master Member
****
Last Login:January 21, 2013, 02:18:03 pm
Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of

Religion: Traidisiúnachais Gaelach, Witchcraft, Thelema
TCN ID: UlsterYank
Posts: 292


Déan mar is Toil leat, a bheas mar iomlán an Dlí

Blog entries (0)

anmericeanach
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16: July 22, 2010, 11:08:45 am »

We can't exactly replicate what the ancients did.  What we can do is use what information we have as a foundation on which to build (or construct, as it were) a modern religious practice.  
I think that's important. Now what I don't agree with, is those that exclude modern elements of the culture they're trying to reconstruct.

For example to elaborate into a little rant on an off issue of where I'm coming from, the Irish didn't cease being Irish with the advent of Christianity. I was talking to to a CR whose reasons for not acknowledging the solstices, or equinoxes, is because there is no written accounts of ancient Gaels doing so. Fair enough if that's his choice, but also by that logic, there is very little concrete evidence at all regarding our pre-Christian festivals. There isn't any evidence suggesting Lughnasadh, or the festival of Tailtiu is a harvest festival, and not a seasonal coincidence, as anything else on the Roman influenced Coligny calender. All you run into is theories that owe much to vague mythic references, and Victorian folklorists with their romantic views of harvest gods. There's no concrete evidence indicating that Samhain is the beginning of the year, or even the oldest festival. Even the idea of the year even being divided in halves, sceptics can say is also a theory.

Now Meán Geimhreadh/Samhradh, lá leathach, grianstad, e.t.c all exist in the Irish language for the solstices and equinoxes, days that I've spent many coffee breaks discussing with my Irish teacher from Gort an Choirce over, who didn't start learning English until he was a teenager, ad can attest for all of the current lore and superstitions that still exists in the Gaeltacht around these days.(That I guarantee didn't originate with Roman Catholicism, most of them sound similar toi what you hear about Samhain) Besides that, there's Irish mythic references to the pre-Celtic megaliths built according to these days, and being tombs, there's also still many Irish funeral traditions centred around the setting sun.

Still, this particular recon doesn't acknowledge them because there's no PROOF that the Gaeltacht folk traditions are pre-Christian(although it's so obvious it'l bite you on the @ss), and there's no way to proove the words didn't make it into the language from "Germanic additions."

Now, anyone with a knowledgeable understanding of Irish can tell you most of the modern terms aren't loan words, and anyway, many Goídelc words were even influenced from contact with other cultures like the Greeks. In fact, it's believed the whole Irish belief about Tír na nÓg residing "out west" came from Continental Celtic contact with the Greeks at Massalia. Another thing I don't like to see in reconstructionism is the idea of cultures being "pure."  

When it gets to that stage, it comes off as ignorant for someone that doesn't live in Ireland, to tell those living there that their heritage isn't Irish. In taking what we know know, compared to what we don't, science is weird. Until there is concrete evidence of something, according to Science it doesn't exist. Which is GOOD for a LOT of things, but sometimes, it excludes common sense.  
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 11:10:53 am by UlsterYank » Logged

"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains" AL II:9
Casey
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 05, 2011, 12:30:47 am
United States United States

Religion: Heathen
Posts: 264


Grab a beer and celebrate day!

Blog entries (2)



Ignore
« Reply #17: July 27, 2010, 10:25:04 am »

How do you view the role of reconstruction in your religion (and I suppose non-Asatru people should feel free to answer too!)? Do you think it's important? What do you do in your own practice as reconstruction?

Honestly given the times reconstruction to me seems to be a moot point.  I can take the knowledge that I gain from research and practice it in a more modern sense, but reconstruction is impossible unless I decide to live my life as they did 1000(+) years ago.  A reinterpretation of the religion to fit with modern culture would make sense because given historical evidence that is exactly what was done in the past.
Logged

Hyacinth Belle
Moderator
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:December 03, 2011, 01:02:54 pm
United States United States

Religion: Heathen/Taoist
TCN ID: Hyacinth_Belle
Posts: 1217


Making my sun run...

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #18: July 27, 2010, 08:17:32 pm »

A reinterpretation of the religion to fit with modern culture ...
Isn't that essentially what reconstruction is? I know some people are more hardcore about the details than others, but either way you're reinterpreting research of the past and somehow fitting it into modern culture.

I guess regardless of how specific one wants to define "reconstruction," another question may be why resurrect a dead religion at all? (Dead as in, no longer practiced or having gone through a period it was not practiced.)
Logged

"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #19: July 28, 2010, 07:07:42 am »

I guess regardless of how specific one wants to define "reconstruction," another question may be why resurrect a dead religion at all? (Dead as in, no longer practiced or having gone through a period it was not practiced.)

::shrug::  Why not? 

I'm only half-joking here.  This is the form of religion that resonates with me; it's never occurred to me to need to justify it beyond that.
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:October 08, 2020, 10:47:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #20: July 28, 2010, 07:44:20 am »

I guess regardless of how specific one wants to define "reconstruction," another question may be why resurrect a dead religion at all? (Dead as in, no longer practiced or having gone through a period it was not practiced.)

Because it calls you? Because one or more deities associated with the religion want you to? Etc.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
Casey
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 05, 2011, 12:30:47 am
United States United States

Religion: Heathen
Posts: 264


Grab a beer and celebrate day!

Blog entries (2)



Ignore
« Reply #21: July 28, 2010, 08:49:53 am »

Isn't that essentially what reconstruction is? I know some people are more hardcore about the details than others, but either way you're reinterpreting research of the past and somehow fitting it into modern culture.

