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Author Topic: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts  (Read 719 times)

EclecticWheel

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I'm interested in articles and even books about cultures who absorbed gods from foreign cultures, but I'd like to start with articles on the Internet if there are any so that I can get a bit of a grasp on the subject before I start delving into books, especially since I'm already trying to finish a few books that it seems I'm never going to get through...

What I'm really curious about is if those gods -- any gods at all -- were absorbed into new contexts, myths, and religious structures that were different from their original contexts and ritual structures.  I'm pretty sure I've read about this kind of thing before but not enough to get any specifics.

Could I possibly get any recommendations from others here who are more knowledgeable than I am on this subject?
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Klaw

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 09:53:00 am »
I'm interested in articles and even books about cultures who absorbed gods from foreign cultures, but I'd like to start with articles on the Internet if there are any so that I can get a bit of a grasp on the subject before I start delving into books, especially since I'm already trying to finish a few books that it seems I'm never going to get through...

Off the top of my head is the Celtic Goddess Brigid. She has been represented many ways and was absorbed by the Catholic church as a saint. There are tons of articles and information online. Hope that helps.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 11:25:15 am »
Off the top of my head is the Celtic Goddess Brigid. She has been represented many ways and was absorbed by the Catholic church as a saint. There are tons of articles and information online. Hope that helps.

She came to mind, but I've never been certain the saint was really a transferred goddess.  I'll check it out again.  It's been a while.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Sefiru

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 06:33:41 pm »
Could I possibly get any recommendations from others here who are more knowledgeable than I am on this subject?

I know the Greeks did this all the f'ing time: Serapis and Isis come to mind off the top of my head.

You might also look into the adoption of originally Indian deities into Chinese and Japanese culture, via the spread of Buddhism: Kwan Yin is the major exmple I know of.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 08:33:14 pm »
I know the Greeks did this all the f'ing time: Serapis and Isis come to mind off the top of my head.

You might also look into the adoption of originally Indian deities into Chinese and Japanese culture, via the spread of Buddhism: Kwan Yin is the major exmple I know of.

It seems like I once read that the buddha had been absorbed into Hinduism with a different take on him.  I'll be looking for that.

Thanks for the tip!
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Paganism

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 01:49:11 pm »
There is probably a case of this where the Germanic / Norse Aesir followers absorbed the Vanir, or vice-versa.

Most modern Hindu gods were absorbed from regional / tribal deities into the Vedic religion.

One could probably make a case that Yahwists absorbed El, or vice-versa as well.

Klaw

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 02:46:21 pm »
There is probably a case of this where the Germanic / Norse Aesir followers absorbed the Vanir, or vice-versa.

There is a lot of mixed ideas about which Gods and Goddesses were Vanir. Some people get very passionate about which were Aesir and which were Vanir. Many just combine the two out of ease. I personally believe you miss out on a lot of the mythology especially the war between the two and the relationship of Freya and Freyr when you don't acknowledge both. There is a group that worships Ullr mostly because he can be considered a God of Winter sports. They tend to be skiers and snowboarders.

Zlote Jablko

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 05:30:56 pm »
I'm interested in articles and even books about cultures who absorbed gods from foreign cultures, but I'd like to start with articles on the Internet if there are any so that I can get a bit of a grasp on the subject before I start delving into books, especially since I'm already trying to finish a few books that it seems I'm never going to get through...

What I'm really curious about is if those gods -- any gods at all -- were absorbed into new contexts, myths, and religious structures that were different from their original contexts and ritual structures.  I'm pretty sure I've read about this kind of thing before but not enough to get any specifics.

Could I possibly get any recommendations from others here who are more knowledgeable than I am on this subject?

As mentioned earlier, saints are a great example of this. In more than one way. St. Brigid and Muirgen May actually be based on pagan personalities. In other cases however, saints have been imported and syncretized. For instance, Catholic saints in Voudun.

It’s interesting that a few of the seven idols mentioned in Prince Vladimir’s pantheon in Kievan Rus, appear to have north Iranian (Scytho-Sarmatian) names. Simargl is thought to correspond to the Persian Simurgh. Khors may be related to the Iranian word for sun, or perhaps the Ossetian word for grain. In either case, the etymology seems north Iranian rather than Slavic.

Morag

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2019, 06:06:41 pm »

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Jainarayan

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 10:39:45 am »
It seems like I once read that the buddha had been absorbed into Hinduism with a different take on him.  I'll be looking for that.

Thanks for the tip!

Anything is possible. Those wild and kraaaazy Hindus! I'd be interested in that source. Some Hindus do view the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu, among the Dasavatara - lit. "ten avatars", though Vishnu has either 22 or 24 depending on whom you talk to. I'm on the fence about it. My temple, being south Indian style, doesn't include the Buddha anywhere at all. In his place as the 9th avatar is Balarama, Krishna's elder brother.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

EclecticWheel

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 10:36:39 am »
Anything is possible. Those wild and kraaaazy Hindus! I'd be interested in that source. Some Hindus do view the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu, among the Dasavatara - lit. "ten avatars", though Vishnu has either 22 or 24 depending on whom you talk to. I'm on the fence about it. My temple, being south Indian style, doesn't include the Buddha anywhere at all. In his place as the 9th avatar is Balarama, Krishna's elder brother.

That is what I remember, though it's hard to find material on.  I mostly heard about it by way of people debating to death whether it is true or not!
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Darkhawk

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 10:11:43 am »
It seems like I once read that the buddha had been absorbed into Hinduism with a different take on him.  I'll be looking for that.

It is worth remembering that Buddhism and modern Hinduism basically co-evolved: they each grew out of different takes on the older Vedic religion around the same time, and there was a period of time in which Buddhism was the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent.  Their development was very much a dialogue.

Some threads (click through to read):


as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Jainarayan

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Re: Resources: Gods absorbed into other cultural and ritual contexts
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2019, 10:57:38 am »
That is what I remember, though it's hard to find material on.  I mostly heard about it by way of people debating to death whether it is true or not!

I know... it's usually a pissing contest. Adi Shankara has been accused of being a closet Buddhist. lol
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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