Shinto and Hellenism – introduction

In the last year or two I have become very interested in Shinto, and in what I as a Hellenist can learn from the experience of a culture that has maintained their ancient traditional religion over thousands of years. However much it may have changed (and it has, quite a bit) over that time, the chain of tradition is basically unbroken – even more so, in some ways, than the chain that leads from Vedism to modern Hindu religions. The similarities and differences I note in this series would likely apply, to greater or lesser degree, to most traditional pagan religions – for that matter, there are some similarities to Biblical and Temple-era Judaism – but I’m focusing on Hellenism because that’s what I know. Extrapolate as you see fit. :)

NB – I make no claim to be an expert on either Shinto or Hellenism – I am simply a practitioner of Hellenism, and a student of both.

I was going to write a single post on the subject, but as I looked at it, I realized each subtopic deserves a fuller treatment than would be possible in that small space. The points (some major, some more or less incidental) that I plan to cover in the main series posts include: pollution and purification; the nature of kami as compared with the Theoi and nymphoi; the physical aspects of public shrine and temple worship; syncretism; attitudes to mythology; and the ritual calendar. (I may also tack on a post on Shinto and Aikido; we’ll see.)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Bonus side post

2 thoughts on “Shinto and Hellenism – introduction

  1. Jessi

    I am really looking forward to this series, I have been thinking that Shintoism make sa nice…compliment…to Hellenic worship and can teach us something.

  2. executivepagan Post author

    Hey Jessi,
    I hope it turns out to be useful! Be prepared, the first post won’t come until some time over the weekend due to work pressures…

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