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Author Topic: the future of our faiths  (Read 1230 times)

herkles

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the future of our faiths
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:33:21 pm »
Hello,

A thought has been coming to my mind lately of what the future of our various faiths might be like. Obviously we can not know for sure being that it is well the future, but it could be interesting to speculate what might arise.

As I am an Irish reconstructionist, I have thought about this and more questions then answers have came to me.  

I have often wondered if new myths might devolop over time ones that did not exist back in the pre-christian times but are newer, modern tales of our gods and goddesses. I have wondered if there might be temples for pagan faiths, actual temples, again; or in the case of my own faith what would an Irish polytheist temple look and be like as we do not know what they were like.


I do imagine though that christainity will not be the dominate religion, at least of the west. Now while it might be an interesting thought of a modern pagan europe and america, I doubt that is the future. What I do imagine is the future is a more pluralistic society of various different faiths; wicca, asatru, irish polytheism, druidry, hindu, muslim, buddhist, christian and so on.

So what do you think the future holds for your faith?

Materialist

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 02:16:48 pm »
Quote from: herkles;128505

So what do you think the future holds for your faith?


It will die with me, as it is peculiar to my mixed cultural background and unlikely to appeal to anyone else.

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the future of our faiths
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 02:45:48 am »
Quote from: herkles;128505


So what do you think the future holds for your faith?

From am optimistic point of view I would say that at some point there might be a Resurgence of the polytheistic beliefs and other beliefs outside of the current big three but the more engineering and scientific side of me would say that there is more likely the possibility of a new set of religions coming forth.

Megatherium

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 01:31:27 pm »
Quote from: herkles;128505
Hello,

A thought has been coming to my mind lately of what the future of our various faiths might be like. Obviously we can not know for sure being that it is well the future, but it could be interesting to speculate what might arise.

As I am an Irish reconstructionist, I have thought about this and more questions then answers have came to me.  

I have often wondered if new myths might devolop over time ones that did not exist back in the pre-christian times but are newer, modern tales of our gods and goddesses. I have wondered if there might be temples for pagan faiths, actual temples, again; or in the case of my own faith what would an Irish polytheist temple look and be like as we do not know what they were like.


I do imagine though that christainity will not be the dominate religion, at least of the west. Now while it might be an interesting thought of a modern pagan europe and america, I doubt that is the future. What I do imagine is the future is a more pluralistic society of various different faiths; wicca, asatru, irish polytheism, druidry, hindu, muslim, buddhist, christian and so on.

So what do you think the future holds for your faith?


I think we will continue to see a slow but steady growth in the number of people who identify as pagans. I don’t think there will be any spectacular, society-shaking revival or development of the various pagan faiths, but I don’t have a difficult time imaging self-identified pagans making up one or two percent of the population of many Western countries in several decades.

I imagine many people attracted to the various pagan traditions will be those people seeking a more individualized/decentralized religious practice, but that the “organized” pagan groups (Wiccans, Heathens, Hellenic polytheists, Druids, etc.) will grow in membership numbers and organizational capacity.

 In short, I think “pagans” will be slightly more numerous, accepted and organized in the foreseeable future. I don’t think we’ll be seeing, for example, massive temples for revived Hellenic religion dominating the skylines of major cities, but neither will we see a stagnation or decline.
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Aiwelin

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 01:41:12 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;128657
In short, I think “pagans” will be slightly more numerous, accepted and organized in the foreseeable future. I don’t think we’ll be seeing, for example, massive temples for revived Hellenic religion dominating the skylines of major cities, but neither will we see a stagnation or decline.

 
I mostly agree with you on the matter, Megatherium.  The trajectory of traditional religions in the western world seems to be largely in decline; more people are leaving the church and other monotheistic religions in droves.  This would be great news for a Pagan resurgence; except most of these people are leaving and taking on a more aspiritual, atheistic viewpoint.  I don't see anything more than modest growth in the future of most Pagan religions.

That said, I do wonder what impact a growing number of people being raised Pagan will have.  I am teaching my children my Paganism, but am making it clear that it is theirs to choose or not to choose; this is certainly a more popular position in Paganism than in Christianity, for example.  But what will it mean for the future of our religion?  Is it more likely that adults-raised-Pagan, given the choice, will remain Pagan; or is it more likely that the option to choose will see the majority leaving for another (or no) religion?
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Megatherium

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 05:44:38 pm »
Quote from: Aiwelin;128661

That said, I do wonder what impact a growing number of people being raised Pagan will have.  I am teaching my children my Paganism, but am making it clear that it is theirs to choose or not to choose; this is certainly a more popular position in Paganism than in Christianity, for example.  But what will it mean for the future of our religion?  Is it more likely that adults-raised-Pagan, given the choice, will remain Pagan; or is it more likely that the option to choose will see the majority leaving for another (or no) religion?

