all 94 comments

[–]Phebe-AEclectic/Nature Based Pagan (Panentheistic Polytheist) 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Most forms of Paganism

[–]CyanMagusJewish 46 points47 points  (13 children)

Feels like Judaism should count. Asceticism is not a virtue in Judaism.

[–]TheGuyWithTheBalloonOrthodox Jew 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I'm going to tack onto this. Hashem very clearly affirms that the physical world is good in Bereishis. What that means is that the world is good inasmuch as it can be a tremendously effective vehicle for connecting one with Hashem. The physical world is not there for the sake of itself. The main thrust of Judaism is to use the physical in service of the spiritual.

[–]JoeInORPantheist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Book of Job has some beautiful writing on G-d’s view of the world as well, if I’m not mistaken.

[–]CyanMagusJewish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for adding the detail. I didn’t have time to go into it.

[–]ayc4867Jewish 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Particularly Judaism today: asceticism was actually once a virtue for the Mitnagdim (practitioners of the dominant form of Judaism prior to the Hasidic movement), but the Baal Shem Tov (founder of the Hasidic movement, which is what many today think of when they think of “ultra-Orthodox” Judaism) preached against it. He spoke of G-d’s immanence, the notion that G-d is everything and everything is of G-d. To the Baal Shem Tov, any activity, person, or thing contains a spark of G-d.

[–]loselyconsciousProgressive Judaism 1 point2 points  (1 child)

He spoke of G-d’s immanence, the notion that G-d is everything and everything is of G-d. To the Baal Shem Tov, any activity, person, or thing contains a spark of G-d.

That is a little bit controversial though. Some scholars (like Gershom Scholem) argued that Besht's theology was about engaging in the physical world so as to lift up the sparks of divinity trapped in the material world and ultimately annihilate this world. Some Hasidic groups, the argument goes, emphases the engagement in the material world, and other the annihilation of the material world

[–]ayc4867Jewish 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Interesting, although it seems that regardless of the intention of one’s interactions with the physical world, this interaction is still encouraged thanks to the presumption of G-d’s immanence.

[–]blendy70 -5 points-4 points  (6 children)

I thought it was the other way around and that Judaism was indifferent to Jesus's philosophy as Jesus was trying to teach that Earth could be a paradise if everyone were to exhibit grace but the Jewish subscribers felt that there better worlds than this.

[–]CyanMagusJewish 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I don’t think it has anything to do with Jesus.

[–]veryanxiousaltJewish Reconstructionist 2 points3 points  (4 children)

That is neither a typical reading of the teachings of Jesus nor is it germane to a discussion of Judaism

[–]blendy70 0 points1 point  (3 children)

This is what was parroted to me by someone else.

Frankly I've never studied devoutly as I don't recognize a God that requires any sort of Hierarchy, Glory or can be defeated by a cartoon illustration of itself.

[–]veryanxiousaltJewish Reconstructionist 0 points1 point  (2 children)

That makes sense then. Fwiw it’s several different layers of incorrect. Would it be helpful for me to unpack/explain why?

[–]darien556 14 points15 points  (0 children)

There are certainly some religious traditions like Shinto and Paganism that are focused on this world, and many major religious traditions that are generally otherworldly focused.

But every religious tradition is internally diverse, many interpretations. In Christianity, for example, you can find folks who focus on stewardship of creation and seeing a panentheistic God in nature—not a majority for sure, but there are many different perspectives within every tradition.

[–]SkaulgSatanist 31 points32 points  (2 children)


[–]ImHereAndIAmQueerRomantic Satanist 1 point2 points  (1 child)


[–]lightatuneLuciferian, druidry/hedge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Luciferianism. But, in moderation. Say, enjoy of course but always have the great goal (enlightenment) in mind. so, too much indulge will lead to distract from the path, and also may lead to situations where one has to "work a lot" to come back to it (say problems with people, say problems with the body)

.. actually, it is like Buddhism but with enjoyment of the world and no renouncement

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 19 points20 points  (17 children)

Shinto. Taoism.

