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Taras Bulba
Sunday, June 4th, 2006, 08:36 PM
Im sure a few people here maybe interested in reading this. :)


http://aelfwer.tripod.com/index.htm

What is English Folk Christianity

The English have not always been Christian. We only know a little about our ancestors' heathen religion, but we do know that it did not simply vanish following our conversion to Christianity. Many customs and traditions remain, usually in a Christianised form to some degree or other. Many of the old Gods and Goddesses have become associated with Christian saints, such as St George, folk heroes, such as King Arthur, or mythical characters such as Father Christmas. Many of the practices we take for granted, such as decorating Christmas trees, displaying lanterns on Halloween or remembering our ancestors on All Soul's Day, are derived from that earlier religion. In short, the old heathen religion influenced early English Christianity and culture a great deal and that influence is still there with us today.

Neither did the old folk religion ever quite disappear. More recently, several traditions have grown up which seek to rekindle the fires of the old ways. There is no one word to describe it and no one word quite describes it fully. Whether called Odinism, Asatru, Vanatru, Heathenry, Theodism, Irmisulism, Forn Sed, or any other name, there is no doubt that the ancient folk religion of the Germanic and Norse peoples is slowly but surely re-emerging.

As these traditions grow, more people will come into contact with them and want to explore them. Some of these people will come from Christian backgrounds; not necessarily strongly religious ones, but Christian all the same. We cannot easily undo the results of 1500 years of Christianity, a period which includes the greatest advances in our culture and civilisation as well as some terrible times. Some people may find it easy to cast off their Christian past, others will not. The English Folk Church is intended to help those who want or need to keep a foot in both camps. This does not necessarily mean combining the two religions as such, because they are separate traditions, often with contrasting outlooks. Some people may wish to adopt a more syncretic position than others and it is hoped that the EFC will help nurture such traditions. But the also aims to provide a medium through which a person can live within both traditions and reconcile the differences as best as possible without necessarily formally combining them. It hopes to nurture a particular way of looking at both traditions and helping to understand each within the context of the other. This way it is hoped that a folk understanding of Christianity will emerge – one that combines the powerful message of the Gospels with some of the older wisdom of our ancestors. Duel faith societies are not uncommon; the Japanese combine Buddhism with their native folk tradition of Shinto quite happily. The aim of the EFC is to do something similar for the English and kindred peoples.

A folk religion is an ethnic religion. It is the means by which one particular group of people relate to and understand the divine forces around them. English Folk Christianity does just this. It does not see God simply in terms of the Old Testament God of Israel, but as 'Our Father' in heaven. Our ancestors have always believed in him, even if they have not fully understood him. Christ is not just the Rabbi with a reformist agenda, but the Light of our world, God in human form who came to teach us and guide us. There is little doubt that our ancestors thought they already knew Christ through their existing traditions. Indeed, it was this belief that helped spread the Christian religion throughout England so quickly and relatively peacefully.

As an ethnic religion, it follows that a particular folk faith is appropriate to a particular group of people. This is why many peoples around the world are exploring their own versions of folk Christianity; they are trying to reconnect with their own identity and past. As such, we celebrate and seek to preserve our native Anglo Saxon English identity. This does not imply negative feelings towards other peoples and faiths. We strongly advocate peaceful co-existence between the different peoples and faiths of the world, each respecting the others right to exist.

Taras Bulba
Sunday, June 4th, 2006, 08:41 PM
In the Lorehoard section there are many interesting articles concerning the relationship between many core Christian teachings and beliefs and native English/Germanic folk customs.

Most interesting in my opinion was the article "The Cross and the World Tree"
http://aelfwer.tripod.com/Lorehoard/articles/crossand.htm

which details how Christ's sacrifice on the cross relates to the old Germanic belief in the World Tree or Irminsul.

Ive actually shown this site to many Neo-pagans and ENR people before, and even they were quite impressed with it. :)

Taras Bulba
Sunday, June 4th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Apparently there's also a mailing-list that's related to this site as well.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/englishfolkchurch/

Oswiu
Sunday, June 4th, 2006, 08:53 PM
This is interesting, Taras Dorogoy, you can count me as a broad sympathiser here. What bothers me about the Asatru and neopagan lot is that so much of it seems to be pure reconstruction, added to theology taken from very foreign sources.
Like my Gran once said, "I'm a Christian, but I don't believe in all that Jesus rubbish." ...

Taras Bulba
Sunday, June 4th, 2006, 09:03 PM
I certainly support the general idea of mixing the universal teachings of the Christian faith with the particular customs and cultures of different peoples. Among Catholics this is known as inculturation.

Many Slavic nations have particularly been staunch in maintaining their own distinct forms of Christianity(whether Orthodox or Catholic) so folk customs play an important role within these ethno-religious communities.

One extreme example of this determination was when many Polish parishes in America actually seperated from the offical Catholic church, so as to avoid having to take orders from the American hierarchy which was dominated by the Irish, Germans, etc and maintain their own ethnic traditions within the church. There are actually a few parishes of the Polish National Catholic Church in my area.

Ælfhere
Monday, December 17th, 2007, 12:06 AM
This group combines Christianity, Gnosticism, and Anglo-Saxon heathenry. While I don't subscribe to their theology, I do find it interesting.

English Folk Church (http://www.englishfolkchurch.com/)


The English Folk Church aims to build a distinct form of English Folk Christianity. It does not see God as the Old Testament God of Israel, but as 'Our Father' in heaven. Our ancestors have always believed in him, even if they have not fully understood him. Christ is not seen so much as the Rabbi with a reformist agenda, but the Light of our world, God in human form who came to teach us and guide us. There is little doubt that our ancestors thought they already knew Christ through their existing Gods and traditions. Indeed, it was this belief that helped spread the Christian religion throughout England so quickly and relatively peacefully.

A folk religion is an ethnic religion. It is the means by which one particular group of people relate to and understand the divine forces around them. As an ethnic religion, it follows that a particular folk faith is appropriate to a particular group of people. This is why many peoples around the world are exploring their own versions of Folk Christianity; they are trying to reconnect with their own identity and past. As such, we celebrate and seek to preserve our native Anglo Saxon English identity. This does not imply negative feelings towards other peoples and faiths. We strongly advocate peaceful co-existence between the different peoples and faiths of the world, each respecting the others right to exist.

Rev. Jupiter
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 10:46 AM
While I'm not usually in the habit of reviving such ancient threads, I can't help but comment here.

I've been a fan of the English Folk Church site for some time now. It's rare to find a religious path of any kind that integrates all of the faiths that have been significant in Germanic history. Too few Christians pay any attention to the religions preceding Christianity, and too many heathens try to ignore the significance of Christianity in Germanic history. Groups like the English Folk Church take a holistic approach to Tradition that I find incredibly refreshing.

Berrocscir
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 12:02 PM
Yes, I like taking the best out of different political ideologies to make new ones- why not religion as well!

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Sunday, April 22nd, 2018, 06:24 AM
I agree with the sentiments of most in this thread. My only problem is dealing with people who have particular "visions" of what Christianity means on the esoteric side. In this, I agree with Oswiu, although am a fan of Christ, but nobody else so much close to definitive than John the Baptist and Paul, although John the Divine was pretty cool.