The Dangers of Anthropomorphism or I Like My Gods Dangerous

Gangleri's Grove

Engaging with the Gods can be difficult. There are many pitfalls. We can all flail at times when our neatly held beliefs are challenged by our experiences, or when we enter into uncharted territory: experiences and places that our previous spiritual lives didn’t quite prepare us to navigate. In some respects, the various corpora of sacred lore that our respective traditions contain – our myths and sacred stories—can be of inestimably help in providing a context for one’s experiences, and in learning and growing and coming to a better understanding of devotional work and the Gods Themselves. In other ways, especially in our society, a society that despises devotion and deifies the self, those self-same stories can cause some serious problems.

This really crystalized for me this past semester, when I had to sit for twelve weeks, once a week, in a room full of academics discussing ancient polytheisms. I…

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