Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 16, 2013

For your delectation…

Today is a secular holiday in the U.S., and while I will be occupied for much of it, I would suggest that you have a look at the blog Eros is Eros is Eros, by Julian Betkowski. I shall be adding it to my blogroll immediately!

While I haven’t read the entirety of what is there yet, I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read thus far, and I think he’s got some really good ideas to pursue further. Among the various recent posts that may be of particular interest include:

Why Theology is Important, which responds to some discussions between Teo Bishop and Galina Krasskova, and suggests some interesting angles of the utility and necessity for a non-praxis-based theological approach for modern pagans…

A Call for Pagan Theologians, which does more of the same…

Strange Permutations and the Need for Religious Discourse, which brings a further fascinating angle to the recent arguments amongst polytheists and non-polytheists, and puts it down to a very important and useful (and perhaps obvious and thus overlooked) matter: psychology, atheism, popular culture, and other such things are not religion, and thus aren’t relevant to paganism as a religion…

And, much more besides! (Including an interesting take on PantheaCon, which has me all kinds of curious about several things…!) So, go have a look!


Responses

  1. Great blog, thanks for introducing me to it!

    • Glad you like it! I wish I would have known of his work earlier…Sannion did link to him a while back as a “blog he likes to read,” but of course I didn’t have the time to check all of those out in any detail…

  2. I’m intrigued by your comment that ” psychology, atheism, popular culture, and other such things are not religion, and thus aren’t relevant to paganism as a religion…” and I think I must have misunderstood what you mean.

    I think all kinds of things that aren’t religion are relevant to religion. Music, art, social movements, science, politics, changing social mores, etc. All of these things can change a religion by changing the people who practice that religion. Thus, it is relevant. Don’t you think?

    Awesome blog, thanks for sharing, I added it to my regular reads.

    • Did you read what Julian wrote? I was summarizing his viewpoint, as I understood it…

      Of course, religion can be influenced by a lot of things, and it can also influence how one does absolutely anything and everything, potentially. (This is the place where too many Western people don’t understand religion’s role; when there is a religion that has a pervasive influence on any/all life activities, they often say “It’s not really a religion, it’s a way of life,” which is often code for “It has no delineated sacred texts,” but nonetheless fails to recognize that every religion suggests and is best exercised as a way of life, and not just something that gets labeled as “religion” and put into a box of specific activities for a few hours on Sunday. But anyway…!?!) That’s not the issue at stake here.

      However, that such influences can and do occur doesn’t change the fact that, for example, studying the history of algebra isn’t actually religion, and doesn’t have religious aims as its point. I think Julian is understanding “religion” and “religious aims” there as things which only religion does and can do, e.g. worship of deities, developing relationships with deities, creating frameworks in which to understand one’s deities and one’s relationships to them, etc.; and, I agree with that 100%. Neither atheism (because it has no deities, and in general refuses to acknowledge itself as a religion, despite religious studies scholars’ classifying it as one with as many beliefs and myths as almost any other religion, and often ones that are more binding and less negotiable), nor psychology (which is about the functioning of the human mind and personality, not about gods, theology, or religious practice), nor popular culture, are religion. The difficulty in a great deal of the modern pagan mess around many of these issues over the last few weeks and months is that too many people who like popular culture or psychology or atheism have then seen those things to be the same as religion, when in reality that’s like saying that one should use the sewer system and the water grid in one’s city as one’s preferred mode of transportation for international travel. Yes, that might be possible, but it’s not what the sewer system and the water grid were made to do. Whether Jung was a theist or not, and whether one likes his use of mythological narratives and deities as archetypes and likening them to dreams and so forth in the minds of individual people, does not change the fact that Jung was writing psychology, not religion. Sure, it is possible to take Jung’s work and employ it in a religious framework, or interpret religion through such a framework, but then one is doing interpretation, not religion. Too many people seem to have mistaken Jung’s actual work for religion, and for his theories on some of his work to be theologies, and that’s not what they are, nor what they were intended to be. It’s an insight that has not been lost on polytheists recently, but which many non-polytheists have seemed to have a great deal of difficulty understanding.

      • Thank you for expanding upon the statement!


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