Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Our" Values Series

In conjunction with some recent discussion on tumblr, I have taken it upon myself to write a series of blogs which will speak to and about many theological and ethical issues, with a polytheistic outlook in mind.

For anyone who has read this blog, or its companion tumblr, you will be very much aware of the fact that I am a Gaelic Reconstructionist Polytheist. My rationalization and understanding of things like ethics and theology are then, necessarily informed by the cultural filters engendered by being a GRP. Keeping this in mind, I have sometimes out of necessity, but more often out of curiosity, researched quite a bit into other polytheistic worldviews: Hellenic, Roman and Heathen in particular. I intend to write as broadly as possible about polytheism as a distinct "system", and while I will have to rely on preexisting theological concepts and terms, I will do my best to speak in general and not cultural terms.

As this will be broad, there will almost certainly be gross generalizations and broad, sweeping claims. I fully acknowledge that there will be a lot of exceptions, be they individual or cultural, to such statements. Yet I do believe that there is enough of a theological framework common among polytheism as a theological position, that such generalizations can be made and still be true, most of the time.

Again, if I do speak to something which seems strange or incorrect based on your own understanding, by all means let me know so it can be addressed.

With that said, I really do think that speaking about "Our" values can be something that is useful, especially as polytheism slowly creeps its way back into the world. Very often the criticism labeled against many in the modern polytheistic (and Pagan) community is that we spend all of our time speaking about what is absent from our religions, rather than what is entailed. Unfortunately, this is something which HAS to happen, because the very language that has developed to discuss theology, has been geared towards monotheism as the default (and in a binary way, default is on, off is atheism).

Many of the following blogs will be discussing precisely these issues, theological concepts, which are part of the discussion of religion and religious identity. These will be addressed, discussed and then shown how they may apply, or are inapplicable, to discussions of polytheism. Showing how much a concept does not fit is as important as showing what concepts do, because it then provides a means to discuss "Our" perspective with those who do not share it. It also allows us to examine and define our own approaches and perspectives.

Wish me luck!


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