The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
July 28, 2021, 12:38:37 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.
July 28, 2021, 12:38:37 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]   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: "Bring back the Greek gods"  (Read 4364 times)
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Topic Start: October 27, 2007, 12:37:38 pm »

The L.A. Times had an op-ed article on Oct. 23rd from Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, professor emerita at Wellesley College. In it, she argues for a return to polytheism, but her reasons are some I haven't seen often discussed in quite that way.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-lefkowitz23oct23,0,7722137.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

(I went to Wellesley, and did take a class with her - one of the ones she's best known for, "Women's Lives in Greece and Rome". My take on some of the article is that I'm not entirely sure I agree with all her interpretations, but I like the making-me-think parts.)

Found via http://wildhunt.org/blog.html
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 12:39:24 pm by Jenett, Reason: Forgot to put the link in! » Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books

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?

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #1: October 27, 2007, 01:04:31 pm »

The L.A. Times had an op-ed article on Oct. 23rd from Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, professor emerita at Wellesley College. In it, she argues for a return to polytheism, but her reasons are some I haven't seen often discussed in quite that way.


Definitely thought-provoking. I agreed with a lot, was more skeptical of other claims (particularly the idea that polytheism encourages more philosophical and scientific inquiry; there are plenty of Muslim, Hebrew, and Christian scholars to disprove that).

I think of religion as the operating system for the human mind: We all get essentially the same raw data, but we make sense of it in very different ways. As Lefkowitz suggests, polytheistic "operating systems" have a lot of advantages in today's world, which is probably why I'm a polytheist (albeit a very "soft" one).

What's most interesting to me is that we humans seem to need an operating system in the first place. We seem to need to put a story to the world around us and our own lives. It may very well be a fundamental aspect of being human.
Logged

RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:October 30, 2020, 08:18:05 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #2: October 27, 2007, 06:28:39 pm »

The L.A. Times had an op-ed article on Oct. 23rd from Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, professor emerita at Wellesley College. In it, she argues for a return to polytheism, but her reasons are some I haven't seen often discussed in quite that way.

It's definitely an article to make one think, but I disagree with some of what she says. Especially the idea that polytheism encourages more philosophical and scientific inquiry. A large number of monotheist philosophers and scientists take something away from that position. This many be another case of confusing monotheism as a whole with its more conservative and authoritarian forms.
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
WarHorse
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 04, 2012, 06:05:14 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pantheist
Posts: 2994


The little tyke.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3: October 27, 2007, 08:25:23 pm »

We seem to need to put a story to the world around us and our own lives. It may very well be a fundamental aspect of being human.

That's what I'm on about, mate.  Look at the Sumerians, Egyptians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans - their Pantheons are giant soap operas!  Greed, incest, murder - it's all there.  These rapacious gods were created for the amusement of humans, and we today are stuck with them.

It's like having Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake for gods.

Lips sealed

Logged

"I've seen knights in armor panic at the first hint of battle.  And I've seen the lowliest unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body to defend a dying horse." - Kevin Costner as Robin of Loxley, Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves.
Aetius
Master Member
****
Last Login:August 09, 2009, 09:41:56 pm
United States United States

Religion: Hellenismos
Posts: 509


Hellenic Polytheist Revivalist

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #4: October 27, 2007, 10:20:41 pm »

The L.A. Times had an op-ed article on Oct. 23rd from Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, professor emerita at Wellesley College. In it, she argues for a return to polytheism, but her reasons are some I haven't seen often discussed in quite that way.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-lefkowitz23oct23,0,7722137.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

(I went to Wellesley, and did take a class with her - one of the ones she's best known for, "Women's Lives in Greece and Rome". My take on some of the article is that I'm not entirely sure I agree with all her interpretations, but I like the making-me-think parts.)

