View Full Version : What is Religious Reconstructionism?

October 25th, 2008, 03:18 PM
my kitty made me do it....

October 25th, 2008, 04:20 PM
I voted other. I think that reconstructionism is a tricky subject because to my understanding it is primarily looking at bringing back and reestablishing extinct belief systems and practices... in stark contrast to Puritanism which looks at reestablishing inferred core ideals or earlier practices within an extant religious system. Ofcourse the tricky part here is that reconstructionism will be based on what little evidence we have left of what those religions and societies left behind. We can see this with a current (almost dead) religion named Zoroastrianism. For 3000 years that religion has been around, and yet when Islam spread and became dominant in Persia, the Zoroastrians lost entire portions of their holy books the Gathas, and as a result now the religion is not the same as it was 1000 years ago because they are now using incomplete texts.

I don't think it's a religion in and of it's self. I mean a Sumerian recon and a Hellenic Recon are not going to believe the same things... they will just probably be going about researching the same way. And as that reconstruction is based on or reconstructing entirely the earlier form of the religious system then as a general theme Reconstructionism in it's self is a practice not a religion.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by Dogma. If I understand that statement correctly, then one would assume a dogma of either how to reconstruct OR the dogma of exactly what that particular reconstructed religion is. However I think that this is a broad thing to begin (if I udnerstand the statement right). After all when looking at what dogma is, many of the social institutions that were around to socialize the religious dogma into people who followed the religion do not exist at all now (ie. a particular government or monarchy, the priesthood, the culture, and the original peoples). That would mean then that the Dogma cannot exist as it once did in the same way and thus is has to change or be ignored. The tricky thing here is what is the differenc e between social religious practices and spiritual religious practices? Is killing a Bull at High Sun necessarily a religious practice or is it merely a cultural social practice in the guise of a religious institution?

I could agree that Reconstructionism in general could be a methadology... a way of doing things inorder to reestablish the belief system. Buttttt... another tricky piece, how can a single methadology completely cover all the major pieces to those religions? For example in Egyptian religion... the Pharoah was central to the religion (in part due to social and political developments that put him/her there). How can one establish a dynasty if you are not ethnically connected at all to the ancient egyptians? Another example might be reestablishment of oral tradition? How can a methadology of research fully bring back oral Mystery traditions. There are records ofcourse, but those oral secrets are not coming back even if you beg Mithra for them. So I don't think that it is a metahdology either because of what I see different groups are going about researching and reestablishing differently. And I am using reestablishment very carefully because it is different than recreating, although Im sure there is a certain level of recreation in order to compensate for social and cultual differences between the two time periods.

I hope that kind of amde sense. I'm not a reconstructionist myself, and it's just what I see in various groups that are... so I don't claim to know a LOT about the process but I hope that helps discussion :)

October 25th, 2008, 05:11 PM
My understanding is that reconstruction is a methodology. Take what we know fro the sources, and expand on it to the next step.

October 26th, 2008, 12:44 PM
my kitty made me do it....

I think that it is BOTH a methodology for the development of practices...


I also think that there is a religious/spiritual component for many of those who have the drive to lead and/or participate in such an endeavor.

Therefore I did not vote...I couldn't pick just one.