Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Popular Media
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jun 8, '16, 2:53 am
Secret Square Secret Square is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2009
Posts: 437
Religion: Catholic
Default Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

My husband and I recently started creating and selling reprints of late 19th and early 20th century works that are in the public domain. We enjoy these books, especially those that have been forgotten or overlooked in later decades and have gone out of print, and want to make them available to a wider audience. One way in which we do this is by signing up as vendors for gaming conventions and steampunk-themed events. Because steampunk is largely based on Victorian era science fiction (think Jules Verne or H.G. Wells) we usually find a receptive audience for our work at these events.

Last weekend we were at a small but really fun steampunk event, where we sold quite a few of our books (more than I had expected us to sell). One of our customers invited us to a steampunk con that will take place next spring, and he'd like me to participate in one of their presentations or panel discussions.

Each year this event has an annual theme, and next year's theme emphasizes the Victorian interest in spiritualism and magic. The person who invited us to this event said that he and many of the other steampunk people he knew were pagans, i.e. nature worshipers, and they wanted to know more about that side of the Victorian era, but he also said they weren't planning anything "freaky" or potentially offensive to attendees like conducting an actual pagan ritual.

My husband is encouraging me to go because of the potential contacts we could make. He says that I could simply do an objective, historical presentation about the fact that there was increased interest in spiritualism and the occult during the Victorian era, in large part encouraged by people like Queen Victoria and Mary Todd Lincoln who took part in seances attempting to contact their departed loved ones. I could simply talk about the reasons why Victorians were so interested in these topics (for example, the carnage and death resulting from the American Civil War), and mention the reasons why others objected to them (because it was against their religious faith, or because it was unscientific) without encouraging people to actually get involved in it.

I guess my question is whether or not I should accept this invitation. I don't want to be seen in any way as endorsing or encouraging people to get involved in the occult by participating in this event, nor do I want it to become an occasion of sin or (worse yet) demonic influence. On the other hand, it's also possible that by explaining the historical and social reasons why (some) Victorians got caught up in that stuff, and mentioning the objections raised by others at the time -- some for religious reasons, others because they felt it was unscientific mumbo-jumbo -- perhaps it would give people a sense of proportion and perspective about it, and steer them away from it?

I've never been one of these people who thinks reading Harry Potter or playing Dungeons and Dragons is sinful (any more than playing Monopoly makes you greedy or reading a murder mystery makes you a murderer) but I do take anything occult VERY seriously and do not want to "mess" with it in any way that could harm me or my family spiritually. Anyway, I'd appreciate some thoughts on this.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Jun 8, '16, 6:58 am
Hoosier Daddy Hoosier Daddy is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2013
Posts: 10,639
Religion: Still Catholic......
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

As long as you keep it historically accurate I can't imagine there being any problem at all. An opportunity to educate historically on a specific subject is a great opportunity. I think t goes without saying that you should not actively promote other religions but I doutbt you would do that. I picture it no different than any other historical presentation except you audience will have some weird goggles on....
__________________
--- Better to be slapped with the Truth than kissed with a lie--------- Russian Proverb

Hey, Visit my wife's site and buy yourself some spiffy T shirts!
http://www.catholic-threads.com/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Jun 8, '16, 7:00 am
Irishmom2's Avatar
Irishmom2 Irishmom2 is offline
Forum Master
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: March 22, 2009
Posts: 12,985
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Square View Post
My husband is encouraging me to go because of the potential contacts we could make. He says that I could simply do an objective, historical presentation about the fact that there was increased interest in spiritualism and the occult during the Victorian era, in large part encouraged by people like Queen Victoria and Mary Todd Lincoln who took part in seances attempting to contact their departed loved ones. I could simply talk about the reasons why Victorians were so interested in these topics (for example, the carnage and death resulting from the American Civil War), and mention the reasons why others objected to them (because it was against their religious faith, or because it was unscientific) without encouraging people to actually get involved in it.

I guess my question is whether or not I should accept this invitation. I don't want to be seen in any way as endorsing or encouraging people to get involved in the occult by participating in this event, nor do I want it to become an occasion of sin or (worse yet) demonic influence. On the other hand, it's also possible that by explaining the historical and social reasons why (some) Victorians got caught up in that stuff, and mentioning the objections raised by others at the time -- some for religious reasons, others because they felt it was unscientific mumbo-jumbo -- perhaps it would give people a sense of proportion and perspective about it, and steer them away from it?

I've never been one of these people who thinks reading Harry Potter or playing Dungeons and Dragons is sinful (any more than playing Monopoly makes you greedy or reading a murder mystery makes you a murderer) but I do take anything occult VERY seriously and do not want to "mess" with it in any way that could harm me or my family spiritually. Anyway, I'd appreciate some thoughts on this.
I agree with your husband. You can present it as you explained above. I know that for some young people, that steampunk is an interesting fashion statement, but you could present a interesting side to the steampunk "culture." I have to admit, some of the the clothing and decor appeals to my vintage nature.
__________________
"Lord Jesus, in times of trial and temptation, be my strength and consolation. Teach me not to fear the darkness, but rather draw me to your light. For it can only be in darkness that you will become my light and in your light that I may bring the light of healing to all I meet." - George Maloney
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Jun 8, '16, 7:10 am
Hoosier Daddy Hoosier Daddy is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2013
Posts: 10,639
Religion: Still Catholic......
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

I wanted to add that anytime you sit on a panel you need crystal clear communication from the people putting it on about why you are there and what sort of topics will be discussed and what question they think the audience will have. Crystal. Clear.

