2012 Thing on Thursday #10
The HP project is all about the marriage of science and myth. By myth, I mean traditional stories usually involving supernormal beings, such as deities, ancestors, spirits, and so forth, such as Athena, the Dagda, or Gaia. Such myths are typically organized into pantheons indigenous to a culture. At HP, the general guideline has been to focus on pantheons from or inspired by Euro-Mediterranean cultures.
Our question today is twofold:
- First, is our Euro-Mediterranean focus too narrow, too broad, or just right?
- Second, which pantheons resonate with you most?
An explanation of the Euro-Mediterranean cultures zone and the rationale behind it follows the polls.
The poll options list only the most popular, broad-level pantheons. There obviously many more in the region, and each option could well be subdivided into dozens of distinct pantheons. Also, if your focus goes beyond the Euro-Mediterranean zone, then these options will be insufficient. So, please specify other pantheons of your choice in the comments.
Please choose one.
Please choose up to three.
The Euro-Mediterranean cultures zone
As a reasonable starting point, a Euro-Mediterranean focus was chosen for HP. There were two reasons for this.
The first reason was to preserve meaningful dialogue. It seemed that allowing “Pagan” to refer to any non-Abrahamic religion stretched it beyond the breaking point; the cultures included are far too diverse to draw any meaningful conclusions about them. Thus, it seemed wise to restrict “Pagan” to a set of inter-related cultures in close contact for thousands of years, occupying a Euro-Mediterranean geographical region roughly defined by the Ural Mountains on the East, the Sahara Desert on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north.
The other reason involved potential issues of cultural appropriation. This has often plagued the Neopagan community. Questionable incorporation of Native American and Hindu myths in particular have been problematic. The boundaries of the Euro-Mediterranean region avoid most of the controversial hotspots.
The question now is: Is this Euro-Mediterranean focus useful?
About Thing on Thursday
Each week from the Autumn Equinox until the Winter Solstice, Thing on Thursday explores a new controversy. Participation is open to all – the more minds that come together, the better. Those who have been vocal in the comments are as welcome as those quiet-but-devoted readers who have yet to venture a word. We value all constructive opinions.
There are only a few rules:
- be constructive – this is a council, so treat it as such
- be respectful – no rants or flames
Comments will be taken into consideration as we determine the new direction of Humanistic Paganism.
So please make your voice heard in the comments!