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  • #346363

    Anonymous

    Most of you, like myself, were raised within a Christian family. I was raised by a Lutheran family, rather conservative. Never really practiced the religion besides what the family customs have taught me. Since the age of 15 I've been considering myself to be agnostic; neither religious nor fully atheist.

    Years ago I started reading about the ancient faith of the Slavs, and my ancestors' possible belief. Never stopped gathering information since then. It's a beautiful faith; the stories, how the people gather to practice the rituals and the stronger sense of kinship it creates between the Slavic folks following it.

    Regarding Christianity, I've always been aware of what the Romans did to those they referred to as 'pagans' and never really could accept Christianity as something worth following, specially considering that what they did to most of our ancestors, and how they managed to.

    Then again, I don't carry any religious thinking, nor do I believe mysticism; yet reading about and watching the Slavic rituals feels kind of 'warmer' and 'welcoming', to put it simply. One of my cousins is a Rodnover, and she often sends me pictures of the rituals, her embroidered ornaments as well as documents about the faith itself. Her family never had a problem with her choice, they actually support it, despite being formerly Orthodox from her paternal side.

    One of my Polish friends said Rodnovers in Poland are seen as 'oddballs'. Don't know how far that perception goes and why. I know some of you do follow the faith, but to what extent? Those who don't, would you? And what's your opinion on this faith conversion (or retrieval)?

    #429587

    Anonymous

    It's a beautiful thing, to return to your roots and to follow the faith of your ancestors. The only problem is that a lot of pseudo-historians try to over-do it and they tend to have the mainstream attention, which is not good. I love our religion, and it's great that you've started learning about it.

    #429588

    Anonymous

    Quote:
    Regarding Christianity, I've always been aware of what the Romans did to those they referred to as 'pagans' and

    I am affraid you got something wrong in your paradigm of history.
    Romans were pagans. And they were persecuting Christians.

    Quote:
    never really could accept Christianity as something worth following, specially considering that what they did to most of our ancestors, and how they managed to.

    What they did? I am really puzzled. At best you could conclude, part of our ancestors accpted Christianity, other part was not happy with choice of former, so they offten clashed.

    What outer Christians did, weeeelll, they gave us two shrifts and developed our literature.

    Quote:

    Then again, I don't carry any religious thinking, nor do I believe mysticism; yet reading about and watching the Slavic rituals feels kind of 'warmer' and 'welcoming', to put it simply. One of my cousins is a Rodnover, and she often sends me pictures of the rituals, her embroidered ornaments as well as documents about the faith itself. Her family never had a problem with her choice, they actually support it, despite being formerly Orthodox from her paternal side.

    Thats quite simple, you are sentimentaly attached to ancient Slavic religion, but you dont believe in it. Your Christian counterpart is "Culturaly Christian"

    #429589

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I am affraid you got something wrong in your paradigm of history.
    Romans were pagans. And they were persecuting Christians.
    What they did? I am really puzzled. At best you could conclude, part of our ancestors accpted Christianity, other part was not happy with choice of former, so they offten clashed.

    That is false, the rulers were the ones that accepted Christianity, blinded with the wealth they were offered, or they simply wanted to get married to a Christian princess, but the princess naturally wouldn't want to convert to Paganism. The rulers and their heirs persecuted those who followed the national religion, but found it difficult. In Serbia, the last Pagan temple was demolished during the reign of Tsar Dushan, in the 14th century! Fortunately enough, our faith is recovering, although quite damaged.

    #429590

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Romans were pagans.

    Romans were polytheists, not pagans.

    One can say that Slavic paganism is also polytheistic, but in it's essence it's not.

    Our paganism is more pragmatic, tribal and naturalistic (spiritual), wheres the Roman polytheism was in written form, and was meant to spread moral values (similar to Christianity).

    #429591

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    That is false, the rulers were the ones that accepted Christianity,

    If you acctually study history, you would see storyline was bit different. First one part of society accepted. Soldiers who fought in foreign service, merchants who traded with foreigners etc etc. They would construce basis. Latter, we had missions, offten multiple. In end, ruler would accept Christianity for political reasons or out of sincere conviction, or sometimes forced by foreign powers. He was supported by one side of society and other was resisting. But clashs, and sometimes wars were of no epic proportions.

    Quote:
    blinded with the wealth they were offered,

    What gold? Why would some state lets say Byzantine Empire, in dire need of money in order to support its army constantly involved in warfare, offer gold to some other contry which was more offten on enemy side, than allies?
    One of reasons for Evangelisations, was establishing of peace, and to avoid tributes which Slavic princes were extracting from neigbiourging arreas.

    Quote:
    or they simply wanted to get married to a Christian princess, but the princess naturally wouldn't want to convert to Paganism.