Once I sat on a panel as a scientist and was completely attacked and ambushed. At one point I feared for my safety. I'm not kidding.
I doubt some steam punks will ambush you because your topic is not controversial really but it is important you know as much info beforehand. It just looks more professional and actually adds to the credibility.
__________________
--- Better to be slapped with the Truth than kissed with a lie--------- Russian Proverb

Hey, Visit my wife's site and buy yourself some spiffy T shirts!
http://www.catholic-threads.com/
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Jun 8, '16, 9:05 am
GEddie GEddie is offline
Forum Elder
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Posts: 85,450
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
My husband is encouraging me to go because of the potential contacts we could make. He says that I could simply do an objective, historical presentation about the fact that there was increased interest in spiritualism and the occult during the Victorian era, in large part encouraged by people like Queen Victoria and Mary Todd Lincoln who took part in seances attempting to contact their departed loved ones. I could simply talk about the reasons why Victorians were so interested in these topics (for example, the carnage and death resulting from the American Civil War), and mention the reasons why others objected to them (because it was against their religious faith, or because it was unscientific) without encouraging people to actually get involved in it.

I guess my question is whether or not I should accept this invitation.
I concur with him.

Another angle might be the quackery and fraud that took place in the spiritualist movement toward the end, precisely because there was so much of this activity.

ICXC NIKA
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Jun 8, '16, 9:27 am
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 25,988
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
I wanted to add that anytime you sit on a panel you need crystal clear communication from the people putting it on about why you are there and what sort of topics will be discussed and what question they think the audience will have. Crystal. Clear.

Once I sat on a panel as a scientist and was completely attacked and ambushed. At one point I feared for my safety. I'm not kidding.
I doubt some steam punks will ambush you because your topic is not controversial really but it is important you know as much info beforehand. It just looks more professional and actually adds to the credibility.


I agree with the above. Like any sub-culture, Steampunk can be just playing dress-up to really studying the era it borrows from. The rise of Spiritualism, which included seances and even bodily levitation, is a broad subject. If presented accurately, in its proper historical context, then you should be fine.

However, be prepared for questions like, "Where can I found out more about this?" "Where can I get books about this?" "Do you have any?"

Trying to, or claiming to be able to contact the dead is forbidden, along with holding seances. Spiritualism survived and went on to be called the Occult. It is now found under a new label - New Age. Finding out about historical events is fine but some will want to try to perform some of it, mostly unaware that it is dangerous. Sure, Dungeons and Dragons, or something cool and different, and let's pretend are a part of all sub-cultures, but some turn it into a lifestyle. You are right to be concerned about this because it can lead to demonic activity and even possession when calling on the spirits and using certain tools and devices, like a ouija board which is used in divining - also forbidden.



Ed
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Jun 8, '16, 6:29 pm
mikekle mikekle is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2012
Posts: 9,459
Religion: raised catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

I have a friend from high school that I still keep in contact with , she recently got into steam punk, I had no idea what it was and still dont really, she is in her early 40s now and occasionally she will travel to steampunk meetings and conventions, she dresses victorian era but with some modern things added in.

When we were younger, she ran with the 'alternative or punk rock crowd', kids who wore tight black clothes, spiked dog collars, blue mohawks, etc, clubbing was big back then, dressing up as well.

When it comes to religion, she believes an intelligent ET race created us and they are our 'gods' and she is very vocal about this...We disagree on this, but still good friends for over 20 yrs.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Jun 8, '16, 6:59 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 25,988
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikekle View Post
I have a friend from high school that I still keep in contact with , she recently got into steam punk, I had no idea what it was and still dont really, she is in her early 40s now and occasionally she will travel to steampunk meetings and conventions, she dresses victorian era but with some modern things added in.

When we were younger, she ran with the 'alternative or punk rock crowd', kids who wore tight black clothes, spiked dog collars, blue mohawks, etc, clubbing was big back then, dressing up as well.

When it comes to religion, she believes an intelligent ET race created us and they are our 'gods' and she is very vocal about this...We disagree on this, but still good friends for over 20 yrs.


I was part of the Detroit Punk Scene. The mohawks, spiked collars, bangles and unique clothes. By the way, I didn't do any of that but I became a friend of one of their tribal leaders and became an honorary member, even though I dressed funny. It was a world outside of the world. Who remembers punk papers called Spooie and White Noise?

I wanted to hear the bands. Photograph them. Talk to them. I went to a certain club that was the place to be, but it's gone now.



