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Experimental Reconstructionism

By Joseph

My brother Lou has coined a term to describe the approach that Afstoll Thjod is taking towards our religious beliefs and practices; he calls it “experimental reconstructionism” (inspired by “experimental archaeology”). I think it’s a perfect descriptor, and would like to expand upon it briefly.

Part of what makes it such a great term is that it juxtaposes two words that in modern Paganism in general, and Heathenry in particular, have often been taken to be opposites. If one is reconstructing something, how can there be room for experimentation? And, similarly, if one is experimenting in terms of beliefs and practices, how can one really claim to be reconstructing a religion?

One of the misconceptions about reconstructionism is that we reconstructionists simply look stuff up in a book, preferably written in the 19th century, start acting out what the author says, and then spend the rest of our lives wandering about in an atavastic stupor, never looking beyond the 10th Century and wondering if there is a way to undo our childhood vaccinations. The simple truth is that no such book exists, and if it did, it’s certain that some later author would write another book completely contradicting most of its conclusions.

Read the original article at: Howl from the North

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