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Passive Versus Active Reconstructionism

Reconstructionism involves a lot more than just re-building the temples; it includes getting directly involved with the gods.

By P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

From my earliest involvement in modern Antinous-devoted spirituality, I’ve identified my practice as (amongst several other adjectives) “reconstructionist” because I have found the remains of ancient temples, statues, coins, historical and literary texts, and sacred hymns to be revelatory of what the god Antinous is like, and has been in the lives of his worshippers in earlier eras. I’ve had some people deride me for this: some say that paying any heed to what happened in the past is done at the expense of getting a good feel for what Antinous is like now as a continuous and present divine person in people’s lives; and, I’ve had others who are of a particular reconstructionist-identified bent that also critique me for worshipping someone who was formerly human.

I find that dismissing a person’s entire history and family background as the basis for valid knowledge of the person as one encounters them now being inadvisable (at best!) is a very valid counter to the former objection. Just as we have individual and personal histories, the gods have individual and personal histories (outside of their mythologies) as they have interacted with their human devotees over the centuries, and these do not go away simply because we may not be interested in investigating them, any more than someone who doesn’t care that I’m from Washington State will not remove my Washingtonian-ness from me in our interactions due to their lack of interest.

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