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Author Topic: Which Pagan religions are NOT nature-earth based?  (Read 20193 times)
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« Reply #14: May 01, 2008, 03:08:23 pm »

I can promise you a lot of it is borne out of frustration. I've gotten so sick of that one topic that my knee jerks automatically when someone comes up with it.

*nods*  Yeah.  Like you and Star, I've certainly been guilty of it myself.  But I'm getting to the point where I find it equally frustrating when the kneejerk "WE'RE NOT WICCANS!" overrides scholarship, accurate reporting, and common sense.  Not that this really happens here, but it seems to be fairly common on Recon boards.  It's so, so important to say, as often as necessary (and god, that's OFTEN), that we AREN'T Wiccans; but that shouldn't lead to denial of the scholarship about our own religions, or mischaracterizations of Wicca.

Back to nature-based, I think it might be best to think of it as kind of a continuum -- I love the continuum, man.  Smiley  Like, imagine a survey, where the question is, "How important is the concept of nature (connection to the natural world, the seasonal cycle, reverence for the earth, fertility, etc., etc., etc.) within your religion?"  If you check "Very important" or "Important," that's nature-based.  If you check "somewhat important," "Less important," or "Not important," non-nature-based.  I think this also allows for an understanding of nature-y paths within religions that aren't overall, nature-based.  Like I mentioned earlier, I would imagine that someone who is devoted to Demeter would rate nature as more important within their religious practice than someone devoted to, say, Athena. 

That leads to what I think is the crucial question to be asked, when defining "nature-based":  is it possible to downplay the idea of nature within the religion, and still be recognizably practicing the religion?  If you ignore or downplay nature within Wicca, you completely gut it -- you lose the entire logic of the festival cycle, at the *very* least.  Whereas you can have little-to-no space for nature within your religious practice and still be a Greek Recon, depending on who and what you're focusing upon.  How big and important a chunk would it take from your religion if you chopped out the concept of nature?       

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