thinking about what would constitute a disorganized religion

@HoneyMoon this is an explicit goal of discordianism. chaos magick is nominally 'decentralized'/individual, although it has often-repeated dogma from founding sources (although much of it is not original as such).

many well-established, traditional, and living religions don't involve a whole lot of meeting together or organizing as a group, although a lot of them have clergy-like orders or lineages (which may themselves be decentralized — you are chosen by a person who holds authority at a particular site to be trained to be the next/an additional authority, not by a centralized body with standardized procedures)

notable, though, is that there are also examples of "religious authorities" — I don't scare-quote it to put doubt on their authority, just to make it clear that what is meant by authority is not necessarily obvious/expected — whose status is determined by consensus. for instance, in Sunni Islam, the imam of a religious congregation is supposed to be the one with the greatest

@HoneyMoon Quranic knowledge and knowledge of prophecy — and this can just be a congregant who leads services

@HoneyMoon I say "prophecy" — I mean the Sunnah, extra-Quranic sources on the Prophet Muhammad (bbhn)'s life and works and principles

but I don't know tons about Islam, I just had a vague notion that the officiant in some branches of Islam and in some places is not determined in as formal a way as, e.g., priests/ministers are in most Christian sects

@Manurweibling ok yeah, this is basically what I was thinking, though my question now is whether it's more apt to use centralized/decentralized over organized/disorganized

@HoneyMoon "organized religion" is a weird term I don't like, so "disorganized religion" is maybe most useful when you push against the idea that what "organized religion" means is obvious? I feel like I know what I mean when I call something centralized or decentralized, but that doesn't mean it's what "organized religion" is referring to

so basically, 🤷‍♀️

@Manurweibling yeah, i'm reacting to things i've seen saying that "organized religion" basically refers to just christianity (which i think is mostly true in the way that people use it) but it seems clear that other religions have "organization" in a broad sense. like, the term feels like it centers christianity, even when (atheists, for example) use it derogatorily

@HoneyMoon @Manurweibling I think that in some cases, the *intention* is to draw some arbitrary distinction between A Church and individual religious practice. Specifying 'organized' religion is often intended to allow room for individuals.

Critique still applies here, and what they really mean by organized religion in 90% of cases is "the specific monolithic White American (usually) Christian Structure which fucked me specifically up as a kid" and not calling it that out of misguided propriety

@HoneyMoon @Manurweibling basically a misaimed and flat attempt at conceding "Not All Religious People" because they had a cool youth pastor or something, not generally out of any actual awareness

@Manurweibling things i've been *seeing, sorry that changes the meaning a lot

Sign in to participate in the conversation is a place for friends