Steampunk - Evangelisation Opportunity for Trads?
#1
Well, I did something odd for me - I made a rare foray into Catholic Answers and  got involved in a discussion about Steampunk!

First, I wrote:

Quote:I wonder if there are hidden evangelisation opportunities in this Steampunk phenomenon. I wonder too about the Goth scene ...

Whilst I don't know much about either, it seems to me that there is a romantic yearning there for a world of the past, where buildings and fashions were not manufactured en masse in monotonous patterns - but possessed elegance, beauty, soul.

Catholicism has the same, especially noticeable in the Latin Mass ...

I cannot help but wonder if this would speak to those who may feel a yearning for soulfulness in a soulless world.

And someone there - edwest2 - said some things that seem even more relevant here at FE. I find them VERY interesting

He says:

Quote:"I have met Steampunk people. They wear antique style clothes that evoke the atmosphere of the period. I mean, it's one thing to see a photo from the 1920s and the way people dressed, and it definitely is emotional to see someone standing there in period clothes. It creates different feelings for those who know less about the period. Men look gentlemenly. Some even look like they've traveled through time and carry an air of sophistication and calm and/or pleasantness that is obviously missing in the generally badly dressed present."

And:

Quote:Part of it is about recreating the Victorian era, and even reimagining it by creating Victorian looking gadgets to replace more modern or even futuristic counterparts. The danger is that it is being pushed as a movement, and God doesn't have to matter. Personally, one may meet one or more different tribal groups, and it is hard to tell who believes what.

A google search will reveal a number of Steampunk sites and forums, but you need to dig into each tribe's belief system. Read up. To do as the Romans do, and interact with them, you have to understand their customs, use of words, forms of address, etc. But, while claiming to be inclusive, some may be more hostile to religion than others. Another thing. Young or old, being well dressed, being well groomed and decorum are required. Young women, and I've known model beautiful women who were not the anorexic stick figures promoted by "fashion designers," enjoy their natural, healthy beauty. To dress up in elegant period clothing and be ladies with poise, bearing and polite sensibilities appeals to them very much. Men are required to be the same. Masculine, polite and respectful toward ladies, which I did, and which went over splendidly with young ladies who knew what I knew. Giving them an appropriate amount of attention - rejecting the modern world's version of male-female relationships. Pleasant conversation, really getting to know the other person and even dancing as people once did, with grace and elegance.

Evangelizing in person takes time. Introducing yourself and asking for a bit of someone's time to discuss Steampunk is a start. You walk up to someone and introduce yourself, using your first and last name. If they respond and seem interested to talk, ask if you could talk to them about Steampunk. They will ask about you and take it from there. Some will be receptive, some will not, to any message you might have.

Doing this on the internet is easier but your approach needs to be genuine. It needs to be sincere and unwavering. I say this because some think of evangelizing as a simple thing and it can be, but forming relationships, and taking the time allows that important part, the Holy Spirit, to do His work.


There's more here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1013529&page=2

But as much as I really respect what this guy is saying/doing ... I'm more interested in what Trads here might think.

Because, as I say, I think TLM would speak to these people _far_ more than the Novus Ordo and anyway my heart is here, not Catholic Answers.

Although, once more, I think what this guy is doing is GREAT.

What do others think?
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#2

There are other retro groups in addition to Steampunk. There are people out there who are into the 1930s, or the 1950s, etc. I think such interests do indicate a search for a better, simpler time, a time that following the Gospels could bring about once again.

Those groups are pretty small, though. But if someone happens to know of one and has an entree, I think it'd be worth it to look into it all and spread the word...

I also think Wicca is another group that's ripe for hearing the Truth. The trad way of going about the Faith would likely have a lot of appeal to them... People want Mystery, beauty, ritual, connectedness to the earth, and community, and traditional Catholicism offers that in spades (well, the community part might be iffy given the destruction of our old neighborhoods. But those can be restored!). And people NEED Jesus, whether they realize it yet or not.


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#3
Concerning the gothics, I once knew a group of gothics that identified as "Catholic" merely for the "ooooh ritualism", and I think that with enough charisma and persuasion those people could be first led to deepen their catholicism, then make them priorise it and then abandon gothicism altogether. A colossal task, but easier than converting self identified militant atheists, in my opinion.