Found via http://wildhunt.org/blog.html


I loved that article! Thanks! I agree with some of the criticisms voiced by others here, with the caveat that deity myths can convey symbolic truths about the Gods while still (on the surface) being entertaining stories. Sallustius talks about this in some detail.
Logged

Too bad the Gods can't save me from my own stupidity.
Celtee
Staff
High Adept Member
***
Last Login:May 02, 2013, 06:50:08 pm
United States United States

Religion: Wandering Seeker with Celtic and Hedgewitch leanings
TCN ID: SilverWolf
Posts: 4773


The lone wolf waits...

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #5: October 27, 2007, 11:07:49 pm »

It's like having Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake for gods.

You mean they're not?  Shocked Shocked
Logged

"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
Finn
High Adept Member
******
*
Last Login:December 22, 2013, 02:30:14 pm
United States United States

Religion: An Seanchas Fior
TCN ID: Finn
Posts: 2754


The world is quiet here.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6: October 28, 2007, 12:01:57 am »

We seem to need to put a story to the world around us and our own lives. It may very well be a fundamental aspect of being human.

And that is what my path is all about.  Grin

I bookmarked the article, which is something I don't do everyday. Very interesting indeed.
Logged

Fight evil: read books.

My Spiritual Blog: An Seanchas Fior
My Personal Blog: An Seanchas Finn
Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #7: October 28, 2007, 01:18:06 am »

there are plenty of Muslim, Hebrew, and Christian scholars to disprove that

A Hebrew scholar is someone who studies the language Hebrew. I should have said "Jewish scholars".

Please excuse momentary brain mutation.
Logged

NightPhoenix
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:September 30, 2008, 10:28:13 am
United States United States

Religion: Christian (Eastern Orthodox)
Posts: 43


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #8: October 28, 2007, 11:59:40 am »

The L.A. Times had an op-ed article on Oct. 23rd from Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, professor emerita at Wellesley College. In it, she argues for a return to polytheism, but her reasons are some I haven't seen often discussed in quite that way.

I'm totally unfamiliar with her work etc...but I can't help but wonder exactly what is she a professor of?  Shocked It could simply be the way the article is written and quoted out of context of a larger world view she has, but from simply reading that article she seems lacking in knowledge about pretty much all the religions of late antiquity, including monotheism. She forgets to mention that a large portion (though maybe not the majority) of the greek philosophers had long given up on hard polytheism as truth, and they were  influenced by Hellenistic cultures, religions etc... That's one reason the Jesus movement was able to "take off" as it were so easily, because many people no longer really accepted hard polytheism.

The article says:

Quote
Unlike the monotheistic traditions, Greco-Roman polytheism was multicultural.

This one statement....ughh......it's simply so inaccurate from a historical perspective...that is if she is even talking about ancient Christianity at all. She seems to be talking modern American Evangelical Christianity which is something very different...if that's what she's talking about, then I would definitely agree with her!  Cheesy



Quote
The Greeks and Romans did not share the narrow view of the ancient Hebrews that a divinity could only be masculine.

She's going to have a tough time explaining the wisdom tradition of  2nd Temple Judaism with this understanding! Smiley (of which christians inherited and developed even further)

Quote
Similarly, when Christians denied the existence of any gods other than their own, the Romans suspected political or seditious motives and persecuted them as enemies of the state.

Didn't she start the article out by saying polytheists did NOT kill people for having different beliefs? Now she admits they did? True, it was largely for political reasons, but I just find it odd the way she argues the point, thats all.


I'm actually probably being a little too hard on this article because admittedly it is out of a broader context which I'm sure makes more sense. But she really doesn't show much knowledge about monotheism of the period she's talking about...rather it seems she is seeing "Christianity" as the Evangelical American kind (and of a specific genre of even that) rather than studying what Christians of THAT time actually wrote and believed.

Granted I understand her frustrations, I imagine everyone her does as well. But she takes a very "Elaine Pagels" view of the ancient world, which needless to say, isn't very accurate. (a sort of fuzzy, fluffy bunny view of ancient paganism) She does have some good arguments, but they are mostly philosophical, and while they certainly make sense to her, and perhaps others, from an historical perspective they are, at least in my opinion, quite weak.