    Yes and they wanted to establis alliances with foreign powers and then improve their rank in Europe. But, of course foreign powers were interested to establish religious and cultural links as well, or more precise to deapen it.

    Quote:
    The rulers and their heirs persecuted those who followed the national religion, but found it difficult.

    Well, first, I hope you realise it is time when peoples were forming. Nations got formed some 1000 years latter, so from purely theoretical stance, you are wrong. Now lets take factual side. Yes there was persecution, but it was two side, many missionaries were killed, by their opponents. And it was not like there was some long lasting conflict. Conversion of most Slavic tribes was peacefull, by standards of Middle Ages of course.

    Quote:
    In Serbia, the last Pagan temple was demolished during the reign of Tsar Dushan, in the 14th century!

    I heard/red that sentence thousands of times, but never heard for source of such claims. I mean, there must be some chronicle, charter, whatever. But there is nothing. Next, time please, try to provide source.

    Quote:
    Fortunately enough, our faith is recovering, although quite damaged.

    I dont really wish to go in it. From my experience it is just new age with Slavic flavour. (sometimes with lot of Dharmic influences)

    Quote:
    Romans were polytheists, not pagans.

    Polythheism is whorship of multiple gods. In IV, V, VI century, Christians from Rome were calling their immediate neigbourghs, who lived in rural arreas of Latio, and who followed Roman and Latin Polytheism pagans. So from that perspective, and from perspective of English language, I think wrds are synonym.

    Quote:
    One can say that Slavic paganism is also polytheistic, but in it's essence it's not.

    In esence it is polytheistic. Also in practice and theory.

    Quote:
    Our paganism is more pragmatic, tribal and naturalistic (spiritual), wheres the Roman polytheism was in written form, and was meant to spread moral values (similar to Christianity).

    You cant find more pragmatic religion than Ancient Roman. Take for example word religion, religio in Latin. That was contract between gods and Roman people, in exchange for sacrifices and offerings, Roman gods were offering protection for Roman people. Also, religion was public duty, not matter of conviction.

    Per, tirbalistic and naturalistic it has lot to do with cultural development. Romans lived in cities mostly, so its bit hard ot preserve naturalistic and tribalistic characther. Which was still verry tracable. Up until empire, many importnant priest offices were confined just to certain clans (curias).

    And,  for moral values, well, Roman religion did not have ethic teaching. Of course, it was respecting of customs of fathers, mos maiorum. But again unwritten code of of honour is bit a tribalistic thing. There were of course Roman morlaists but they were philosophers, and not offshot of Roman religion.

    Apropo, wirtten form, well, Roman Religion did not have Holy Scriptures in Jewish fashion. There was plentitude of myths about deities, their origin and deeds, but they were contradictory, and never held to had canonic authorty.

    #429592

    Anonymous

    I do not see a reason to discuss beliefs on internet. What do you people ned to prove? Or do you need permision to worship either paganism or christianity? People should keep it for themselves and that is it.

    #429593

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Apropo, wirtten form, well, Roman Religion did not have Holy Scriptures in Jewish fashion. There was plentitude of myths about deities, their origin and deeds, but they were contradictory, and never held to had canonic authorty.

    We can philosophize about it till the morning, but It's just plane wrong to think that the Romans and the Slavs dealt and felt about their religions in same manner. In theory, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are very similar monotheistic religions, but are they the same?

    #429594

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I do not see a reason to discuss beliefs on internet. What do you people ned to prove? Or do you need permision to worship either paganism or christianity? People should keep it for themselves and that is it.

    No, I dont discuss religious beliefs. I was discussing history. If I remember correctly, you are/were student of History.

    Quote:
    We can philosophize about it till the morning, but It's just plane wrong to think that the Romans and the Slavs dealt and felt about their religions in same manner.

    Who claimed so? I just said that terms polytheism and paganism are interchangable. Thats more etymology than philosophising. Ancient Slavic religion was falling under definition of polytheism. Not that all kinds of polytheism are same.

    Quote:
    In theory, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are very similar monotheistic religions, but are they the same?

    They are verry different on theoretical level, I would say, even more than on practical. (There are radical disagreements on matter of teaching, I meant that), but to return it on topic, they are all classified as monotheism, ie they worship one God, you could go even further and classified all three under category of Abrhamic faiths, ie they all claim inheritance of Abraham.

    #429595

    Anonymous

    I was not directly reffering to you. I mean it generally. I just see no point of discussing such matters. I really get impression that some people are insecure about their decisions so they open new topic on forums and wait till someone agree with them. But ofc there is a lot who does not and then there is unnecesary discussion which leads to nowhere.
    I for once wear pagan symbols, attend pagan rituals but I do not ask other people what they think about it ,neither I speak about it. Why should I?

    #429596

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I was not directly reffering to you. I mean it generally. I just see no point of discussing such matters.