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#4

Eduard Bodnar Wrote:Concerning the gothics, I once knew a group of gothics that identified as "Catholic" merely for the "ooooh ritualism", and I think that with enough charisma and persuasion those people could be first led to deepen their catholicism, then make them priorise it and then abandon gothicism altogether. A colossal task, but easier than converting self identified militant atheists, in my opinion.

No need to give up "Gothicism" altogether -- or at all, as far as I understand things. It's a harmless aesthetic for most Goths.

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#5
(08-30-2016, 12:46 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
Eduard Bodnar Wrote:Concerning the gothics, I once knew a group of gothics that identified as "Catholic" merely for the "ooooh ritualism", and I think that with enough charisma and persuasion those people could be first led to deepen their catholicism, then make them priorise it and then abandon gothicism altogether. A colossal task, but easier than converting self identified militant atheists, in my opinion.

No need to give up "Gothicism" altogether -- or at all, as far as I understand things. It's a harmless aesthetic for most Goths.

But its pathos is needless to say somewhat contradictory to the message of Christ, even if indirectly a fruit of catholicism itself.


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#6
Hmm ... I know so very little here.

But my wife's been looking at some stuff about "bending genders" in the contemporary fashion industry and is completely _horrified_.

And I am struck by the _very reverse_ of that in the phenomenon described above - not only honouring fashions of an earlier age, but apparently behaving with an increased respect for the roles of each person's God-given sex.

Moreover, it still seems to me that these people are HUNGRY, hungering for something modernity does not give them. Or rather modernity robs them of.

I want to learn more and will be grateful for any further comments in this thread.
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#7
(08-30-2016, 11:32 AM)Eduard Bodnar Wrote:
(08-30-2016, 12:46 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: No need to give up "Gothicism" altogether -- or at all, as far as I understand things. It's a harmless aesthetic for most Goths.

But its pathos is needless to say somewhat contradictory to the message of Christ, even if indirectly a fruit of catholicism itself.

Eh, what you're considering pathetic, I consider a recognition that this world is a vale of tears, an emapthy for OL of Sorrows, an aesthetic devotion to "memento mori," a way for the more depressive and "weirdos" among us to have "a thing," a way of expressing themselves and recognizing each other. I think it's mostly harmless -- but also that some ultra-angsty, amoral teenage types can go nuts and diabolical with it, are in more need of therapy and maybe exorcism than another bottle of black nail polish or whatever :P
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#8
(09-07-2016, 04:41 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(08-30-2016, 11:32 AM)Eduard Bodnar Wrote:
(08-30-2016, 12:46 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: No need to give up "Gothicism" altogether -- or at all, as far as I understand things. It's a harmless aesthetic for most Goths.

But its pathos is needless to say somewhat contradictory to the message of Christ, even if indirectly a fruit of catholicism itself.

Eh, what you're considering pathetic, I consider a recognition that this world is a vale of tears, an emapthy for OL of Sorrows, an aesthetic devotion to "memento mori," a way for the more depressive and "weirdos" among us to have "a thing," a way of expressing themselves and recognizing each other. I think it's mostly harmless -- but also that some ultra-angsty, amoral teenage types can go nuts and diabolical with it, are in more need of therapy and maybe exorcism than another bottle of black nail polish or whatever :P

Hm, pathetic? I didn't say that, maybe I used the word pathos wrong? I don't know. What I meant it, their "style of life, philosophy and themes" are contradictory to Christianity, even though, I admit it, were a direct fruit of Christianity.
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#9
I'm not sure about real opportunities.
I like very much steampunk style, but using it for evangelization is for me the equivlent of modernist shows during Mass: everything is based on personal perceptions (in this case on melancholy of past ages).
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#10
I'm am so all over this idea now! I might be willing to overlook a few goggle wearing priests and mechanized altars as long as it's better than the NO.  :LOL:

I agree with vox that wiccans may be open to traditionalism. Catholicism and wicca have a surprising amount of similarities, just look at the symbolism of the wiccan "wheel of the year" or some of the more elaborate rituals.
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