Who is devotion for?

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

Devotion, as it is applied to pagan and particularly to polytheist religious engagement, is characterized as intensely loving, passionate, and may have the features of romantic love. Devotional practice – the expression of these feelings in behaviors, actions, decisions, thoughts, and problem solving within a distinctly religious context – is characterized as similarly passionate; after all, devotional practice rises out of these intense sentiments, right?

No.

Not necessarily.

Some of the discussion surrounding the boundaries that delineate devotional practice and devotional engagement from other types of polytheist religious practice erroneously assume that action follows sentiment, that one’s religious inclinations and behaviors arise from emotions that are already present within the worshiper.

This model of emotion preceding action is, perhaps, cultural; certainly this model is based in the way we culturally imagine the experience of love. That feeling, that spark, leaps up inside the body without us asking it to; something…

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