Thursday, November 30, 2006

Religions With Homework?

So it's popular for recons to refer to their faiths as "religion with homework", or something to that effect -- to note the importance of the research and sound historical basis and all that good stuff.

But one of the things I've seen in my own religious community on the subject is that it leads to terrible support for those people who aren't personally academically inclined, research junkies, or the like. The level of instruction I've seen has occasionally gotten beyond "Do these things, profess this belief" into a little bit of why and where it came from, but not much -- and not enough to counterbalance the number of tinpot dictators who are willing to trade on "I know what I'm doing" to pull in people who don't have the resources or the skills or the inclination to do the research themselves.

And of course, for communities like the Celts, where what's out there is pretty much limited to the deep academic study of the tiny amounts of evidence or crazed stuff pulled out of someone's arse ... oog.

How much has the lack of accessible historical resources affected those people who are either non-academics on a recon path or who are interested in doing a partially historically sound adaptation? For people who are reconstructionists in the academic mold, how does your community do on making concepts accessible?

What resources bridging the gap between the academic world and the interested pagan are out there? What resources do people think should be out there?

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