    Ok, notice taken :)

    Quote:
    I really get impression that some people are insecure about their decisions so they open new topic on forums and wait till someone agree with them. But ofc there is a lot who does not and then there is unnecesary discussion which leads to nowhere.

    Well, I am affrid its way how Internet works, people offten post something, just to find somebody who would support their opinions. It could be annoying I agree, but in end,its how Internet works.

    #429597

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I heard/red that sentence thousands of times, but never heard for source of such claims. I mean, there must be some chronicle, charter, whatever. But there is nothing. Next, time please, try to provide source.

    It was an accomplishment back in those days. Tsar Dushan stated that as a victorious act, therefore it was mentioned in his chronicles. I don't have access to an archive where I could find that chronicle, but it is there.

    Quote:
    I dont really wish to go in it. From my experience it is just new age with Slavic flavour. (sometimes with lot of Dharmic influences)

    As I have already stated, it can get pretty dumb, so to say, if the pseudo-historians practice it. The true followers of that religion and tradition take their sources from folklore and customs that can be found in more conservative Slavic areas.

    #429598

    Anonymous

    Evangelization of Slavic tribes was very slow process. In Croatia it lasted for three centuries. First the elite then others. There were three directions of that process: Frank Empire, missionaries from Italy and Byzantine empire. It is naive to think that that was something apocaliptic. It was a very slow process, without sword and fire. Lots of our ancient believes is preserved in our todays believes. Most of the christian temples are build on the sites of old ones.
    I must confess that i never heard that Tzar Dushan ruined the last temple. Even that is a true fact it doesn`t mean that old slavic believes were preserved in 14. century Serbia. Both of our countries were in position of very close and strong christians centres so it is hard to believe that old slavic believes could be so long preserved.
    I`m very strong supporter of rodnovery or our native religion. During my study in university i dedicated a lot of time for old slavic believes. Christiandom started as a sect and today is the most powerful religion. I m very found with the idea that Slavs return to they old believs. If we look today we are all physicaly Slavic but spiritual Semitic :)

    #429599

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    One of my Polish friends said Rodnovers in Poland are seen as 'oddballs'. Don't know how far that perception goes and why. I know some of you do follow the faith, but to what extent? Those who don't, would you? And what's your opinion on this faith conversion (or retrieval)?

    I generally like every religion in its theory, but I can't practise any. But to be honest in case of Rodnovery I don't know so much, however I am almost sure it wouldn't be a religion I can believe in.

    Dalibor, according to your first post here – you said:
    I am affraid you got something wrong in your paradigm of history.
    Romans were pagans. And they were persecuting Christians.

    Romans didn't perceived themselves as pagans. This term was used according to "a villager" or "a civilian" sometimes. When people started to convert to Christianity, this term became a word that describes non-Christians.

    But Romans who were not Christians at the time of converting, still were seeing those Christians as pagans, as they mostly lived in a village.

    Ancient Rome was generally tolerating in case of religion – countries which Rome conquered had right to practise they own native religion. Christianity was an exception as people have seen in christianity a danger.

    And they were right – nowadays "pagans" are perceived as satan's children or heretics, in some radical Christian societies.  It is even difficult in family to become non-Christian if parents are. They like to criticise, it happens sometimes. But in Rome there was generally no matter who believe in what. Even pagans themselves, who believed in different gods were able to communicate, but Christianity, as monotheistic religion, where was told: "You will not have different gods than me" (10 tenets, I don't know if I translated it correctly) suggests that Christians… well. Even not suggests but they expanded in bloody way very often. Romans seen danger in Christianity (except of Neron's insanity) which was not seen in other religions.

    #429600

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Dalibor, according to your first post here – you said:
    I am affraid you got something wrong in your paradigm of history.
    Romans were pagans. And they were persecuting Christians.

    Yes I did wrote so. You could read similary statements in almost hictoric any book dealing with question, Christian or not Christian.

    Quote:
    Romans didn't perceived themselves as pagans.

    So? We are not comunicating in III century Latin, but in English. In English word pagan has same meaning as polytheist. Hope now you understand what I meant.

    Quote:
    This term was used according to "a villager" or "a civilian"

    If you are vilager you cant be civilian (in Latin language and Roman worldview). Civis was citizen (of Rome). Word paganus has meaning of civilian in sense of military unexpirienced man, but it was military jargon.

    Quote:
    When people started to convert to Christianity, this term became a word that describes non-Christians.

    Not exactly. I said it was rather local phenomena, few centures after first conversions (1st century AD), and even few centuries after mass conversion (4th century AD)

    Quote:

    But Romans who were not Christians at the time of converting, still were seeing those Christians as pagans, as they mostly lived in a village.