Ed
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Jun 9, '16, 6:10 am
mikekle mikekle is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2012
Posts: 9,459
Religion: raised catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
I was part of the Detroit Punk Scene. The mohawks, spiked collars, bangles and unique clothes. By the way, I didn't do any of that but I became a friend of one of their tribal leaders and became an honorary member, even though I dressed funny. It was a world outside of the world. Who remembers punk papers called Spooie and White Noise?

I wanted to hear the bands. Photograph them. Talk to them. I went to a certain club that was the place to be, but it's gone now.



Ed
I had a few friends who were 'punk rock' back in the days, they knew how to party, that was for sure! One of my better friends from that time period was really into the Misfits, and dressed the part every single day, long black 'devil-lock' black leather, sort of 1950s 'greaser bad boy', along with undead zombie! lol

I remember many times out in public with him, he scared the wits out of people!

The only punk rock concert I ever went to was to see 'The Exploited' back around 1992/93 in Cincinnati, OH, that was pretty wild for me!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Jun 9, '16, 7:52 am
tomarin's Avatar
tomarin tomarin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2007
Posts: 6,984
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
I was part of the Detroit Punk Scene. The mohawks, spiked collars, bangles and unique clothes. By the way, I didn't do any of that but I became a friend of one of their tribal leaders and became an honorary member, even though I dressed funny. It was a world outside of the world. Who remembers punk papers called Spooie and White Noise?

I wanted to hear the bands. Photograph them. Talk to them. I went to a certain club that was the place to be, but it's gone now.



Ed
Never into punk myself, but this is. Too. Cool.
__________________
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you -- Psalm 137
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Jun 9, '16, 9:50 am
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 25,988
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomarin View Post
Never into punk myself, but this is. Too. Cool.


It was but I never went to the parties. Too much temptation, and illegal activity like drugs.






Ed
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Jun 17, '16, 2:09 pm
3DOCTORS's Avatar
3DOCTORS 3DOCTORS is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: August 18, 2007
Posts: 5,571
Religion: ROMAN CATHOLIC
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

@ the OP:

I like Steampunk too, and it can benefit from a Catholic and Christian presence. I think that you could be on the panel the way you describe. Do your homework about it all - I would like to read your presentation if you'd like to share it later. I plan to include some Steampunk related content in my blog (see below) and maybe I could link to your event. Don't know if I'd net you a lot of followers since my blog's so new, but who knows.

Regarding the spiritualism thing, I think one good way to steer away from any danger of seeming to endorse paganism would be to emphasize the science - you have psychology already. Look up some things like how natural phenomena could have been mistaken for spirits, human sensory perceptions, confirmation bias, power of suggestion, etc. I recently read a book by a friend of mine that included an account of her childhood experimentation with a Ouija board and I wondered if anyone had studied how they work. I found articles like this: http://nerdist.com/ouija-boards-are-...how-they-work/ Not recommending anyone try one, mind! But the science helps take the subject to a place of objectivity if you see what I mean.

I'm curious what con you're going to if you care to share that. Anyway, good luck, be safe, and have fun!
__________________
Mother Mary, make me a woman after your heart.
My new blog - https://saintssinnersandstarships.wordpress.com/
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Jun 18, '16, 12:19 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 25,988
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

One more thing. Trickery was involved as well to help the participants believe something real was going on. I cannot, for obvious reasons, give you very specific examples, but someone seated around the table was a helper who could do things - unseen by the unknowing guests. Seances took place in dark rooms to hide the trickery. Even today, "psychic readers" ply their trade. Of course, this is forbidden.




Ed
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Aug 26, '16, 3:27 am
Roger Buck's Avatar
Roger Buck Roger Buck is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 10, 2009
Posts: 145
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

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 or other reverent forms of liturgy.

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

Also it cannot be denied that the Victorian Age was a deeply religious one, compared to today.

There are connections to be made here by a skilful evangelist.
__________________


Website/Blog:http://www.corjesusacratissimum.org

New book from Angelico Press THE GENTLE TRADITIONALIST - on Catholic Tradition and Catholic Ireland. Details at site above or click here to see at Amazon: myBook.to/TheGentleTraditionalist
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Aug 26, '16, 8:50 am
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 25,988
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Steampunk, Victoriana, and Spiritualism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Buck View Post
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 or other reverent forms of liturgy.

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

Also it cannot be denied that the Victorian Age was a deeply religious one, compared to today.

There are connections to be made here by a skilful evangelist.



Well, someone would have to be skillful and careful. 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.

The women range from elegant to bawdy.

So, before you go to a Steampunk convention, read about them. But having done street evangelism myself, there's nothing like meeting them in person and having a conversation. WARNING: I would not recommend this to anyone who has not experienced face to face evangelization and who is young in Christ spiritually.




Ed
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Popular Media

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
6459CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: robertmidwest
5951Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: hazcompat
5069Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
4615Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4216Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
4052OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: Popeye14
3286For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: GLam8833
3259Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
2807Let's Empty Purgatory 2
Last by: RomanoAmerio
2443SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:16 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.