Interesting Religions

Matt tagged me with a new meme he’s trying to start:

what religions do you find most interesting apart from your own? Would
you pick one of the major world religions? Say Islam, or Buddhism, or
Hinduism or Judaism? Or would you pick something more obscure, like
Wicca or Taosim or Rastafarianism or Gnosticism? Would you pick
irreligion, say Atheism or Agnosticism? Or if you’re not Christian,
would you say Christianity?

To participate, state your own religion (or irreligion) as your first
preference, state the other religions that interest you most as your
second and third preferences, then pass onto five others. If you’re
feeling brave, say why they interest you.

So here are my choices:

Orthodox Christianity (and to a lesser degree, Roman Catholocism and those Protestant denominations that still have strong “high church” elements in their worship/liturgy.  What can I say?  My friend Julio got me fascinated.  After he read my essay explaining the concept of mystery using baptism as an example, he pointed out just how close I came to the actual Orthodox teachings on Baptism.  (He also shared my essay with his priest, who purportedly commented that I’m “really Orthodox and just don’t know it yet.)  My exploration of my current path has given me a great appreciation for liturgy, and something I now feel was sorely missing and undervalued while growing up Baptist and during my stint in a Pentecostal church.

Wicca.  Now this may surprise some people (it’ll come as no shock to others).  Some might even think this isn’t entirely a fair answer.  But remember, I don’t consider myself Wiccan.  Also, bear in mind that I tend to use a rather narrow definition of the word Wicca on this blog.  The Wicca I’m talking about fascinates me because it has some strong similarities to the relatiosnship I have with Freyja.  Also, I love the interplay between traditionalism and creativity that can be found among many of its adherents, providing you take the time to actually get to know them.

Voudun, Santeria, and the other African Diasporic relgions.  I find their understanding of the Loa and Orishas to be fascinating and far more in line with my own beliefs about my gods than most other concepts of deity.  I also find the strong animistic, shamanistic, and even tribalistic elements of these faiths to be very invigorating.

In turn, I’d like to tag Yewtree, Lauren, Tina, Barbara, and Erin.

10 thoughts on “Interesting Religions”

  1. Orthodox, eh? I’m interested in Orthodox Christianity now since I’m Catholic. 🙂 I love liturgy so much.

    So, you tagged me.. sorry, but pass! I would do it, but I’ve decided to take my blog in a different direction and this wouldn’t fit in with it.

    I think Judaism appeals to me since it’s a part of Christianity’s history, and also since a lot of things are fulfillments of the Jewish view.. like baptism is a fulfillment of circumcision, and the Eucharist is a fullfillment of Passover.

    Outside of that though, I could see myself being an atheist. Is that weird?

    I’m interested in Rastafarianism as a culture/lifestyle and not necessarily the religious aspect.

  2. As a baptist with a catholic background I know exactly what you mean. Liturgy is undervalued by evangelicalism. Fortunately more and more are these days open to exploring alternative forms of worship that combine evangelical and liturgical streams. I find the result much richer.

  3. I didn’t know of your interest in Vodun. I know very little about it, and would be interested in hearing more.

    Sounds like a fun meme, I’m on board.

  4. You’re such a party pooper, Lauren! But I appreciate you participating in the comments.

    I look forward to seeing what direction you take your blog in.

  5. I’m glad to hear that, Matt. And the results don’t surprise me.

    The thing is, there’s a lot of spiritual and psychological value in liturgy, especially liturgy that is meaningfully practiced on a regular basis.

    Of course, part of me wonders if past resistance to liturgy wasn’t at least partly influenced by some evangelical groups’ distrust of psychology.

  6. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the one to be telling you about it, Erin. I know very little, and most of that has been based on casual conversation with others who have had some experience with it. (Like my friend who was once invited to be ridden by a Baron during a Voudun ritual at Starwood.) I don’t feel I can pass on that information with any sense of accuracy. And I’d hate to be giving you the wrong ideas, even unintentionally. 🙂

    I look forward to reading your answers to the meme, though.

  7. I did love it – but it was very hard narrowing my choices down to 3. I just find all religion fascinating – though I prefer the mystical and metaphorical strains of it.

  8. Yes, very interesting meme to say the least. As you already know Jarred, I’m atheist so this will be very difficult for me. But I really did enjoy reading others responses to it. 🙂
    I will probably post the meme on my sites. Might get some crazy answers though, and maybe some rude ones…? lol.
    I’ll come back here after I do mine to let you know. Oh, and thanks for thinking of me. 🙂
    How have you been?

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