Which “Modernity” Do We Mean?

June 29, 2018 at 10:25 am 4 comments

When polytheists & pagans discuss and debate the role influence of modernity on our worldviews, which “modernity” do we mean?  And what are we contrasting that with?Because historians have a couple of definitions of when the modern era begins, it’s also different if we’re talking about art history or philosophy. A couple years ago people were talking about this on blogs and their modernity was not mine, I can tell you that much. Caer, Galina and other folks were equating the rise of the modern era with the dominance of Christianity. Or what some call the Axial Age of religion. So I want to clarify for the Topics in Polytheism series (#2 Modernity) that this here in this video, is more what I mean by the modern era- pretty big and not very specific right? More specifically I usually mean at least Industrial Revolution or after. I think as far as religion goes specifically, I’d tie the modern era of religion to the Protestant Reformation, which is believed by sociologist Max Weber to have connections to the Industrial Revolution. Everything else in sociology cites Weber, so I haven’t read him yet. 



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Left/Right is a False Divide for Polytheists Topics in Polytheism: Race/Ethnicity

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melas the Hellene  |  June 29, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    An important consideration here. Yours and Green’s definition is certainly correct (as well as consistent with historical scholarship) and I concurred with it in my post. However, I did also hint (within the context of polytheism) that there is a kind of earlier modernity, a proto-modernity if you will, that began with Christianity and the Roman Empire, which later laid the foundation for modern life & thinking as we know it. As a further detail, one could (in certain points) stretch proto-modernity as far back as ancient Athens, but that is merely my opinion!

  • 2. Yewtree  |  July 4, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    I’d say that modernity is different from modernism. Modernity is individualism, as in a concern for the individual over the community; determinism, as in a belief that the outcome of events can be determined by individual actions and choices. Different ideologies at different times were characterized by these ideas, and they can be traced back to Christianity; maybe earlier – certainly to “Axial Age” religions.

    Postmodernism generally denies that the subject or the self exists – not in isolation anyway.

    “Pre-moderns” tend to focus more on community.

    • 3. Melas the Hellene  |  July 11, 2018 at 2:48 am

      What you say sounds reasonable. Can we also associate modernity, in large part, with what is known as “Western Civilization”? In such a case, we would include all ideas, areas and eras as far back as ancient Athens. To second the thought, I believe Western civilization established modernity by gradually surpassing all other individuals and civilizations in power. Mind you, I say power, and there’s nothing superior in that word; on the contrary, extreme power is inferior morally because it is imperialistic and thus ought to be fought against.

      • 4. Yewtree  |  July 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm

        I think that’s a very persuasive argument. Colonialism gets justified by imperialists saying “we’re more advanced so we get to colonize everyone else and bring them civilization” and this argument was used by the Romans as well as 19th century imperialism, and is still being used by racists even now.

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