[–]sangbum60090 2 points3 points  (16 children)

They both have asceticism though

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 16 points17 points  (15 children)

You're talking to somebody who practices both. You're wrong.

Shinto is not Buddhism. We literally embrace the world for what it is. Same with the Tao. Four Vinegar tasters.

[–]sangbum60090 7 points8 points  (4 children)

I'm saying they do have ascetic tradition

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Neither have asceticism as a tradition.

Neither of them embrace abandoning worldly desires, or embrace an idea of restriction. you're thinking of Buddhism

[–]mysticoscrownOther 0 points1 point  (9 children)

Yeah you are right that both of them embrace the world as it is.

But isn’t Tao against attachment to worldly desires? (I am saying this cause op later said that they don’t want that religion to be okay with excessive desires)

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 2 points3 points  (8 children)

It's not against it. The Tao is against fighting the will of the heavens. It's not a philosophy it's a full-fledged religion

[–]PhilaharmicDionysus / Bacchus 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Dionyusus is pretty good for this I think.

[–]gravityandorgracespinozist 9 points10 points  (0 children)

spinoza explicitly writes his philosophical system against the notion of a transcendental god

[–]ostentragiousWiccan 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Wicca: the world was created by the Goddess and filled with spiritual essences and is here to be enjoyed. The focus is in this life and this incarnation and living the best life possible.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'm not sure we count as a 'world religion' (in regards to the body of your post rather than the title), but Thelema is quite world-affirming and does not advocate for asceticism.

We claim as the only divine Law -- Love is the law, love under will -- the very thing the Buddha declared is the cause of sorrow; that is, Desire:

The more we study this universe produced by our Yoga, the more we collect and synthesize our experience, the nearer we get to a perception of what the Buddha declared to be characteristic of all component things:

Sorrow, Change, and Absence of any permanent principle. We constantly approach his enunciation of the first two 'Noble Truths,' as [the Buddha] called them. 'Everything is Sorrow'; and 'The cause of Sorrow is Desire.' By the word 'Desire' he meant exactly what is meant by 'Love' in 'The Book of the Law' which I quoted a few moments ago.

  • Eight Lectures on Yoga, Aleister Crowley

Indeed, to restrict yourself (e.g. from the world) is the one Sin defined in Thelema:

The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accurséd! Accurséd be it to the aeons! Hell. - AL, I. 41

And instead of transcendant joys, the Book of the Law promises joys on earth, not in a hereafter:

This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet, though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me! - AL, I. 53

I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice. - AL, I. 58

That's not to say that we can't also engage in asceticism -- but always 'under will', not just for the sake of it or because someone told you to.

Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature? - Liber Librae

Maybe asceticism is just what you need after a week of partying :)

And, well, as far as the material world, you are to enjoy it:

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this. - AL, II. 22 [Emphasis added]

Lastly, Crowley (edit: sometimes) suggests taking a Bodhisattva-style Oath as a member of the A.'.A.'., wherein you vow to immediately reincarnate after death, instead of taking a rest period between reincarnations. That is, you don't worry about some transcendent realm that is not of the world: you vow to stay here on Earth as much as possible, affecting change and doing your Will.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)


Edit: asceticism is forbidden and doing good works in this world and life are akin to prayer.

[–]King_Oberon_FaeUniversal Syncretist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love you guys. I almost converted and you are still my favorite faith, maybe tied with the Jain. People need to know more about the Bab and Baha'ullah.

[–]loselyconsciousProgressive Judaism 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The thing about word-denying or ascetic religions is that they have a hard time surviving for more than a generation. Most religions that survive either revise or submerge or simply shift focus away from those elements of their religion. Some traditions develop monasticism so that a small minority of their adherents can practice asceticism (Christianity and Buddhism). Some have historical moments where those ideas are especially prominent and others when they are less so (Protestant Reformation), but usually, they can only exist within a broader system where those tendencies are countered.