 
A very good question. I imagine that a more open-minded religious upbringing will be less successful at directly passing on traditions than a stricter religious background, but at the same time, it will decrease the possibility of a child aggressively rejecting their parents religion. I imagine a lot of pagans will end up producing children that may not follow their parents religion exactly, but that will incorporate some elements of their parents worldview. For example, a eclectic pagan may end up producing a Hellenic polytheist, or a heathen may produce a pantheistic naturalist, or a druid may end up producing a nature-worshipping Buddhist, etc.
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Allec

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 02:37:01 am »
Quote from: Aiwelin;128661
That said, I do wonder what impact a growing number of people being raised Pagan will have.  I am teaching my children my Paganism, but am making it clear that it is theirs to choose or not to choose; this is certainly a more popular position in Paganism than in Christianity, for example.  But what will it mean for the future of our religion?  Is it more likely that adults-raised-Pagan, given the choice, will remain Pagan; or is it more likely that the option to choose will see the majority leaving for another (or no) religion?

 
I worry about that too :/ I plan to give my children (when I finally am ready to start a family!) a broad religious education, because I think it's necessary and important. Not to mention I'm a huge theologian. But I have such an innate desire to start a tradition to pass down to my children that I wonder if I'm setting myself up for failure :/ And tradition and family is a big part of Gaelic Polytheism, as I'm sure it also is for the OP of this thread. Maybe my kids can find a good mix between what they feel called to do as well as joining me?

I dunno. Maybe at the very least, they too will teach their kids multiple religions and my religion will interest my grandchildren if not my children? Fingers crossed.
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ethelwulf

Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 04:00:03 pm »
Quote from: herkles;128505
Hello,


So what do you think the future holds for your faith?

 
The future of any religion lies in how believable it is and does the religion support the person who believes in it. One of the ways a religion maintains a future is through its connection with the past.  I remember reading an ancient Roman author who linked Judaism's ability to connect to the ancient past  as one of the reasons it was treated with some respect. This is one of the reasons I think the reconstructionist movement in paganism has been attractive to many pagans.  Another aspect is the fellowship a religion provides. One of the most important aspects to Christianity is its fellowship and support it gives to other Christians.

 I also think there is some concern about the increasing diversity, or as some might describe as fragmentation, of paganism which has been proceeding with time. There is an argument that this makes paganism less believable on one side while others feel this increases the number of followers.  I personally think the future can be stronger with better understanding of paganism or at least the types of paganism which we can define better.

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 04:40:49 pm »
Quote from: herkles;128505
Hello,

A thought has been coming to my mind lately of what the future of our various faiths might be like. Obviously we can not know for sure being that it is well the future, but it could be interesting to speculate what might arise.

As I am an Irish reconstructionist, I have thought about this and more questions then answers have came to me.  

I have often wondered if new myths might devolop over time ones that did not exist back in the pre-christian times but are newer, modern tales of our gods and goddesses. I have wondered if there might be temples for pagan faiths, actual temples, again; or in the case of my own faith what would an Irish polytheist temple look and be like as we do not know what they were like.


I do imagine though that christainity will not be the dominate religion, at least of the west. Now while it might be an interesting thought of a modern pagan europe and america, I doubt that is the future. What I do imagine is the future is a more pluralistic society of various different faiths; wicca, asatru, irish polytheism, druidry, hindu, muslim, buddhist, christian and so on.

So what do you think the future holds for your faith?

I think Atheism and people leaving religion will be more on the rise, however minority religions as of now will steadily increase.

Pagan temples are coming back, especially in the countries where they were aparent in the past. A few Celtic shrines have been attempted, however Irish in particular, where holy places were attributed mostly outdoors and in the landscape itself, I couldn't see how temples of that nature would fit. There are still many sacred sites present and well visited by pagans. Perhaps in the future ritual vandalism will be more preached so the preservation of our sites won't be threatened.

From what I hear Hollywood is still influencing neo-paganism, but pop culture always influences everything. I was kind of hoping Wicca would go back more underground with many of the newer paths differentiating from it hopefully growing into bigger communities to meet a lot of needs. The major religions won't go anywhere, so hopefully societies will become more secular politically so there won't be as much stigma attached to pagan/polytheist/alternative/minority spiritualities.

herkles

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Re: the future of our faiths
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 10:05:42 pm »
Quote from: Micheál;129938

Pagan temples are coming back, especially in the countries where they were aparent in the past. A few Celtic shrines have been attempted, however Irish in particular, where holy places were attributed mostly outdoors and in the landscape itself, I couldn't see how temples of that nature would fit. There are still many sacred sites present and well visited by pagans. Perhaps in the future ritual vandalism will be more preached so the preservation of our sites won't be threatened.


For me when I think of what an Irish polytheistic shrine might have developed as, I tend to look at Shinto shrines. I am not very familiar with Shintoism, but I get the same sort of nature is sacred and important within Shintoism as I do within Irish polytheism. So if an Irish Polytheist shrine or temple were to develop, I get the feeling that it would bear more resemblance to a Shinto shrine and work with nature. I don't know if such a thing would happen, but if it did that is the sort of way I see it happening.

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