The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
January 19, 2021, 10:46:34 pm *
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.
January 19, 2021, 10:46:34 pm

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   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Special Discussion: Nature and Pagan Religions  (Read 22891 times)
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 #11: May 14, 2008, 04:15:37 pm »

Sadly, there doesn't even seem to be a good and generally accepted definition of "nature-based" within the broader community of Pagan religions. What does it take to rationally and meaningfully classify a religion as "nature-based"? I've seen everything from "has to worship nature as the religion's deity to be nature-based" to "having one nature/agricultural festival out of one hundred that aren't and the religion is nature-based." This lack of a compromise definition that most Pagans AND most Pagan religions can accept is probably why these discussions so often turn nasty.

*nods*  Yeah.  As we talked about in the other thread, SO MANY of the definitions wind up either including all religions that existed before the Industrial Revolution, or excluding almost all religions. 

And the thing is, most of those type of definitions are NOT based on observation and comparison of actual belief systems, but on the desire to push an ideology:  the "it has one agricultural festival, therefore it's nature-based" sorts usually want some kind of "pagan unity" (tm).  The ones pushing "you worship nature, we worship the GODS" sorts are usually motivated by "WE'RE NOT WICCANS, because Wiccans suck."  Neither of those definitions has *anything* useful to say about what being "nature-based" can mean.

For myself, I think that "nature-based" is best understood as when the idea of nature (however "nature" is conceptualized) is understood as a central organizing principle of the religion -- to the point that if you chopped out all references to nature, you could not practice the religion in a recognizable way.  That's it.  No commentary on specific forms of worship, or how one conceptualizes the gods, or whatever -- there's tons of different possibilities.  And moreover, I think it's more of a continuum than an absolute category.

Like, Wicca* without its festival cycle devoted to the changing seasons and the harvest, deities explicitly figured as intimately connected to the natural world, and overall language and imagery, would be... pretty much completely gutted.  Whereas a Greek Recon/Hellenic Pagan devoted to Athena following the Athenian civic festival calendar would not lose too much beyond some imagery and a festival or two -- you could still recognize it.  One devoted to Demeter, though, would be flailing.  This is where the continuum comes in -- even if a religion as a whole skews toward the "nature-based" or "non-nature-based" end, individual practices can fall at various points.  How close is the idea of "nature" to the heart of the religious practice?  The closer it is, the closer to the "nature-based" endpoint.

IOW, we need a definition that is based upon, you know, real-world beliefs and practices, not fantasies of unity or desires to exclude people we don't like.   



*Not a Wiccan, but have studied it fairly extensively, from both an Ecletic NeoWiccan practitioner's perspective and a scholarly perspective.  *g*   
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?

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   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 0.056 seconds with 36 queries.