FAQ

Q: Do you have to be a Hellenist to join?

A: No. The Koinon is open to all people who worship the theoi regardless of what they call themselves. As long as they are willing to contribute and abide by our standards and rules they are welcome

Q: Are you trying to replace [insert organization]?

A: No. The Koinon was not formed to replace any other organization. It was formed out of two desires: to see Hellenists do more in their communities and to see Hellenists of all sorts come together to worship and serve the theoi.

Q: I don’t like The Koinon’s approach to Hellenism in a group setting. Why do you allow for deviating from the source materials?

A: The Koinon has been set-up in such a fashion that what can be discerned as the core elements of ancient Greek religion are retained under all settings and everything else is left up to individual groups. We have done this to help form a certain unity among our members and to also prevent our religious practices from being unable to respond to the needs of our members. It is our hope that with our approach as outlined in our bylaws, we will be able to foster a religious community that has not lost touch with the past nor become trapped by it.

Q: Is The Koinon a reconstructionist organization?

A: No. While we emphasize the importance of reading through sources and using them to bring back rites we are not a reconstructionist organization. We do not limit ourselves to what is found in the archaeological record, though we do find it immensely helpful and important to utilize what we do know of the ancients who first practiced this religion.

Q: Do you have to be of Greek descent to join?

A: Absolutely not! The Koinon resolutely rejects all notions that Greek ancestry is necessary for the practice of Hellenism or the notion that modern Greeks have more of a “right” to worship the theoi than peoples of other descent. The Koinon also rejects the idea of Greece being a “host country” in the same way that India is a “host country” for Hinduism given the break in the religion which occurred with the conversion of Greece to Christianity.

Q: Do you allow circles to be cast at rituals? What about calling quarters?

A: The Koinon takes a largely hands-off approach for rituals that local associations perform. As long as they meet our requirements for rituals as outlined in our bylaws they may include whatever additions and embellishments they wish.

Q: Do you have to believe in the gods to be a member?

A: The Koinon is centered around the idea of serving the gods and serving our communities at the same time. While we are not closed off to individuals of any theological stance, the fact remains that certain theological positions are going to feel incompatible with the aims and mission of The Koinon.

Q: Why do you have a community service requirement? Can this be waived?

A: The community service requirement is in place to show that members are committed to the bettering and education of their communities and are willing to put in the effort to do so. This requirement CAN be waived for individuals with medical conditions, severe time constraints, or who are working in certain professions which better the public.

Q: Do you charge dues?

A: At this time The Koinon does not charge dues for membership. We may do so in the future.

5 thoughts on “FAQ

    • First, as outlined in our bylaws, we have provided guidelines to help build communities across a diverse population of Hellenists. Secondly, as outlined in our bylaws, members are required to perform community service hours as well as participate in outreach and education in order to retain membership. We have a vision which requires action, and we expect our members to contribute to that vision.

      -Conor Davis

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      • I read the bylaws. I do not feel my question has been answered. As someone who is considering joining, I want to know what this organization plans to provide its members with, concretely. Not vague guidelines on building communities, not requirements for service from members, but what the organization actually means to do for its members. How, concretely, is the organization going to aid in actually building communities? Is the organization planning to sponsor regional-level events like festivals or conventions, which have proved to be a good way to build a certain kind of community? Is the organization planning to actively work to contact as many Hellenists as possible, beyond just making announcements in the usual places? Is the organization planning to actively work to put Hellenists in touch with one another, creating networks both online and off?

        The problem with referencing only the bylaws here is that bylaws standardly do not talk about these kinds of plans, but only about requirements. So when I read your bylaws, what I get is, “This is what we require of you if you want to join,” without any hint of what we might get out of it. The officers certainly don’t have to do all of the work here, but if you don’t at least have concrete plans on how to go about actually fostering the connections that enable real community, then there’s a lot less for people to get invested in. If I applied today and said, “This is awesome, I want to do this, but I don’t know any Hellenists in my area, how do I help in this mission?” what would you tell me? That I need to come up with it myself?

        Part of the purpose of having officers for an organization is to have people to do big-picture planning for it, not just administrivia. You don’t need to have all the details or all the plans, but if you don’t have something more concrete than those bylaws, you also don’t have a lot to offer people as you start out. You haven’t got the networking or the community yet, which gives people who don’t have experience in building those things and are looking for a community to join very little to get invested in at this point. Having concrete plans rather than abstract guidelines will help with that. And also give people a better idea of what they’re getting into.

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    • Due to the way comments nest, I will be replying here.

      It appears that I misunderstood your question, sorry about that!

      We currently have hopes to one day have regional events or festivals after our numbers are a bit larger. As of launch we simply do not have the manpower to organize a convention, but after we’ve been going a couple years hopefully we will have the manpower and funds to do something like organize a convention.

      Networking is simply a matter of course, people who join the group will know other people who are in the group. We will also attempt to put into contact individuals in the same geographical region so that they can form in-person communities.

      The only thing we have that is members only at the moment is a Skype group that will start up in February.

      “The Koinon” is a very new organization. Members who join at the start are going to have to do so out of a desire to see our vision take root. There are things we want to offer our members, such as educational courses, lending libraries, and conventions, that we simply cannot begin to seriously entertain until our numbers are bigger and we have the funds to do so.

      -Conor Davis

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      • Thank you for answering.

        For the things you hope and plan to do some day, might I suggest that you add something to your FAQ about plans for the future that includes those?

        I find that networking even within an established group doesn’t just happen, and certainly not for a group just starting out. I would think that a new group would want to set out to build its own network that the members can then plug into. That officers and founding members would want to reach out to established groups and individuals and try to form alliances, rather than just post announcements in a few places and wait for people to come to them.

        And while yes, of course, members of a newly established group will expect and be expected to put more effort into the group to get it going, a lot of people who are willing to put the work in are going to need direction, are going to need to be given specific projects to work on in order to do that, simply because they won’t have any idea of what to do to help. If I joined, and I said, “Here I am, tell me what to do to help,” what would you say? That I should have “a desire to see our vision take root”? Because that’s not very useful.

        You know a project people could start on right now? You could start a library of public domain ebooks that are relevant, or even just a list of the ones already available on Project Gutenberg. Put out a call for people to help with it, to recommend or source texts. You could get a basic library of texts of myths going in a couple of hours and expand from there. Store them on Dropbox or something. It would be a terrific resource, and it’s exactly the sort of project I’m talking about that you can aim people at who want to help but need to be given an assignment.

        I’ve been a part of new ventures before, and I’ve tried to start my own things before, and these are some of the places I and others have failed. I was very excited at the idea of a group that welcomed all Hellenists when I saw it announced on Wild Hunt. I think it’s fantastic, and I’d love to see it succeed. I’m saying this because I want to see it succeed.

        Liked by 1 person

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