This paper makes the case for a new direction in Ásatrú theology. After making a clear distinction between dogma and theology, a succinct review will be made of various recent approaches to writing on theological issues within the cluster of modern Heathen religions. The paper will then suggest a new path forward that avoids some pitfalls that have arisen in work that strongly focuses on secular scholarship and the desire to return to a putative ancient worldview. A turn will be made to the concept of public theology, to the idea that there is a “growing need for theology to interact with public issues of contemporary society” and to “engage in dialogue with different academic disciplines such as politics, economics, cultural studies, religious studies, as well as with spirituality, globalization and society in general” (International Journal of Public Theology). This paper forwards the notion that we embrace our identity as members of a New Religious Movement (NRM) that began in 1972 as we fully engage with contemporary issues. In Hávamál, Odin says, “A better burden may no man bear for wanderings wide than wisdom.” This paper suggests that we continue to carry the wisdom of the past, but that we resolutely turn our focus to embracing the world we live in today and to engaging with the challenges of the present. In conclusion, the paper calls for a collaborative international project to produce a collection of original public theology by authors from a wide variety of perspectives.
Ár nDraíocht Féin, or ADF, is an international Druid organization with the focus on Indo-European (IE) scholarship and re-creating worship of the various gods within the cultural contexts of the IE language cultures. Founded in 1983 as a primarily Celtic focused organization, it has grown to include a large number of members who practice some form of Heathenry. In this session, we will be discussing some history of ADF, how Heathenry is practiced within ADF, and how this varies in our religious organization throughout the world.
The Alliance for Inclusive Heathenry was formed in 2015 to host a Heathen Information Booth at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. Since then, its Facebook site has served as a forum for discussion of ways to include people of all backgrounds in heathenry, and its banner has made an opposing statement at alt-right rallies. Presentation by Diana Paxson.
For many heathens honoring the ancestors is an important aspect of modern heathenry. What role did ancestor worship play in the past? In this talk, we will examine the historical facts, briefly explore the influence of 19th century romantic ideas, and look into modern interpretations of ancestor worship in Asatru. Presentation by John Potts and Gunna Einarsdottir
People may be drawn to Heathen faith for many reasons. Some like Heathen values, others are called by one or another of our goddesses or gods. But for many, the fact that this was the religion of one’s ancestors has a major appeal. This can be a problem when one also believes that our religion should be open to anyone, of whatever background, who feels its call. Unfortunately, for some, ancestry is the primary reason for being Heathen, and pride can all too easily lead to a belief in superiority.
How can we reconcile inclusion with ethnic pride? Can we find guidance in a deeper exploration of what ethnicity means? Nobody ever said that being Heathen was easy, but I hope that as we discuss these issues, we can help each other find the path to Bifrost.
Closing Ritual on Sunday
Kim Pierri and his family’s experiences in “re-enactment” and some comments about the religious experiences such as 3 times (2 whole weeks and a weekend) spent in nineteenth century houses in Land of Legends in Lejre. 1 week in Iron-age houses in Land of Legends in Lejre. His experiences also include several times as a volunteer at the Viking market at Land of Legends in Lejre. 20 years of long ship sailing from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, which include some trips with The Sea Stallion of Glendalough one of them from Dublin and around the English south coast and one from Roskilde to Norway. The presentation will include both historical information and personal religious experiences.
Distelfink Sippschaft organization presentation, and the Deitsch (Pennsylvania German) Folklore Research Project by Robert L. Schreiwer
Eldaring organization presentation by Ulrike Pohl