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Paganism and Tradition

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Spadekevin Post number 24599 Posted: 26th June 2018     Subject: Paganism and Tradition
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This question is directed primarily at those who are converts/adoptees of the worship of European pantheons. Given that prior to their displacement by Christianity, those things that pertained to the worship, ritual observance, etc. of a peoples' gods were passed down within select families, castes, or apprenticeship traditions (sometimes all three). And given that interloping where one was not properly innitiated into the tradition invovled the censure of the trbe... and presumably of the gods what does that mean for those seeking to recreate that worship as a matter of personal initiative.
I have read critiques by Buddhists who belong to an established tradition of those who merely adopt Buddhist beleifs and rituals without submission to one of the Buddhist schools and having a spiritual master one is responsible too. Similarly I've encountered comments from traditioanal practicioners of the Hindu relgion that speak in uncomplementary ways of ad hoc paganism for the reasons given above. They find make it up or remake it up as you go faith of any sort a bit of a modernist nonsequiter. It has no actual root. This is the same assessment I have seen of Protestantism from the perspective of the ancient liturgical traditions. Such worship is more rooted in personal preference than submission to the ancient tradition.
Is this a problem for neo-pagan's and how do they address the historical disconnect and loss of the historical tradition of their adopted religion's priesthood and worship culture. Is there a sense that the mindset of some neopagan groups is similar to the create your own church end of modern protestantism? Or is it a kind of Noahidic style... do the best you can at what is left at the level of personal piety, but not it's more formal and historical cultic institutions?

Any help will be apprecited.

I didn't find the right solution from the Internet.

https://absolutewrite.c ... nd-Tradition
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Thank you.
Ursus Post number 24788 Posted: 30th July 2018     Subject: Re: Paganism and Tradition
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I can't speak for all pagans, and honestly no one can. I think that's a key flaw in how you are approaching the question. I would guess that the majority of the reconstructed European faiths/religions/traditions (those which try to reconstruct a pre-Christian religion as close as possible to the historical religion) have no formal central authority or institution. Even at a local level, it's generally only an administrative organisation and social group. Among many groups (I don't know if it's a majority though) the "priesthood" as you put it, is simply a logistical role and it may rotate among group members based simply on who has free time. There is also a vast amount of variations between groups of practitioners (of the same or similar religions) and even among practitioners within a group in regards to beliefs and practices. We know from historical and archaeological records that this was also the situation in the past. Some groups are more open about who they will accept within their group or who they will acknowledge as a member of the religion. Some are not so inclusive. Some groups claim to have existed for thousands of year, having simply been less open about their existence and activities during times in the past when they would have been persecuted. These groups frequently have a more formal system of initiation. Some claim that their religion is a reconstruction based on what we know about the religion in the past, when it was widely practised (the pre-Christian era). Many of these groups do not have a formal initiation into the religion or group, but in reality there doesn't appear to have been any pre-requisite to join these religions in the ancient past either. Some groups with initiations also claim that they have only existed since the twentieth century but are based on a system of religion and knowledge. Just because no one came before them, and they are "making up" their religion, doesn't mean that it's false. Scientists today are making up new knowledge as they go along and most people wouldn't consider it false just because no one had those ideas or insights in the past. During the Renaissance, a lot of new insights in art and science came about because more and more people were learning about a wider and wider range of topics and this permitted them to make observations which were previously not obvious to people who only had part of the information.

I may be misinterpreting your question. If so, please describe more of the historical religious institutions that you're think about.

Please also introduce yourself in the Introductions forum.
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