I’m no Hellenist myself, but I’m always fascinated by people who revive and restore old religious and cultural customs. This interesting article from the BBC discusses some modern Hellenes in Greece, just in time for the Summer Solstice.
“People want to identify with something in the past – where they came from – so as to know where they are going,” says Trivoulides. “If you don’t know your past, you don’t have a future.
“It’s going back to the roots. It makes me feel the continuation through the millennia.”
The Hellenes have had their share of struggles with the Orthodox Christian Church, who have prevented them buliding their own temples or worshipping at the ancient Greek ones. One Church spokesman has called them:
“a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion”.
Sounds to me like the Orthodox Church is getting worried!
I fully support these guys’ return to pre-Christian philosophy and values, and I like their take on the gods as well:
They don’t actually pray to Zeus, Hera and the others. They see them as symbols of values such as beauty, health or wisdom.
Good for them! And I hope all my lovely readers have a very happy Solstice this weekend, whatever you choose to do with it. I’m probably going to go for a long walk and a pub lunch.