Uralic neopaganism encompasses contemporary movements which have been reviving or revitalising the ethnic religions of the Uralic peoples. The rebirth has taken place since the 1980s and 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and alongside the ethnonational and cultural reawakening of the Uralic peoples of Russia, the Estonians and the Finns. In fact, Neopagan movements in Finland and Estonia have much older roots, dating from the early 20th century. Among the Uralic peoples of the Volga Federal District of Russia, scholar Victor Schnirelmann has observed two cooperating patterns of development of Neopaganism: the reactivation of authentic rituals and worship ceremonies in the countrysides, the development of systematised doctrines amongst the urban intelligentsia rejecting Russian Orthodoxy as a foreign religion; the Uralic Communion, founded in 2001, is an organisation for the cooperation of different institutions promoting Uralic indigenous religions. The Estonian native religion, or Estonian Neopaganism, is the name, in English, for a grouping of contemporary revivals of the indigenous Pagan religion of the Estonian people.
It encompasses "Taaraism", a monistic religion centered on god Tharapita founded in 1928 by intellectuals as a national religion. Both the kinds of the movement are administered by the Maavalla Koda organisation. According to a 2002 survey, 11% of the population of Estonia claim that "out of all the religions they have the warmest feelings towards Taaraism and Maausk"; the Finnish native religion, or Finnish Neopaganism, is the contemporary Neopagan revival of Finnish paganism, the pre-Christian polytheistic ethnic religion of the Finns. A precursor movement was the Ukkousko of the early 20th century; the main problem in the revival of Finnish paganism is the nature of pre-Christian Finnish culture, which relied on oral tradition and little is left. The primary sources concerning Finnish native culture are written by latter-era Christians, they may be tainted or unreliable. The national epic is the Kalevala. There are two main organisations of the religion, the "Association of Finnish Native Religion" based in Helsinki and registered since 2002, the "Taivaannaula" association headquartered in Turku with branches in many cities and registered in 2007.
The Association of Finnish Native Religion caters to Karelians and is a member of the Uralic Communion. The Mari native religion Mari Neopaganism, is the ethnic religion of the Mari people, a Volga Finnic ethnic group based in the republic of Mari El, in Russia. Unlike other neopagan movements, the Mari native religion, called Marla, is among the only ones to have been practiced without interruption since the Neolithic; the religion has undergone changes over time under the influence of neighbouring monotheisms. In the last few decades, while keeping its traditional features in the countryside, an organised Neopagan revival has taken place; the Mari religion is based on the worship of the forces of nature, which man must honour and respect. Before the spread of monotheistic teachings amongst the Mari, they worshipped many gods, while recognising the primacy of a "Great God", Kugu Jumo. In the 19th century, influenced by monotheism, the Pagan beliefs altered and the image of a Osh Kugu Jumo "Great God of Light", was strengthened.
Subject to persecution in the Soviet Union, the faith has been granted official status since the 1990s by the government of Mari El, where it is recognized as one of the three traditional faiths along with Orthodox Christianity and Islam. Some activists claim that the Mari native religion believers are subject to pressure by Russian authorities as part of a wider campaign to Russify Mari culture. Vitaly Tanakov, an adherent of the faith, was charged with inciting religious, national and linguistic hatred after publishing the book The Priest Speaks; the Mordvin native religion called Erzyan native religion, or Mordvin-Erzyan Neopaganism, is the modern revival of the ethnic religion of the Mordvins, peoples of Volga Finnic ethnic stock dwelling in their republic of Mordovia within Russia, or in bordering lands of Russia. The name of the originating god according to the Mordvin tradition is Ineshkipaz; the Mordvins were fully Christianised since the times of Kievan Rus', although Pagan customs were preserved in the folklore and few villages preserved utterly the native faith at least until further missionary activities of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century and in the early 20th century.
The Neopagan revival was started in 1990, alongside that of many other native religions in Russia, just in the verge of dissolution of the Soviet Union. According to scholar Victor Schnirelmann 2% of the Mordvins adhere to the Mordvin native faith, while more recent figures by the Evangelical database Joshua Project report a 5%. Adherents of the Erzyan Mastor organisation organise the Rasken Ozks, a national Mordvin worship service held yearly, with participation of members of the Mastorava organisation and other ones. Udmurt Vosh is the ethnic religious revival of the Udmurts, a Volga Fin
In religious studies, an ethnic religion is a religion associated with a particular ethnic group. Ethnic religions are distinguished from universal religions which claim to not be limited in ethnic or national scope, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Jainism. Ethnic religions are not only independent religions; some localised denominations of global religions are practised by certain ethnic groups. For example, the Assyrians have a unique denominational structure of Christianity known as the Assyrian Church of the East. A number of alternative terms have been used instead of "ethnic" or "indigenous" religions; the term "primal religion" was coined by Andrew Walls in the University of Aberdeen in the 1970s to provide a focus on non-Western forms of religion as found in Africa and Oceania. Terms such as "primal religion," "primitive religion," and "tribal religion" have been contested by Walls' student, Jim Cox, who argues that such terms suggest an undeveloped religion which can be seen as a preparation for conversion to Christianity.
