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Can Old Norse religion champion environmental crises?
A Swedish ecologist is reviving myths and putting rituals into practice
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
Yggdrasil, the tree of life, is at the center of Old Norse myth. The myths and traditions that expand from that center are likewise connected to the world on a spiritual level.
Swedish-British ecologist Andreas Kornevall has felt a deep connection to the environment since his childhood, and he’s devoted his career to bringing these ancient practices to life in modern day and using them to address environmental crises.
Like any religion, however, Old Norse traditions aren’t all good, nor is their focus wholly on restoration. The most prevalent proof of this violent past is in the way many symbols have been co-opted by the far-right.
Tattooed on Jan. 6 insurrectionaries and used to uphold racist ideas of purity, these symbols have become ones of hate — so part of Kornevall’s job is subverting those.
Read more about his efforts to do so and the link between Old Norse myth and the environment in today’s top story from contributor Meara Sharma.
Andreas Kornevall, a Swedish-British ecologist and educator, is devoted to bringing the wisdom of Old Norse myths and rituals to bear on contemporary life — particularly in relation to current environmental crises. Through storytelling, scholarship and ceremonies, Kornevall excavates the ecological ethic inherent in the pre-Christian spirituality of Northern Europe. by Mearma Sharma
Now the woman, known as Betty, is among the 98 people who fasted to death in the doomsday cult headed by Pastor Paul Mackenzie which has left Kenyans — and the world — shocked. With the Kenya Red Cross reporting more than 100 people still missing, the toll could reach 200 and beyond. From President William Ruto to church leaders and the public, Kenyans are now calling on the government to tighten laws governing the opening and operation of churches. by Tom Osanjo
(REVIEW) Fighting Muhammad Ali and losing in 1974, Foreman began a downward spiral. Hit after hit to that newly accrued self-esteem eventually resulted in a near-death experience after a match. It’s after waking up from the blackout that Foreman experiences a transformational conversion, becoming a baptized Christian. by Bri Jacobs
While the bright lights shined on the biggest boxing match of the year, another thing was also on full display in the recent fight between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia in the form of comments before and after the match regarding faith and even religiously inspired walkout music. by Leocciano Callao
St. Getrude’s is a Benedictine monastery in rural Idaho that was founded by Swiss nuns in the United States in 1882 and moved to Cottonwood in 1907. Today the property includes the monastery, an inn, a retreat center, gift shop and a chapel. by Tracy Simmons
Since the end of the Cold War, four Muslim-majority countries — Kazakhstan, Libya, Iran and Indonesia — have hosted the FIDE World Chess Championship. Despite the fact that hundreds of Muslim players have been ranked by FIDE over the years, the game remains controversial with many mainstream Sunni and Shia scholars disapproving of chess. by Joseph Hammond
It turns out New Orleans is more than Bourbon Street, burlesque and beads. The New Orleans Museum of Art, located five miles from the city’s downtown, isn’t afraid to pay homage to the state’s French colonial roots that have connections to Catholicism. by Clemente Lisi
In this week’s Weekend Plug-in, Bobby Ross Jr. highlights first Republican presidential cattle call of the year in Iowa, where evangelicals are a crucial voting bloc. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
Don’t forget! You can subscribe to receive Bobby’s column directly in your inbox on Friday mornings!
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