    Christians did not live in villages, generaly until IV century. From its begining Christianity was urban phenomenon. All we have from Christian archeology, point us, Christians, almost exclusively lived in towns. Also, if you read New Testament, you can see this. Same goes with works of Church fathers.
    Well, to cut it short, Christians were never seen as pagans by anyone. And, again in English word pagan has verry well defined meaning, so honestly, what is essential fallacy of my words?

    Quote:
    Ancient Rome was generally tolerating in case of religion  – countries which Rome conquered had right to practise they own native religion.

    Yes and no. They were free to believe or not believe whatever they wished, but according Roman Law, every citizen of Roman Empire (from 212 AD, all inhabitants), or every person under its rule, was required participate in worship for Emperor (and latter worship of Emperor). As far as they participated in Roman cultus, they were free to believe whatever they wished, or wished not. Romans, were verry inclusive, and allways ready to accept deities of conquered nations in their beliefe systems. Whoever refused to do so, was considered as unloyal citizen, and even more it was offence Lèse-majesté, and by definition subject of capital punihment. Only exception from this rule was Jewish Religion, which was protected, by another priciple of Roman Law, due to its ancient origin.

    Quote:
    Christianity was an exception as people have seen in christianity a danger.

    First thing first, Roman Empire was Monarchy, Emperor was sharing his power with landowning, military and lawmaking/lawpracticing elite, people, Roman or conquered had little if any say in state politics. Second, there is famous correspondence between Plinius the Younger and Emperor Trajan, maybe it would be good for you to read it, if you really wish to understand why Romans were persecuting Christians:

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/pliny.html

    It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

    Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

    Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ–none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do–these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

    They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

    I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.

    Trajan to Pliny the Younger

    You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it–that is, by worshiping our gods–even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.

    So Christians dont acctually commit any crime, but they should be punished for being Christians.
    Please note, that punishment in language of that time means capital punishment.
    Also, it should be noted that Traja outlawed all social clubs (verry wide subset of formal and informla societies, from religious sects, to firemen clubs) because of possible political involvment. Christians simply fell unt this category.

    Quote:
    And they were right – nowadays "pagans" are perceived as satan's children or heretics,

    This is simply false. First, Christians do not believe Satan has children, well there is insult which was usualy thrown
    at other Christians faces. But, according Christian teachings all people are created in Image of God, and are considerd as children of Him. Apropo "heretics", wut?  Heretic is, by definition, Christian with unconventian, heterodox teachings.

    Anyway, I dont know if you acctually heard of this, but ordinary Roman People tought Christians are eathing their own children, engage in incest etc. Seems we again have bit wrong historic paradigm.

    Quote:
    in some radical Christian societies. 

    Well, Christians polemicits are offten verry harsh, but for sure favour was allways returned to them, from Jewish opoenents of Christ to Richard Dawkins.

    Quote:
    It is even difficult in family to become non-Christian if parents are.

    And modern times proved it numerous times.

    Quote:

    They like to criticise, it happens sometimes.

    Well seems you like to criticise too, for example Chrisitans for calling Pagans heretics, altough it would be bit oxymoron. But, again, love to criticise others is hardly unique to Christians

    Quote:
    But in Rome there was generally no matter who believe in what.

    As much as you were ready to participate in Imperial cult. What you acctually believed was unimportnant to Government. But it is still not right to kill inocent and loyal subjects, because they were refusing to participate in Imperial cult on gorunds of consceinscness. As far as Christians were mostly of Jewish origins, and as Government was not able to distinguish them from Jews, or simply did not care (Yes many Emperors simply did not care, and we had large periods when Christians were left alone) they were left alone, otherwise they were be killed, if they dont renounce Christianity it is.

    Quote:
    Even pagans themselves, who believed in different gods were able to communicate,

    And how it is relevant for Christians?

    Quote:
    but Christianity, as monotheistic religion, where was told: "You will not have different gods than me" (10 tenets, I don't know if I translated it correctly) suggests that Christians… well.

    Well? What well? First, Christians share good part of scriptures with Jews, who were also monotheists, and unlike Christians, they posed real political threat to Roman Empire (they rebelled few times). But Jews were, well left to practicise their religion freely, while Christians ought to do so in secret, if they did go to do it in public, well they were killed. Seems verry, well, unfair. :D

    Quote:
    Even not suggests but they expanded in bloody way very often.

    They could not even gather freely in public, because they would be arrested and executed, yett they had means to expand in bloody way? Seems quite logical. Christians were pretty small fraction of society, with limited finacial and no political and military ressources untll much latter. Spread of Christianity, in first centuries was without any doubt consequece of Charismatic and Intelectual cpability of its leaders.

    Quote:
    Romans seen danger in Christianity (except of Neron's insanity) which was not seen in other religions.

    Yes. But it does not mean they were right, and that danger was real. Roman Empire continued to exist till 1453 AD, as Christian state.

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