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Author Topic: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism  (Read 2254 times)

EclecticWheel

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Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« on: December 02, 2016, 01:37:51 am »
This question came to mind after reading a thread on whether Kemetic reconstructionism qualifies as neo-pagan.  The general consensus was that it does qualify as neo-pagan because it is an outgrowth of the various religious and social forces that make up the neo-pagan movement.  

I read a bit on Isaac Bonewits' terms paleopagan, mesopagan, and neo-pagan, and mesopagan groups tend to be influenced by monotheistic religions and dualism according to his definition.

Some definitions I came across included even Thelema, Sikhism, and Voodoo under the umbrella of mesopaganism, although I am not sure how most members of those groups would feel about the term.  I know some practitioners of Voodoo do not care to be lumped under the pagan umbrella.

What about Christopagan?  Would such spiritualities and practices generally be considered mesopagan or neo-pagan?  I suppose this could vary depending on how monotheistic the given flavor of Christopagan is?  Or perhaps one may prefer other kinds of distinctions than these?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 01:45:57 am by EclecticWheel »
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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 11:11:07 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;199657
What about Christopagan?  Would such spiritualities and practices generally be considered mesopagan or neo-pagan?  I suppose this could vary depending on how monotheistic the given flavor of Christopagan is?  Or perhaps one may prefer other kinds of distinctions than these?

 
Very few people who identify themselves as Christopagan have a pagan side of things that does not derive from the neopagan movement or, occasionally, its close sibling, the New Age movement.  I mean, I'm sure there's one out there but I've never met 'em.
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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 11:38:53 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;199657
This question came to mind after reading a thread on whether Kemetic reconstructionism qualifies as neo-pagan.  The general consensus was that it does qualify as neo-pagan because it is an outgrowth of the various religious and social forces that make up the neo-pagan movement.  

I read a bit on Isaac Bonewits' terms paleopagan, mesopagan, and neo-pagan, and mesopagan groups tend to be influenced by monotheistic religions and dualism according to his definition.

Some definitions I came across included even Thelema, Sikhism, and Voodoo under the umbrella of mesopaganism, although I am not sure how most members of those groups would feel about the term.  I know some practitioners of Voodoo do not care to be lumped under the pagan umbrella.

What about Christopagan?  Would such spiritualities and practices generally be considered mesopagan or neo-pagan?  I suppose this could vary depending on how monotheistic the given flavor of Christopagan is?  Or perhaps one may prefer other kinds of distinctions than these?

 
While I like some of Bonewits writings, on this one I don't think he's that useful.  His definitions seem to be invented primarily to exclude pagans he doesn't like from his clubhouse.

And to tell us how the Satanists stole his lunch money. Again.
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EclecticWheel

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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 04:55:23 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;199686
While I like some of Bonewits writings, on this one I don't think he's that useful.  His definitions seem to be invented primarily to exclude pagans he doesn't like from his clubhouse.

And to tell us how the Satanists stole his lunch money. Again.

Well he did lump a lot of people under the mesopagan term that may not be comfortable with it and he included Buddhism as a qualifying influence for mesopagans in addition to Christianity, although I am not sure why.

I suppose because of the dualistic aspects of some streams of Buddhism, but it did feel like lots of groups were being artificially lumped together.

Do Satanists usually identify as neo-pagan?  I think I only came across a few who did online.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:58:08 pm by EclecticWheel »
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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 05:27:54 pm »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;199691

Do Satanists usually identify as neo-pagan?  I think I only came across a few who did online.

 
Depends on the Satanist. Some do. Some don't.

(Satanism is another term - like "Wicca", when used without qualification - where there's about eight different ways people might be using the term, and people use it in vastly different and some mutually exclusive ways.)
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EclecticWheel

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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 11:44:16 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;199693
Depends on the Satanist. Some do. Some don't.

(Satanism is another term - like "Wicca", when used without qualification - where there's about eight different ways people might be using the term, and people use it in vastly different and some mutually exclusive ways.)

 
Traditional British Wicca was another group he lumped under Mesopaganism, but I was pretty sure that was considered neo-pagan even if there was some influence from the Golden Dawn, Christianity, etc.

Are there any more useful distinctions than these?  They're the only ones I have come across.
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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2016, 11:00:41 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;199712
Are there any more useful distinctions than these?  They're the only ones I have come across.

 
Well, it depends on what sort of distinctions you want to make, and why. Different approaches are useful for different things; no one approach is likely to be universally useful.

I'd been thinking of, but hadn't got to, responding to your original post to say that, while the paleo-, meso- and neo-Paganism distinctions are useful for some things, they didn't strike me as being at all useful for discussing the relationship between Christopaganisms and the contemporary pagan movement.

So the question is, what exactly are you trying to accomplish? That'd help us figure out what'd be useful.

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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2016, 03:48:22 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;199686
While I like some of Bonewits writings, on this one I don't think he's that useful.  His definitions seem to be invented primarily to exclude pagans he doesn't like from his clubhouse.

And to tell us how the Satanists stole his lunch money. Again.

 
This may be the most trivial post I've made on this site to date, but I think that 'A Satanist stole my lunch money' would be a great slogan to put on a t-shirt.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Paleopaganism, mesopaganism, and neo-paganism
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 08:56:15 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;199728
Well, it depends on what sort of distinctions you want to make, and why. Different approaches are useful for different things; no one approach is likely to be universally useful.

I'd been thinking of, but hadn't got to, responding to your original post to say that, while the paleo-, meso- and neo-Paganism distinctions are useful for some things, they didn't strike me as being at all useful for discussing the relationship between Christopaganisms and the contemporary pagan movement.

So the question is, what exactly are you trying to accomplish? That'd help us figure out what'd be useful.

Sunflower

 
Well my thoughts have been meandering.  To keep it to the original post I was mainly wondering if Christopaganisms working only with Abrahamic deities are still neo-pagan even though most definitions I have read of neo-paganism tend to define it as based on non-Abrahamic religions dead and living.

As was pointed out in the thread on Kemeticism I thought it was more useful to approach the question from the angle of the social and religious origins of a practice.  That would include non-theistic, pop culture, and modern culture practices under the neo-pagan umbrella, too, I think.  I don't think it makes sense to exclude them from the neo-pagan framework.

I had wondered if Christopaganism is mesopagan, but I think Darkhawk's point on that makes more sense.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

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