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Pagans - I got an interesting question from someone, and I'm in the process of typing up an answer to it, but I was wondering what everyone elses thoughts were...

If you (Paganism) don't have any specific religious texts how do you define each religion properly?

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 1:34 PM on Jun. 14, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • We do have religious texts. Some more than others, but every aspect has them. For certain branches, specifically those which follow UK-based ancient paths, there's not much left - the church burned most of it, and what they didn't burn was locked up in the Vatican where they refuse to let anyone lower than Bishop see them. Other areas were better off, like the Greeks, because while Rome was running around blowing everything up, Muslim scholars were saving things and transcribing them so they'd be preserved. The further you get from that area, the more that survives. Germanic Heathenry has dozens of texts surviving, many of them, the originals in Norwegian or Icelandic. In the East, even more documentation, most from the original civilizations before biblical society.

    The question sounds more like someone who doesn't understand what Paganism actually is.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:28 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Your answer is very similar to the one I gave him. And no, I don't think he completely understands Paganism, but I don't think that lessens the value of the question. He defines himself as an "agnostic non-religious spiritual eclectic." The positive thing is that he's exploring.

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 2:37 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Id probably say that there are some texts available depending on the path you chose.

    However, since paths are individual you will never find just one book or set of rules that is a true definition of one persons beliefs.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 4:36 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • There is a difference too, between the idea of one definitive book (wow, I fell asleep with the kids and just woke up and its taken 7 tries to spell that) and multiple texts, studies, histories, etc with which one has to build their own structure. Sure, there is an established tradition for most reconstruction faiths, but once you get to revival or inspired paths, there is more leeway in the actions of what you do and the ways in which you interpret the lessons from the mythology. Greek mythology, for example, contradicts itself *quite* a bit--people that need a literal interpretation of something, rather than an allegorical one, would be lost--most of the ways that we know their myths are from writers putting them into their own stories/plays/poems and often changing them to suit their needs (the myth of Pandora is the perfect example of this).

    Answer by thalassa at 4:41 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I think that is the thing that people often misunderstand is that we dont' NEED to follow any set belief or book or what have you. Yes, we have our "codes" (that is what I consider them) or rather moral beliefs but we each have our own path and unique way of doing so. For me for instance, I am very earth bound and love getting in touch with the energy around me. I know the law of attraction and law of motion and so forth and that helps me better understand but I enjoy being able to step out on my own and experience things for myself

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 9:58 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • We do have plenty of religious texts, but I find that most pagans are not at all dogmatic about them.

    Answer by IndigoRose at 10:14 AM on Jul. 7, 2011

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