Saturday, October 30, 2004

More on the 'Episcopagans'

The Druid-Episcopal Church controversy has now moved from the blogosphere to the serious religion journalists at GetReligion, who summarize the whole scandal here.

I do see some bloggers gleefully tossing out the term "Episcopagan" as though they cleverly just invented it. Within the Pagan community, the term has been used since the early 1970s, at least, to describe those who like to perform rituals with lots of candles, incense, and other props.

This is all fascinating, but I have to go prune the apple tree and manure the garden now. Oh yes, and reserve a virgin for the Samhain sacrifice. And then grade student papers.


Blogger John said...

Thanks for the tip! "episcopagan" does have a nice ring to it.

And you're right. Albanese is pretty much where I get my information.

Best to you!

11:30 AM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

Albanese's book Nature Religion in America remains a milestone text. It was published in 1990, but at a panel discussion at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting in Orlando in 1998, she seemed astonished to learn that "nature religion" and "earth religion" had been used as self-descriptors by contemporary Pagans since about 1970.

That usage, however, does in a way reinforce her thesis, so she should have been pleased. Her concentration, however, was primarily on the 19th century, not on new religous movements of the 20th.

10:06 AM  
Blogger John said...

What is interesting to me about her thesis is how she places it in the context of American individualism and creativity. All protestant faiths have had to, at some point, confront nature religion and incorporate and resist aspects of such theology. In the BCP, for example, are clear prayers for the environment and nature, as also represented by the litany of Thanksgiving. Still, there is ignorance all around regarding the discussion on the Christian side, unfortunately.

10:11 AM  

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