Heathenry , also termed Heathenism , contemporary Germanic Paganism , or Germanic Neopaganism , is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify it as a new religious movement. Developed in Europe during the early 20th century, its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian belief systems adhered to by the Germanic peoples of the Iron Age and Early Middle Ages. In an attempt to reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical, archaeological, and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably. Heathenry does not have a unified theology but is typically polytheistic , centering on a pantheon of deities from pre-Christian Germanic Europe. It adopts cosmological views from these past societies, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits.
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Aug 14 These articles brought some unwanted attention to the Heathen group on social media. Discussions that do not adhere to our values and the laws of the land are not tolerated on our Facebook page. According to results of the Worldwide Heathen Census that I conducted at the end of , there are nearly eight times as many followers of the religion in America as there are in Iceland. Germany also has a higher total number of adherents than Iceland.
Unlike Iceland, where one religious organization includes nearly all Heathens, America and Germany have a large number of national organizations, regional associations, local groups and lone practitioners. No organization is dominant and no one person is the public face of Heathenry, as is the case in Iceland. American Heathens tend to be more omnivorous in their studies.
This is understandable, in light of the great cultural diversity of American society. They are intensely interested in archeological discoveries throughout Scandinavia, the European continent and the British Isles. Many follow the latest academic scholarship in historical and religious studies. German Heathens are interested in Icelandic materials, but largely turn to the pre-Christian history of their own region for inspiration and guidance.
One event common to most Germans is the defeat of the Roman legions by Hermann the Cherusker. The two-thousandth anniversary of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest was celebrated by German Heathens only a few years ago. Despite media focus on the far-right fringe, the majority of practitioners in America and Germany are opposed to such attitudes. Websites of most groups include statements denouncing discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation.
On marriage equality, American Heathens are more progressive than U. Within the American Heathen community, those who self-identify as liberals or moderates outnumber conservatives nearly five to three. The self-proclaimed Hawaiian Odinist seemed to use at least three different aliases to praise her own comments and repeatedly link to her website featuring slander of Jews, African-Americans and immigrants.
The hard lesson is that some view freedom as being good for themselves; anyone else's freedom they're not too sure about. Some people learn and grow into wider views; others don't.
This is good, because we recognize the value of localizing ourselves and understanding the Heathen worldview through the world, society and community we live within. We can support and defend others, but we can do so in a way that respects the diversity within a polytheistic worldview. Karl E. Seigfried is the author of The Norse Mythology Blog.
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Aug 14 These articles brought some unwanted attention to the Heathen group on social media. Discussions that do not adhere to our values and the laws of the land are not tolerated on our Facebook page. According to results of the Worldwide Heathen Census that I conducted at the end of , there are nearly eight times as many followers of the religion in America as there are in Iceland.
Germanic Heathenry: A Practical Guide
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Heathenry is a term used to describe the religious practices of two main groups of people, one historical and one modern. The original Heathens were the pre-Christian North European peoples who lived a thousand and more years ago in the lands around what is now called the North Sea. Modern Heathen groups around the world are reviving these old practices and call their religion by various names including Asatru, The Northern Tradition, Odinism, Forn Sed, Germanic Pagan Reconstructionism or, simply, Heathenry. In Iceland, which did not convert to Christianity until the 11th Century, Heathenry has once again become an official nationally recognised religion. Heathens work to build healthy relationships with gods and goddesses, ancestors, spirits of the land, and others in their communities, both through holy rites and through their day to day actions. There are literary sources that tell us how Heathenry was practised before the advent of Christianity.