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Author Topic: Which Pagan religions are NOT nature-earth based?  (Read 25201 times)
catja6
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« Reply #37: May 05, 2008, 05:04:16 pm »

Very counterproductive - when the non-nature-based cite a definition of nature-based that excludes a lot of folks who do identify as nature-based, the result is that both non-NB and many NB wind up on the same side of the hypothetical "line".  That's either going to annoy the heck out of self-identified NB types by implying that they're mistaken in their identification, or it's going to raise the question of how the non-NB-identifying person is less NB than those who identify as NB.

Granted, a lot of the time, such definitions are coming from the Unity Freaks, not from the Recons - but it irks me when such definitions get accepted for the purposes of the debate.

Sunflower

Dude, yes.  Telling other people what their religious beliefs are is really problematic, period.  We usually do see from the "Unity Freaks," and the fact that there are a lot more of them than the other side, can make it seem really overwhelming.  But, y'know, it's still a problem when Recon sorts do it -- and, in some ways, even *more* problematic, because Recons claim to be so much about accurate information.  How sincere can the commitment to scholarship be if you're perfectly happy to go around mischaracterizing others' belief systems to suit your own political ends? 

Recons are definitely a minority in the Pagan community as a whole, and therefore it is imperative to stand up and be counted, and to refuse to let the Unity sorts control the definitions of what it means to be Pagan.  But it's also important to recognize that not *all* the resistance to Recon definitions is because non-Recons are stoooopid and want to tell Recons what they believe:  Recons are certainly NOT immune to "Your beliefs, let me tell you them," and promulgate idiocies like "We worship the GODS, you just worship nature."

How the concept of "nature" works in religion is really interesting; my university has a "Religion and Nature" graduate program, and they study how nature functions in a variety of religions, whether the religion can be classed as "nature-based" or not.  And actually, that's why I think it's *so* important to come up with a good, workable definition of "nature-based," so that we can really understand the myriad ways in which nature can work in religion.  Right now in the Pagan community, all anyone does is scream "WE'RE ALL NATURE BASED!"  "NO WE'RE NOT!  WE WORSHIP THE GODS, AND YOU DON'T!"  But no one ever really talks about what "nature-based" *means*, or can mean:  everybody's so busy classifying their and other people's religions as "nature-based" or "not nature based" -- usually at the top of their lungs -- that nobody really pokes at the definition itself.  When you manage to drag an actual definition out of somebody, more often then not it's so vague that it either includes ("concerned with the harvest cycle") or excludes ("worships nature, not gods") just about every religion under the sun. 

As someone mentioned earlier, I think TC would actually be a great place to have this discussion, as we have a much higher ratio of folks who classify themselves as "not nature based" than other boards, which would mean that the usual "Paganism=nature-based" definition wouldn't override the actual discussion.  As long as we can keep it from swinging too far in the other direction (and us more Recon types can control our kneejerks Cheesy), it would be awesome.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 05:06:34 pm by catja6, Reason: wonky punctuation » Logged

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