Archive for November 19, 2015

Religion as Art

I think of different schools of philosophy or theology as like different schools of art & music criticism. We don’t typically have wars over disagreements in how to interpret art or music, even though those things are definitely very powerful and human beings find a lot of meaning and put a lot of creativity into them much like religion…but like religion they can’t be measured in a “rational” way.

Creating a religion (or reviving it- which is a kind of re-creation) is like creating a work of art. You are reaching for something outside of yourself, as well as something within. You might do it on your own, but the ideas you have are likely influences from the world around you. You might co-create with others, but each individual will view the art differently. You might disagree with how it should be displayed or performed, if it’s OK for people to take it apart and use pieces of it and re-combine them with other things. Should it remain in a private collection or be shared with the public?

There’s a great comparison between music and  revivalism/reconstructionism here, as well as one between religion and fandom. These examples are both from the Kemetic communit(ies) but they apply well elsewhere.  I’ve seen others write about this- some in a pejorative way, others in a positive way, as in *yes, I take both my fandom & my religion seriously and not-so-seriously!

We certainly have our debates about authenticity in the Irish and Scottish cultural communities!

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November 19, 2015 at 3:30 am Leave a comment


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