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Natural or mythical theology
07-12-2013, 10:47 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2013 10:48 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #1
Natural or mythical theology
I think from my exposure most Pagans are on the natural theology side? I'm not sure if that's correct to say.

I think natural theology means theology based on reason and natural experience, while mythical theology is revealed supernaturally by inspiration or revelation and then recorded in anecdote. Some say the myths themselves are natural theology though. Other polytheists (both historically and presently) say there really are supernatural forces that reveal knowledge in some way through priests or prophets, etc.

Which are you in favor of, what are your thoughts on the other, and why do you believe what you do?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_theology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythical_theology
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07-13-2013, 12:36 AM
Post: #2
RE: Natural or mythical theology
(07-12-2013 10:47 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  I think from my exposure most Pagans are on the natural theology side?

It varies.

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07-13-2013, 12:44 AM
Post: #3
RE: Natural or mythical theology
I'm not sure I understand the question. I am pagan due to personal religious experience, however you want to categorise that.
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07-13-2013, 12:47 AM
Post: #4
RE: Natural or mythical theology
Natural theology is basically taking theological beliefs as they come, unreliable on writings, mythology, etc. Mythological theology is basing beliefs off written accounts such as the bible or various myths. The thing is it's not black-and-white one-or-the-other with Paganism.

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07-13-2013, 12:52 AM
Post: #5
RE: Natural or mythical theology
(07-13-2013 12:47 AM)Satyros Wrote:  Natural theology is basically taking theological beliefs as they come, unreliable on writings, mythology, etc. Mythological theology is basing beliefs off written accounts such as the bible or various myths. The thing is it's not black-and-white one-or-the-other with Paganism.

Ah, then yes, it varies very much so. It's impossible to say which is the 'majority.'
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07-13-2013, 02:32 AM
Post: #6
RE: Natural or mythical theology
Ah, thanks for the responses guys.

I imagine one of the two may be more influential in how one interprets his religious attitudes and behaviors and beliefs though? And of course there can be people who feel both equally contribute. I'd like to hear about how you guys work with both, in the case that you do.
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07-13-2013, 07:00 AM
Post: #7
RE: Natural or mythical theology
(07-13-2013 02:32 AM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Ah, thanks for the responses guys.

I imagine one of the two may be more influential in how one interprets his religious attitudes and behaviors and beliefs though? And of course there can be people who feel both equally contribute. I'd like to hear about how you guys work with both, in the case that you do.

I answered this on my blog because it felt really personal and I didn't want to clog up your thread. It's post #8 "My Personal Path" Smile
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07-16-2013, 07:43 PM
Post: #8
RE: Natural or mythical theology
GRP is based largely on the mythic accounts, but these are not revealed mythologies in the same vein as the Abrahamic traditions. The definition provided above for "mythical theologies" being the territory of the poets, fits the Gaelic model well. The filid (poets) are often understood to have a sacral function, which was enhanced with the coming of Christianity and the subsuming of that aspect from the Draoi (or Druids).

Having said that, there is certainly an experiential component as well, as most are drawn to GRP through personal experiences. It's just that the mythic literature plays a central role in the understanding of the gods, providing that a number of caveats are adheared to, which (while not unique to the Gaelic cultures) prevent any sort of literalism in their interpretation.

Generally the naturalistic elements are based on local geography as opposed to the mythic accounts, albeit folklore plays a more central function in this case. Its hard for one to venerate a river which exists in a specific location, whereas a deity associated with smithcraft is a bit more "portable", so to speak. As such, cultural models are utilized to foster the same sort of relationships with ones local biosphere.

We are lightning, straying from the thunder; miracles of ancient wonder.
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