Cox prefers to use the term "indigenous religion."Another term, used is "folk religion." While "ethnic religion" and "folk religion" have overlapping uses, the latter term implies "the appropriation of religious beliefs and practices at a popular level." The term "folk religion" can therefore be used to speak of Chinese and African indigenous religions, but can refer to popular expressions of more multi-national and institutionalized religions such as Folk Christianity or Folk Islam. Ethnic religions are distinctive in their relationship with a particular ethnic group and in the shaping of one's solidarity with an ethnic identity; some ethnic religions include Judaism of the Jews, Druze religion of the Druze, Alawism of Alawites, Alevism of the Alevites, Mandaeanism of the Mandaeans, Yazidism of the Yazidis, Chinese folk religion of the Han Chinese, Shinto of the Japanese, A ƭat Roog of the Serer of Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania. Diasporic groups maintain ethnic religions as a means of maintaining a distinct ethnic identity the role of African traditional religion and Afro-American religions among the African diaspora in the Americas.
Some ancient ethnic religions, such as those found in pre-modern Europe, have found new vitality in neopaganism. Moreover, non-ethnic religions such as Christianity have been known to assume ethnic traits to an extent that they serve a role as an important ethnic identity marker, a notable example of this is the Serbian "Saint-Savianism" of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Animism Ancestor worship Endogamy Gavari List of ethnic religions List of Neopagan movements National god Shamanism Slava Totemism
Pantheism is the belief that reality is identical with divinity, or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheist belief does not recognize a distinct personal anthropomorphic god and instead characterizes a broad range of doctrines differing in forms of relationships between reality and divinity. Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years, pantheistic elements have been identified in various religious traditions; the term "pantheism" was coined by mathematician Joseph Raphson in 1697 and has since been used to describe the beliefs of a variety of people and organizations. Pantheism was popularized in Western culture as a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza his book Ethics. A pantheistic stance was taken in the 16th century by philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno. Pantheism derives from θεός theos; the first known combination of these roots appears in Latin, in Joseph Raphson's 1697 book De Spatio Reali seu Ente Infinito, where he refers to the "pantheismus" of Spinoza and others.
It was subsequently translated into English as "pantheism" in 1702. There are a variety of definitions of pantheism; some consider it a philosophical position concerning God. Pantheism is the view that everything is part of an immanent God. All forms of reality may be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it; some hold. To them, pantheism is the view that the God are identical. Early traces of pantheist thought can be found within the theology of the ancient Greek religion of Orphism, where pan is made cognate with the creator God Phanes, with Zeus, after the swallowing of Phanes. Pantheistic tendencies existed in a number of early Gnostic groups, with pantheistic thought appearing throughout the Middle Ages; these included a section of Johannes Scotus Eriugena's 9th-century work De divisione naturae and the beliefs of mystics such as Amalric of Bena and Eckhart. The Roman Catholic Church has long regarded pantheistic ideas as heresy. Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk who evangelized about an immanent and infinite God, was burned at the stake in 1600 by the Roman Inquisition.
He has since become known as a celebrated pantheist and martyr of science, an influence on many thinkers. In the West, pantheism was formalized as a separate theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese descent raised in the Sephardi Jewish community in Amsterdam, he developed controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine, was excluded from Jewish society at age 23, when the local synagogue issued a herem against him. A number of his books were published posthumously, shortly thereafter included in the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books; the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work would not be realized for many years - as the groundwork for the 18th-century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe. In the posthumous Ethics, "Spinoza wrote the last indisputable Latin masterpiece, one in which the refined conceptions of medieval philosophy are turned against themselves and destroyed entirely.".
