Advantages of reviving ethnic polytheism in Europe

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,292
Brassicaland
#42
I think that's true, but I think of Baha'e as a universal religion rather than an ethnic one, and it is monotheistic. It is persecuted particularly by Islam because it purports to have a prophet after Muhammad, who was supposed to be the "seal of the prophets."
Then, the founders of Baha'i were not bloody conquerors like Muhammad and his successors.
Rather, they were social reformers who worked on grievances of the time:
https://www.ca.bahai.org/founders-and-history/bahaullah
Christianity also considers Baha'i a threat as well.
 
Oct 2017
135
Laconia
#43
There has been good discussion.

First you would have to make a little clear what do you mean by ethnic polytheism.
Ethnic polytheism only means an indigenous religion practised anciently by a distinct culture and ethnic people (i.e. Celtic, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Germanic, Hindu, Slavic, Baltic, Caucasian, etc.).

Ancient polytheism was not ethnic, nor limited to certain ethnic groups, it was more culture related.
Ethnic polytheism began to decline in Europe and the Near East with the appearance of syncretic Hellenistic religion which continued throughout Roman Empire, and actually contributed to the rise of Christianity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_religion

You could mean some form of folk religion, but all these were quite primitive and don't see a way how can something like that succeed in modern European societies.
Folk religion is a more ancient and tribal form of ethnic polytheism, related to animism, and you are right that it is generally not suited to modern society.

The way advanced societies are progressing today is the road to even more materialist, consumerist society. Christianity and its belief system have no place there.

PS I guess some countries/cultures may usher a kind of Christian revival, based on conservative values, as a kind of opposition to materialistic globalism. But I don't see a country like that today.

I don't know but the the Briexit is a phenomenon of Europe going back to its form. I see Christianity will not entirely breakdown as some people would suggest, but it will just be around which will manifest the European traditions but to return to Christianity the way it happened before is not happening. Unless Europe goes back to poverty and extreme crisis where people shall be thinking of God again.
I foresee the possibility of Christian revival too, and wonder whether it can exist with ethnic polytheism side by side in order to do good to society.

So far, the case for "ethnic polytheism" has been framed as a choice taken because of perceived utilitarian benefits. I don't think belief works that way.
Ethnic polytheism can promote belief for some, but it promotes the "utilitarian benefits" of culture for all within a particular ethnic group.

I might add that polytheism is still alive and kicking--Wicca being the most successful western example--a duotheistic occultic nature-worshiping religion drawing heavily on Celtic Druidic paganism. I'm not sure that's what you have in mind though. The Abrahamic religions are so deeply rooted that it's difficult for challengers to make headway. Atheists and agnostics tend to be headed in the opposite direction, and would be hard to attract to non-rational new religions.
But Wicca is an invented form of universal religion rather than ethnic an religion, and I believe the latter to be far more useful and original culturally.

I think that's true, but I think of Baha'e as a universal religion rather than an ethnic one, and it is monotheistic. It is persecuted particularly by Islam because it purports to have a prophet after Muhammad, who was supposed to be the "seal of the prophets."
Right: The Baha'i faith is, like its three cousins, an Abrahamic religion belonging ethnically to one region, but unfairly promoting universalism at the expense of native and original culture.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,292
Brassicaland
#44
There has been good discussion.



Ethnic polytheism only means an indigenous religion practised anciently by a distinct culture and ethnic people (i.e. Celtic, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Germanic, Hindu, Slavic, Baltic, Caucasian, etc.).



Ethnic polytheism began to decline in Europe and the Near East with the appearance of syncretic Hellenistic religion which continued throughout Roman Empire, and actually contributed to the rise of Christianity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_religion



Folk religion is a more ancient and tribal form of ethnic polytheism, related to animism, and you are right that it is generally not suited to modern society.






I foresee the possibility of Christian revival too, and wonder whether it can exist with ethnic polytheism side by side in order to do good to society.



Ethnic polytheism can promote belief for some, but it promotes the "utilitarian benefits" of culture for all within a particular ethnic group.



But Wicca is an invented form of universal religion rather than ethnic an religion, and I believe the latter to be far more useful and original culturally.



Right: The Baha'i faith is, like its three cousins, an Abrahamic religion belonging ethnically to one region, but unfairly promoting universalism at the expense of native and original culture.
We have a fight between ethnic and universal religions.
Daoism (or Taoism) is often considered "the true Chinese religion"; then, the sinicized Buddhism is taking root in China and Chinese communities.
Can ethnic religions be truly restored if they leave little traditions and texts?
 

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,124
oklahoma
#45
We have a fight between ethnic and universal religions.
Daoism (or Taoism) is often considered "the true Chinese religion"; then, the sinicized Buddhism is taking root in China and Chinese communities.
Can ethnic religions be truly restored if they leave little traditions and texts?
No, and what would be the point?
 
Jun 2016
1,748
England, 200 yards from Wales
#46
Even if it is desirable how would you go about reviving or restoring (more accurately re-inventing) these religions?
There has been no response to Abram's pertinent question (hello Abram) -
" I doubt that we'll be able to fool ourselves into believing whatever we want just because it might be advantageous. Do we think Zeus, Oden, Quetzalcoatl, etc., are real?"
After all the usual way to persuade people to adopt a belief is to give some reason to think it is true.
Or is this ethical, spiritual (etc) revival to be based on acknowledged fantasy?
 
Mar 2012
18,030
In the bag of ecstatic squirt
#47
For as long as they are in accordance with the freedom of expression and there is no criminality in its practice, they are always doable. These rock festivals functions like ritual and belief and people can just express whatever they want.
 
Jun 2016
1,748
England, 200 yards from Wales
#48
For as long as they are in accordance with the freedom of expression and there is no criminality in its practice, they are always doable.
Sure, I'm not suggesting anything should be forbidden.
These rock festivals functions like ritual and belief and people can just express whatever they want.
They only go because they have the factual belief that the bands will be there.
Can people really adopt a belief about gods without believing in those gods?
Don't Christians believe that their God exists?
Would Christianity have got started on the basis of 'obviously this god doesn't actually exist, but let's pretend to believe it because we'll all feel better".
(Probably people do adopt beliefs for that reason, but not consciously)
 
Last edited:
Oct 2017
135
Laconia
#49
We have a fight between ethnic and universal religions.
Daoism (or Taoism) is often considered "the true Chinese religion"; then, the sinicized Buddhism is taking root in China and Chinese communities.
You are right, and there is also a larger conflict between regionalism and universalism that extends to culture, economy, society, and language.

Can ethnic religions be truly restored if they leave little traditions and texts?
Many ancient texts and traditions have survived time and can be reconstructed or supplemented by new models in the same vein.

" I doubt that we'll be able to fool ourselves into believing whatever we want just because it might be advantageous. Do we think Zeus, Oden, Quetzalcoatl, etc., are real?"
After all the usual way to persuade people to adopt a belief is to give some reason to think it is true.
Culture is does not necessarily operate on objective truth as much as subjective tradition.
 

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,124
oklahoma
#50
You are right, and there is also a larger conflict between regionalism and universalism that extends to culture, economy, society, and language.



Many ancient texts and traditions have survived time and can be reconstructed or supplemented by new models in the same vein.



Culture is does not necessarily operate on objective truth as much as subjective tradition.
Seems to me a move to revive ethnic polytheism, besides being futile, would be regressive. I happen to think universalism is a good thing. Ethnic polytheism would feed into ethnic nationalism, which is a dangerous force in the world today.
 

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