Clergy/Laity & Community-Building

January 13, 2016 at 12:37 am 3 comments

Interesting conversations happening…

On Pagan Clergy, Layfolk & the Struggle for Selfhood– by Keen

“Basically: what’s with the tense, almost love/hate relationship between pagan clergy – to use this as a shorthand – and laity?

Why is it always clergy who talk about the importance of “hoeing onions”, or doing the proverbial gruntwork of being a lay follower?

Why do lay followers seem to glamorize clergy, and the responsibilities involved in occupying those positions, and rarely, if ever, speak of the merits of simply being laity?

I think it’s more complex than just being a case of the grass being greener on the other side, and actually has a lot to do with the concept of social capital.”

Thoughts on Clergy, Laity, Hierarchies & Roles in Polytheist Religions by Sarenth (a response)

I’ll re-iterate that I’m more of a fan of the concept of “general practitioners” vs. “spiritual specialists”. Both traditions I belong to, ADF and UU have formal clergy but very active laypeople, who frequently lead groups. My druid grove is a “haptocracy (hapto is one of the Greek verbs for ‘work’) – the theory that the people who are doing the greatest work to do something get the most say in it.”- concept coinage by Jenett Silver.

We should also think about the factor, that many people find in our religions ways to re-invent and express themselves in ways that they don’t have the opportunity to in broader society. How many people become herbal healers when they would never go to medical school, or scholars when even if they could get a Ph.D., there would be very few options for an academic career in religion, mythology or ancient history?

A third post related to this is by Allec, in which she discusses beginning a blog o’ resources on Gaelic Polytheism (yay!) and many people offered to help, then later questioned “Am I good enough/knowledgeable/experienced enough to help?”

Thoughts on Community


Entry filed under: Pagan Communities, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Hellenic Ethics Diasporan Polytheism

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nicstoirm  |  January 13, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Incidentally, it was partially thanks to the two other posts you linked that made me think about my community post!

  • 2. kiya_nicoll  |  January 13, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Hah. As the person who probably coined the “hoeing onions” phrase, I will note that I AM NOT A PRIEST. 😉

    • 3. caelesti  |  January 13, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      All Pagan memes are belong to Cauldronites. Probably simply due to our age in Pagan internet years…


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