In particular, he opposed René Descartes' famous mind–body dualism, the theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza held the monist view that the two are the same, monism is a fundamental part of his philosophy, he was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. This view influenced philosophers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who said, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." Spinoza earned praise as one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy and one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. Although the term "pantheism" was not coined until after his death, he is regarded as the most celebrated advocate of the concept. Ethics was the major source. Heinrich Heine, in his Concerning the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, remarked that "I don't remember now where I read that Herder once exploded peevishly at the constant preoccupation with Spinoza, "If Goethe would only for once pick up some other Latin book than Spinoza!"
But this applies not only to Goethe. In their The Holy Family Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels notes, "Spinozism dominated the eighteenth century both in its French variety, which made matter into substance, in deism, which conferred on matter a more spiritual name.... Spinoza's French school and the supporters of deism were but two sects disputing over the true meaning of his system...." In George Henry Lewes's words, "Pantheism is as old as philosophy. It was taught in the old Greek schools — by Plato, by St. Augustine, by the Jews. Indeed, one may say that Pantheism, under one of its various shapes, is the necessary consequence of all metaphysical inquiry, when pushed to its logical limits; the dreamy contemplative Indian, the quick versatile Greek, the practical Roman, the quibbling Scholastic, th
Proto-Indo-European mythology is the body of myths and stories associated with the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Although these stories are not directly attested, they have been reconstructed by scholars of comparative mythology based on the similarities in the belief systems of various Indo-European peoples. Various schools of thought exist regarding the precise nature of Proto-Indo-European mythology, which do not always agree with each other; the main mythologies used in comparative reconstruction are Vedic and Norse supported with evidence from the Baltic, Greek and Hittite traditions as well. The Proto-Indo-European pantheon includes well-attested deities such as *Dyḗus Pḥatḗr, the god of the daylit skies, his daughter *Haéusōs, the goddess of the dawn, the divine twins, the storm god *Perkwunos. Other probable deities include *Péh2usōn, a pastoral god, *Seh2ul, a female solar deity. Well-attested myths of the Proto-Indo-Europeans include a myth involving a storm god who slays a multi-headed serpent that dwells in water and a creation story involving two brothers, one of whom sacrifices the other to create the world.
The Proto-Indo-Europeans may have believed that the Otherworld was guarded by a watchdog and could only be reached by crossing a river. They may have believed in a world tree, bearing fruit of immortality, either guarded by or gnawed on by a serpent or dragon, tended by three goddesses who spun the thread of life; the mythology of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is not directly attested and it is difficult to match their language to archaeological findings related to any specific culture from the Chalcolithic. Nonetheless, scholars of comparative mythology have attempted to reconstruct aspects of Proto-Indo-European mythology based on the existence of similarities among the deities, religious practices, myths of various Indo-European peoples; this method is known as the comparative method. Different schools of thought have approached the subject of Proto-Indo-European mythology from different angles; the Meteorological School holds that Proto-Indo-European mythology was centered around deified natural phenomena such as the sky, the Sun, the Moon, the dawn.
This meteorological interpretation was popular among early scholars, such as Friedrich Max Müller, who saw all myths as fundamentally solar allegories. This school lost most of its scholarly support in early twentieth centuries; the Ritual School, which first became prominent in the late nineteenth century, holds that Proto-Indo-European myths are best understood as stories invented to explain various rituals and religious practices. The Ritual School reached the height of its popularity during the early twentieth century. Many of its most prominent early proponents, such as James George Frazer and Jane Ellen Harrison, were classical scholars. Bruce Lincoln, a contemporary member of the Ritual School, argues that the Proto-Indo-Europeans believed that every sacrifice was a reenactment of the original sacrifice performed by the founder of the human race on his twin brother; the Functionalist School holds that Proto-Indo-European society and their mythology, was centered around the trifunctional system proposed by Georges Dumézil, which holds that Proto-Indo-European society was divided into three distinct social classes: farmers and priests.
The Structuralist School, by contrast, argues that Proto-Indo-European mythology was centered around the concept of dualistic opposition. This approach tends to focus on cultural universals within the realm of mythology, rather than the genetic origins of those myths, but it offers refinements of the Dumézilian trifunctional system by highlighting the oppositional elements present within each function, such as the creative and destructive elements both found within the role of the warrior. One of the earliest attested and thus most important of all Indo-European mythologies is Vedic mythology the mythology of the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas. Early scholars of comparative mythology such as Friedrich Max Müller stressed the importance of Vedic mythology to such an extent that they equated it with Proto-Indo-European myth. Modern researchers have been much more cautious, recognizing that, although Vedic mythology is still central, other mythologies must be taken into account. Another of the most important source mythologies for comparative research is Roman mythology.