Logged
catja6
Board Staff
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:November 28, 2020, 08:41:38 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Posts: 1119


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #9: October 28, 2007, 12:15:32 pm »



She's a classics scholar, a very well-known one.  But the op-ed page of the LA Times is not exactly the venue for a delicate, nuanced representation of all things ancient.  She's writing a polemic, not a scholarly article.
Logged
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10: October 28, 2007, 12:55:25 pm »

I'm totally unfamiliar with her work etc...but I can't help but wonder exactly what is she a professor of? 

As Catja said, a classics professor (now retired: that's the emetria part. I believe she retired within the last 2-3 years.) Classes she regularly taught included mythology, and "Women's Lives in Greece and Rome" (which is the one I took with her, and one of the two topics she's best known for, the other being the discussion of Black Athena (which is a whole controversy in and of itself.)

She's far better at earlier Greek and Roman work - pre-Christianity, which isn't surprising, because that was the standard focus for classicists at the time. (My father, a specialist in Greek theatre, was the same way: early Christian history was a totally different major/topic of focus when he was educated and there wasn't a lot of cross-over between the two, because it was a totally different set of courses, professors, etc.)

And, as Catja says, the place she's writing is not designed for either long discussion, or extensive nuance.
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:October 30, 2020, 08:18:05 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #11: October 28, 2007, 06:27:28 pm »

She forgets to mention that a large portion (though maybe not the majority) of the greek philosophers had long given up on hard polytheism as truth, and they were  influenced by Hellenistic cultures, religions etc...

The Greek philosophers were not really representative of the average Greek as far as beliefs are concerned.

Quote
This one statement....ughh......it's simply so inaccurate from a historical perspective...that is if she is even talking about ancient Christianity at all. She seems to be talking modern American Evangelical Christianity which is something very different...if that's what she's talking about, then I would definitely agree with her!  Cheesy

Unfortunately, the normal Christians in the US have allowed the Fundies to co-opt the word "Christian." Like it or not when the average person thing of Christian beliefs, they think of those of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, etc. as these voices have been loudly defining what "true Christians must believe" for the past 20+ years. Sad
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
NightPhoenix
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:September 30, 2008, 10:28:13 am
United States United States

Religion: Christian (Eastern Orthodox)
Posts: 43


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #12: October 29, 2007, 01:12:40 pm »

She's far better at earlier Greek and Roman work - pre-Christianity, which isn't surprising, because that was the standard focus for classicists at the time.

Thanks! Like I said, I really had no clue about her. I still think for someone to make an argument against monotheism they should know something about it. It's like the Evangelical right wingers who argue against paganism without having the slightest idea what pagans actually believe. I think the article would better suit itself by simply arguing FOR paganism, rather than against monotheism, but maybe I'm just splitting hairs.







Logged
NightPhoenix
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:September 30, 2008, 10:28:13 am
United States United States

Religion: Christian (Eastern Orthodox)
Posts: 43


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #13: October 29, 2007, 01:22:10 pm »

The Greek philosophers were not really representative of the average Greek as far as beliefs are concerned.

That's true. I guess just objected to the "pagelization" of history... Wink big bad evil monotheism took away the fuzzy warmth of ancient paganism feeling I got from the piece. But like others said, the article is so short, she deserves the benefit of the doubt, because so much is left out.


Quote

Like it or not when the average person thing of Christian beliefs, they think of those of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, etc. as these voices have been loudly defining what "true Christians must believe" for the past 20+ years. Sad


I know it! And in that regard I don't blame anyone for hating "christianity", just when I see she's a professor I expect more, and so I was disappointed with the piece. But some interesting thoughts in there none the less.


Logged

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

Tags:
Pages: [1]   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)


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 0.075 seconds with 49 queries.