Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pre Paleo Post Neo Whatever!

I've been meaning to get to grips with Steve Hayes' blog for a while. But I haven't had time to properly engage with his thought-provoking stuff - it's not always easy reading!
But I'm getting the hang of it and enjoying him. (As do many people I'm sure, he's currently top of Amatomu Religion.) In this post he introduced me to neopaganism and paleopaganism and thus indirectly to mesopaganism. Words I had never heard before. Brian McLaren in 'A Generous Orthodoxy' is free in his use of 'post' as in post-evangelical. And all these are either premodern, modern or postmodern. Our philosophies are forming in a multidimensional matrix that becomes somewhat mind-boggling.
It's cool! If we can handle it we can almost merge the systematic nature of modernism (giving all these philosophies names and definitions) and the mystery of postmodernism (no matter how much you sytematicise you'll never reach ultimate definition). It's like an infinitely-sided regular polygon is actually a circle.
That's a nice bit of postmodern thinking. If you don't understand it doesn't matter, it was just fun to write. For more on forms of paganism go here.

Someone was telling me today about a man whose daughter committed suicide on Monday night. He was estranged from his wife and her family when he became a Christian. They rejected him because they were Wiccan. The daughter was raised Wiccan. I don't like this stuff.


rebecca said...

witchcraft can be pretty scary stuff especially if they are involved in what is a called covens.


Steve Hayes said...

Well thanks for the kind words!

As far as all the pre- and post- stuff is concerned, one of my favourite quotes is:

"An experience that a premodern person might have understood as possession by an evil spirit might be understood by a modern psychoanalytic patient as more mischief from the Id, and might be understood by a postmodern individual as a subpersonality making itself heard - might even, if you want to get really postmodern about it, be recognized as all three."

Sad about the family you mentioned. It's not the first that has had problems with different religions, though. That is all too common. But sometimes the confusion gets too much. My nephew's girlfriend wanted to arrange their baby's baptism long before it was born, sent out invitations and planned frilly bits. But because she never darkened the door of the church, the priest was on leave when the day finally came round and forgot all about it. She was also talking of having a Wiccaning for the poor child, but probably never darkened the door of the coven either.