Posted by: justblade | January 21, 2009

An Opinionated Heathen

This blog contains the words of one Opinionated Heathen as a way for me to query, research, reflect on, organise and celebrate my faith, practice, theologies and beliefs. It has come into being because I want to do this in a structured way to help myself, and may coincidentally be of interest or informative to others. One of my dreams is to write Heathen theology. I hold an honours degree in Theology and I want to apply the critical, analytical, hermeneutic and philosophical skills I learned during that study to this faith context. I believe Heathenry is worth it, I believe our Gods and wights are worth it and I believe it is a worthy offering that I can make to the Gods and fellow Heathens. This blog is a first step in my work towards this.

Why An Opinionated Heathen? Are not all Heathens opinionated? It is certainly a truism in the Heathen community to observe that for every six Heathens posed a question, you are likely to get at least two dozen answers. Many Heathens marshal many words to expressing their opinions in a variety of conversations, online, in person and occasionally in print. In my experience, this is most frequently happening in private conversations, or when they are public they remain ‘in house’ among other Heathens. Unfortunately also, my experience has included much slinging of mud and verbal incendiary devices because many people hold opinions about their beliefs passionately, and rightly so, and Heathenry has not yet constructed much in the way of frameworks or processes for containing differences or reflective and mutual discussion. I believe this needs to change for Heathenry to mature and grow beyond its current situation where basic explanation is still required to people from closely related traditions such as Paganism, let alone wider interfaith dialogue. I have also been a part of or read of some amazing reflections and theologising in private conversations, and yet the ideas, perspectives and opinions remain hidden from wider audiences, which does not help Heathenry move forward and grow.

Part of the beauty of theological methods is that there is no requirement to agree completely on every statement, reflection or concept. Dialogue, debate and struggle are integral to the process. Theology transliterates as words, sayings, discourse or talk about God(s). In examples from other faith traditions one can see theology encompassing a huge span from the mediaeval scholasticism and theism of Thomas Aquinas, biblical theologies, liberal and conservative theologies, the radical liberation theologies from South America inspired by Paolo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, and more recent branches in process, postmodern, and feminist theologies. They may not always sit comfortably together, and yet they create a wider and dynamic whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

I believe Heathenry is capable of this, and more. And someone has to start somewhere.

My goal for this blog is to write and share my explorations in Heathen faith, beliefs and theologies through formal prose, in essay style appropriately referenced, informal prose and poetry. My wish is to incite, inspire and contribute to the development of a Heathen theology/theologies, to add to the maegen and hamingja of my kin, to build my knowledge and increase my writing skill and to honour the Gods and wights of my faith and tradition.

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Responses

  1. I’m greatly looking forward to reading what wells up from the deeps of your wisdom! Much admiration for your ambition!

    Henry

  2. I definitely admire the willingness to talk and to listen without the slinging of e-poo. 😉 I will be watching, as I expect good things from you here. Heathenry needs this, right now.


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