Talk:Hard and soft polytheism

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Help Me Out Here[edit]

how does it work that a portion of one faith (some Hellenics moving to Platonism and Neoplatonism) causes a complete questioning of an entire term? a large number of Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans, for instance, express hard polytheist sentiments, and are not accepting of a Platonist or Neoplatonist interpretation. i think that section needs some serious revision. Whateley23 20:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I have the same problem with this addition, and I also haven't really seen evidence that "the term is beginning to be questioned" or that "many reconstructionists are now Neoplatonists." I'm going to go ahead and remove that bit. - AdelaMae (talk - contribs) 02:57, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I have my doubts that " a large number of Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans" even exist, never mind advocating hard polytheism. My best efforts to establish the existence of Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans resulted in a reasonable estimate that there are perhaps a dozen active proponents. I would be grateful to a solid reference to anyone advocating hard polytheism, no need to go into "large numbers". --dab (𒁳) 19:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Fascinating. The hundreds of CRs I've communicated with would probably find that a rather low number :-) As for sources, here's one. It would be more appropriate for someone else to add it:
<ref name="Telesco1">Laurie, Erynn Rowan; Aedh Rua O'Morrighu, John Machate, Kathryn Price Theatana, Kym Lambert nĂ­ Dhoireann, "Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism" in Telesco, Patricia [ed] (2005) ''Which Witch is Which?'' Franklin Lakes, NJ, New Page Books / The Career Press ISBN 1-56414-754-1, p. 86: "Our path is polytheist and animistic. We believe there are many deities, ancestors and nature spirits who are individual entities worthy of recognition, petition and reverence. ... Deities and spirits are seen as being similar to humanity in that they have individual personalities, moods and desires. They are not necessarily all good and loving at all times, nor do all deities get along with each other. All deities are respected, but not all are worshipped."</ref>
Also, see my comments below. This is a source for CR being polytheistic, and "hard" polytheistic by the definitions in this unsourced article. However, we aren't calling ourselves "hard polytheists" in this source, or anywhere else AFAIK, as that's rather redundant and silly. Unless someone shortly produces a source on this need to qualify polytheism as "hard" or "soft" anywhere but a few Neopagan online discussions, I think this article should be AfD'd as an unsourced neologism. - Kathryn NicDhĂ na ♫♊♫ 22:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Greek religion not a good example[edit]

There were a lot of Greeks, and Greek culture covered a long period; it's misleading to say they all thought the gods were distinct and separate. In the Greek magical papyri (which are thought to express popular, rather than obscure beliefs) there are several examples of multiple goddesses being seen as merely aspects of a single great goddess. And in Orphism, Pan and Zeus and Dionysus were seen as aspects of a single being, the Phanes-Protogonos. The Greeks were also quick to adopt foreign gods under the names of domestic deities, e.g. the Ephesian Artemis, or the god of Mendes being described as the Egyptian Pan! I think we need to find a better example of hard polytheism! Fuzzypeg☻ 03:27, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The Aztec religion might be a better example of a "purer" hard polytheistic religion, rather the article at it's current stance, which is horrible. The Egyptian religion might be another religion to stay away from in this article. Towards the end the Egyptian religon almost was boderline monetheistic (And the orgin of that concept, pre Abrahamic religion.) & many gods were fused togather or started to, like Isis and Hathor, Amun and Re and so on. Just look the Isis for example! In some cases she was seen as the manfestation fo all gods and goddesses! In fact the Egyptian religion is sometimes named as monolatry, not a good comcept for the support of "hard" polytheism.

Xuchilbara 03:51, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Aztec religion is also a poor example as they too had monistic philosophical beliefs underlying the state cult (, just as amongst the Orphics and Neoplatonists in Greek religion. I think that, with careful examination, you will find this is the case in virtually all sophisticated 'polytheistic' cultures. -Geoffrey Bain —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


Is this term a neologism? It has very few google hits and I can't find any reliable sources. JoshuaZ 03:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Might be. While the concept is certainly out there, I think I've only seen the term itself on WP and LJ. Hmmmm. Personally, I think this whole article is flawed the more I look at it. Polytheism is polytheism. Henotheism and duotheism, etc, already have names. I think this is an attempt to coin or solidify an unsourced neologism. For instance, the source I just suggested about for CR - we've never debated being "hard" or "soft" polytheists. We are simply polytheists. This article is trying to say that only "hard" polytheism is polytheism, but that the term can be somehow degraded to encompass philosophies that aren't actually polytheism, simply by qualifying them as "soft" polytheism. I'm tempted to just ditch this. - Kathryn NicDhĂ na ♫♊♫ 22:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
you are right I think. Whatever we have here that is worth keeping can be merged into polytheism. Thus, I don't suggest an Afd, I would prefer a simple merge which we can just do silently unless somebody objects. I don't necessarily agree that "Polytheism is polytheism" in the sense that there cannot be huge differences in conception, just as there can be huge differences in monotheist conceptions of God. But such as they are, they should be discussed without resorting to neologisms. dab (𒁳) 13:34, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
True, it is more complicated than just "polytheism is polytheism." :-) There are a range of interpretations. But trying to put that range into two defining categories, based on OR and the opinions of the contributors, is not only simplifying it far too much, it's inappropriate for the 'pedia. If there are no objections, I agree we can merge and redirect. I need to look over both articles and see if any of this is worth saving, and how it would best be integrated. - Kathryn NicDhĂ na ♫♊♫ 18:42, 18 November 2007 (UTC)