I guess regardless of how specific one wants to define "reconstruction," another question may be why resurrect a dead religion at all? (Dead as in, no longer practiced or having gone through a period it was not practiced.)

On the first part call me jaded on the term reconstruction due to past run ins with what I would term as "extremists" for reconstruction.  Otherwise I think we are on the same train of thought unless I am mistaken.

As for the second part, I agree with Randall that it calls you. 
Logged

Hyacinth Belle
Moderator
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:December 03, 2011, 01:02:54 pm
United States United States

Religion: Heathen/Taoist
TCN ID: Hyacinth_Belle
Posts: 1217


Making my sun run...

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #22: July 28, 2010, 06:51:54 pm »

::shrug::  Why not? 

I'm only half-joking here.  This is the form of religion that resonates with me; it's never occurred to me to need to justify it beyond that.
lol. Yeah, I agree with you and everyone else. I find it a bit of a curious phenomenon, however... I guess there's just nothing appealing in "modern" or living religions. haha.
Logged

"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
catja6
Board Staff
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:July 10, 2020, 02:41:46 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Posts: 1119


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #23: July 28, 2010, 07:05:16 pm »

lol. Yeah, I agree with you and everyone else. I find it a bit of a curious phenomenon, however... I guess there's just nothing appealing in "modern" or living religions. haha.

This is not exactly new.  Throughout history, there have always been people fascinated with and wanting to revive past religions.  There have *always* been religious revivals that owed a great deal to fantasies of the past.  Sometimes it takes the form of "we need to return to the purer faith of our forefathers" (which is often an attempt to reform an existing religion); but there is also plenty of precedent for the revival of "dead" religions.  There were Etruscan nuts in ancient Rome, a lot of the Renaissance artists and philosophers were sympathetic to classical Paganism, the 18th-century phil-Hellenes loved ancient Greece, the Romantics revived interest in non-classical European mythologies, etc., etc., etc.  Nostalgia for an imagined past religion is very, very well attested.   
Logged
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #24: July 29, 2010, 07:02:40 am »

I guess there's just nothing appealing in "modern" or living religions. haha.

There's plenty of appeal in those religions, and they have many followers.  They just aren't the best fit for me.  ::shrug::
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
Hyacinth Belle
Moderator
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:December 03, 2011, 01:02:54 pm
United States United States

Religion: Heathen/Taoist
TCN ID: Hyacinth_Belle
Posts: 1217


Making my sun run...

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #25: July 29, 2010, 06:59:18 pm »

There's plenty of appeal in those religions, and they have many followers.  They just aren't the best fit for me.  ::shrug::
I agree... healthy dose of sarcasm in the part you quoted from me!
Logged

"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #26: July 29, 2010, 08:10:25 pm »

I agree... healthy dose of sarcasm in the part you quoted from me!

Whoops--sorry about that, then.  My sarcasm detector has been on the fritz lately.  Sad
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
Hyacinth Belle
Moderator
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:December 03, 2011, 01:02:54 pm
United States United States

Religion: Heathen/Taoist
TCN ID: Hyacinth_Belle
Posts: 1217


Making my sun run...

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #27: July 30, 2010, 09:28:22 pm »

Whoops--sorry about that, then.  My sarcasm detector has been on the fritz lately.  Sad
Nah, I get it... and if someone didn't "know" me here, they might think I was being serious too!
Logged

"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #28: August 01, 2010, 12:38:43 am »

I've said this before, but I think there's a huge difference betwen reconstruction as a methodology -- privileging academic sources to recreate a reasonably historically accurate religious experience -- and what can be called the Reconstructionist Belief Community.  The methodology I have no trouble with whatsoever; the RBC, however, is another matter entirely.

Do you think that, for the purposes of religion, reconstructionist methodology will tend to lead towards RBC? Can a meaningful spirituality be maintained if you acknowledge that your practices are always provisional (and provisional upon the works of some academic non-believers, at that...)?
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
American Asatruar
Senior Newbie
*
Last Login:April 30, 2011, 08:58:36 am
United States United States

Religion: asatru
Posts: 9

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #29: September 04, 2010, 07:23:16 pm »

A difficult question. Total reconstruction I think is nigh impossible, but does that mean that it isn't worth the effort to try and get it as close as possible, I think it is. Trying to base ones practices on the available sources is a fairly sensible means of going about it I think. Trying to understand the world view of a given culture from within its own cultural context is something historians and anthropologists have been doing for centuries, so again while it may be difficult, and not wholly correct, getting as close as possible is a laudable goal, imho.

I'm more interested in the mindset of the era and the ideas behind it than proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was done in Iceland in 800AD.  On the other hand, you can't approach it willy nilly and do whatever you like.  Rituals came in a context, and while I think times have changed, you have to take the past into account.
Logged

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Why is it important? « 1 2 »
Pagan Religions
LyricFox 20 8211 Last post November 08, 2007, 06:43:12 pm
by Oaksworn
How 'important' is your deity? « 1 2 3 »
Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology
Tana 41 12528 Last post June 06, 2009, 10:21:52 am
by Ravenari
A most important question « 1 2 3 »
Social Discussion Boards
Ghost 41 14352 Last post October 06, 2009, 08:44:18 am
by SilentEcho
The Foundation of Kemetic Reconstruction
Reformed Kemeticism SIG
knight77 6 6185 Last post February 12, 2010, 04:29:44 pm
by WebenBanu
How important is history? « 1 2 3 4 »
Pagan Religions
Ashwren Windintree 56 23095 Last post June 10, 2010, 10:06:49 pm
by alexis
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.063 seconds with 50 queries.