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modern paganism
08-09-2013, 01:21 PM
Post: #1
modern paganism
It seems too quiet on the pagan front. Any ideas as to when modern paganism began and any of the people, events, or writings suggesting the beginning of modern paganism?
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08-09-2013, 05:25 PM
Post: #2
RE: modern paganism
I'm not really religious anymore, but I used to be an Orphic (a sect of ancient greek religion) and in my experience most think modern "paganism" is simpley a continuation of the old religion. Just my nastalgic two cents.

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08-09-2013, 05:40 PM
Post: #3
RE: modern paganism
They're not continuations, they're reconstructions. How effectively and validly they've been "reconstructed" is open to debate, but the fact that pre-Christian European religions were wiped out and survived only as isolated and heavily Christianised fragments isn't.
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08-09-2013, 05:55 PM
Post: #4
RE: modern paganism
Well when I was a theist I chose Orphism because they had documented lineages of teachers going back to the 1800's at least. Whether or not it was longer, like they claim, I can't attest to. But it isn't any modern reconstruction, if it's a reconstruction at all.

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08-09-2013, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 06:42 PM by Painkiller.)
Post: #5
RE: modern paganism
Back to the 1800s? If you're claiming to be a survival of pre-Christian Greek traditions, that's obviously nowhere near long enough. It's also, I'm sorry to say, very much "modern" in religious terms.

I respect that they claim a direct link to the Ancient Greek religion, just as Muslims claim a direct link to the ancient religion of God worshipped long before Islam started - for all I know both may be right, but they can offer nothing to support those claims but belief. Certainly from the available historical and sociological evidence the Ancient Greek faith was very effectively wiped out, with only mythological accounts and Christianised traditions surviving. Even if "teachers" did survive that extermination and keep the faith going for two millennia by teaching it underground, it's not unreasonable to suggest that what we've got now will have changed dramatically from what the Greeks worshipped.
That's not a criticism of your former faith, by the way, any more than I'm criticising Christianity when I say that the Gospels aren't eye-witness accounts of Christ. It's a totally valid religious position to hold, and it can make any faith-claims it wants about itself, but from a verifiable historical perspective, it's a reconstruction or abstraction.
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08-09-2013, 06:48 PM
Post: #6
RE: modern paganism
Oh, I didn't really care if it was a criticism. I only commented out of nastalgia, other than that and some occasional contact with my former teacher I really have no connection to it. Without criticism nothing grows anyway. Without criticism (positive, I should add) id probably be an Orphic initiate right now. As it is I'm not and I think it is probably better I'm not. There's nothing iinherently wrong with it but looking back I put too much faith in it without the proof.

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08-09-2013, 10:37 PM
Post: #7
RE: modern paganism
I read about the concept of the old religion. From what I understand it incorporated fertility rites with what myths had been preserved from Greece, Roman, Briton, Germany, and Egypt. There was also the influence of the Freemasons with their interest in mystical knowledge and rituals. There was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with members like Samuel Mathers. Margaret Murray who specialized in Egyptology wrote about the pagan religion but she based many of her ideas on that was written during the witch trials where people were force to confess what the church wanted them to say. The old religion was a sort of universal pagan faith that apparently never existed in the form it was written. From what I have learned is seems that modern paganism began at the time of Gerald Gardner. I did not know if anyone else agrees with this or knows something else about when modern paganism started.
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