Contrary to the frequent erroneous statement made by some authors that "Rome has no myth", the Romans possessed a complex mythological system, parts of which have been preserved through the characteristic Roman tendency to rationalize their myths into historical accounts. Despite its late attestation, Norse mythology is still considered one of the three most important of the Indo-European mythologies for comparative research due to the vast bulk of surviving Icelandic material. Baltic mythology has received a great deal of scholarly attention, but has so far remained frustrating to researchers because the sources are so comparatively late. Nonetheless, Latvian folk songs are seen as a major source of information in the process of reconstructing Proto-Indo-European myth. Despite the popularity of Greek mythology in western culture, Greek mythology is seen as having little importance in comparative mythology due to the heavy influence of Pre-Greek and Near Eastern cultures, which overwhelms what little Indo-European material can be extracted from it.
Greek mythology received minimal scholarly attention until the mid 2000s. Although Scythians are considered conservative in regards to Proto-Indo-European cultures, retaining a similar lifestyle and culture, their mythology has rarely been examined in
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Suppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. Between the 15th and 13th centuries BC, the Empire of Hattusa, conventionally called the Hittite Empire, came into conflict with the Egyptian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and the empire of the Mitanni for control of the Near East; the Assyrians emerged as the dominant power and annexed much of the Hittite empire, while the remainder was sacked by Phrygian newcomers to the region. After c. 1180 BC, during the Bronze Age collapse, the Hittites splintered into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC before succumbing to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family, along with the related Luwian language, is the oldest attested Indo-European language.
Hittites referred to their native language as nešili "in the language of Nesa" but called their native land as Kingdom of Hattusa. The conventional name "Hittites" is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology. Despite their use of the name Hattusa for their state, the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the region of Hattusa and spoke an unrelated language known as Hattic; the history of the Hittite civilization is known from cuneiform texts found in the area of their kingdom, from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Assyria, Babylonia and the Middle East, the decipherment of, a key event in the history of Indo-European linguistics. The Hittite military made successful use of chariots, although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were the forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 18th century BC; the Hittites were the first of the Indo-European people to make use of iron.
Due to the widespread availability of iron ore, this allowed them to create weapons that were much stronger and cheaper. The Hittite empire fell victim to the Bronze Age Collapse around the beginning of the 12th century BC. Ethnic Hittite dynasties survived in small kingdoms scattered around modern Syria and Israel. Lacking a unifying continuity, their descendants are scattered and have merged into the modern populations of the Levant and Mesopotamia. During the 1920s, interest in the Hittites increased with the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey and attracted the attention of Turkish archaeologists such as Halet Çambel and Tahsin Özgüç. During this period, the new field of Hittitology influenced the naming of institutions, such as the state-owned Etibank, the foundation of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, located 200 kilometers west of the Hittite capital and housing the most comprehensive exhibition of Hittite art and artifacts in the world. Before the archeological discoveries that revealed the Hittite civilization, the only source of information about the Hittites had been the Old Testament.
Francis William Newman expressed the critical view, common in the early 19th century, that, "no Hittite king could have compared in power to the King of Judah...". As the discoveries in the second half of the 19th century revealed the scale of the Hittite kingdom, Archibald Sayce asserted that, rather than being compared to Judah, the Anatolian civilization " worthy of comparison to the divided Kingdom of Egypt", was "infinitely more powerful than that of Judah". Sayce and other scholars noted that Judah and the Hittites were never enemies in the Hebrew texts. Uriah the Hittite was a captain in King David's army and counted as one of his "mighty men" in 1 Chronicles 11. French scholar Charles Texier found the first Hittite ruins in 1834 but did not identify them as Hittite; the first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the karum of Kanesh, containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain "land of Hatti". Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but Indo-European.
The script on a monument at Boğazkale by a "People of Hattusas" discovered by William Wright in 1884 was found to match peculiar hieroglyphic scripts from Aleppo and Hama in Northern Syria. In 1887, excavations at Amarna in Egypt uncovered the diplomatic correspondence of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. Two of the letters from a "kingdom of Kheta"—apparently located in the same general region as the Mesopotamian references to "land of Hatti"—were written in standard Akkadian cuneiform, but in an unknown language. Shortly after this, Sayce proposed that Hatti or Khatti in Anatolia was identical with the "kingdom of Kheta" mentioned in these Egyptian texts, as well as with the biblical Hittites. Others, such as Max Müller, agreed that Khatti was Kheta, but proposed connecting it with Biblical Kittim rather than with the Biblical Hittites. Sayce's identification came to be accepted over the course of the early 20th century.