Faithless Heathen

I grant that I reblog this writer frequently but I very much like his discussion of faith here.

mainer74

Odin PictureOne of the hardest concepts for me to adjust to when I came to Heathenry was the growing fear that I was doing it wrong, as the deeper into Heathenry I went, the less faith I had.  Now for those of you who are assuming that I was growing to trust the teachings of Heathenry less, or hold our gods in lesser reverence, I think it important to take a second to talk about the definition of faith that we inherit from a Christian European tradition.
Faith, in religious terms is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:
a (1) :  belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :  belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) :  firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) :  complete trust

There is a…

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3 responses to “Faithless Heathen”

  1. aeddubh says :

    I’m tired of the “I don’t need faith, my gods are real” line. Perhaps I envy him his gnosis. For me, I need to have faith.

    • facingthefireswithin says :

      I think it is more a difference between an Abrahamic take on faith and a more, almost natural, one? I find myself often between Mainer’s position and yours.

      • aeddubh says :

        I can meet my gods and spirits face-to-face in ritual, I can sometimes hear their promptings and messages, but I still have to have faith because those experiences, while real to me, are not “this world” real in the way that (to use his examples) my grandfather was or gravity is.

        I think that many people in the Pagan* community shy away from terms like “faith”, “piety”, “prayer”, “devotion” et. al. from an instinctive distaste for the Abrahamic faiths and the way they use those terms.

        Of course, our experience of *everything* is constructed inside our heads… this is one of the things that helps me to have faith in my religious experiences, actually. 😉


        * my definition of Pagan is inclusive of Heathens, modern western polytheists, etc.

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