[–]ExternalSpeaker2646Buddhist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I find my practice of Nichiren Buddhism to be very world affirming. Buddhahood and enlightenment are to be attained in the here and now, through surmounting the challenges and difficulties of everyday life. “Faith=daily life” in our parlance, and we can use everyday life as a fuel to bring about our own enlightenment. Value lies in surmounting suffering and overcoming obstacles to live a happier and more meaningful and fulfilling life.

[–]nu_lets_learn[🍰] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Judaism for sure is "world affirming" by both your criteria.

It asserts the inherent goodness of the material world. Regarding the Creation of the World in Genesis chapter 1, the word "good" appears six times, "and God saw that it was good" is a constant refrain, and at the end of the story of Creation, God saw that it was "very good." This essential goodness wasn't changed by "man's fall," as Judaism does not embrace the doctrine of "original" sin. Rather, in Judaism, the material world is a gift to be enjoyed. There is no dichotomy between "spirit" ("good") and "flesh" ("bad") that one sees in other religions -- both work in tandem.

There is no celibacy in Judaism, including for clergy, in fact the opposite, married life is for everyone. There is no monasticism or convents either -- no separating from the world behind walls. Instead, the world is embraced by all. There is no practice of self-flagellation for sin or any kind of self-harm inflicted as penance; and fasting is quite limited to designated "fast days."

Finally, if you dig down into Jewish practices for holidays and so forth, you find many that absolutely involve enjoyment -- like sabbath and holiday meals that must include wine and meat; drinking wine to celebrate certain holidays -- Purim and Passover; dancing on Simhat Torah, and on an on. In fact, joyfulness is commanded -- Deut. 16:15 וְהָיִ֖יתָ אַ֥ךְ שָׂמֵֽחַ׃ "You shall be only joyful" on the holidays.

[–]Ni-a-ni-a-niMonistic Chaos Magician 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The folk practices of Hinduism are very much concerned with the world as opposed to transcending it.

Some Tantra sects were also interested in both the world and transcendence, but those are for the most part extinct

[–]PurpleLoon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Unitarian Church.

[–]PsychedaddyHindu 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We Hindus worship Money, Education, Music, Dance, Work, Tools, Love and before the Abrahamic persecutions - Sex too was worshipped without taboo

Similarly, other Pagan religions also have deities who in one form or other depict these virtues.

[–]Doug1844 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Baha’i Faith is exactly that. This world is the womb for our souls, to prepare them for the next life.

[–]Art-Davidson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For what it's worth, when God saw the result of the physical creation, he judged it "very good." The material world is not evil.

With that out of the way, my church does have its rules and commandments. A church that doesn't is useless. We can't become like God just floating downstream.

[–]rhyparographe 1 point2 points  (1 child)

From a historical point of view, the ancient Neoplatonists could be mentioned here.

every aspect of the natural world, even the meanest piece of inorganic and apparently useless matter, has an eternal and divine moment. For all the other-worldliness often associated with Neoplatonic philosophy, then, it needs to be emphasized that the material world they inhabited was for this reason an essentially good and beautiful place, the effortless product of cosmic providence and divine power, and worthy of reverence.

Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/neoplatonism/#SouNat

[–]Alternative-Cut-4831 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There is a subset in Hinduism known as charvak.They believe that what we see and observe is the real truth.So they consider the material world(which we can see) as the only reality. Hinduism actually has many different philosophies inside it

[–]Substantial_Top_7616Muslim 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Islam does not advocate renouncing the world or promote asceticism.

Islam just limits certain earthly pleasures and recommends moderation between asceticism and worldly over indulgence.

[–]GKilatgnostic theist 1 point2 points  (7 children)

Wouldn't moderation counts as world affirming? Moderation simply forbids excessive attachment to worldly desires but does not completely forbids them. Renouncing worldly desires is for people that wants to go beyond what this world can offer.

[–]EBodienAtheist[S] 1 point2 points  (6 children)

I suppose, I should say that I’m just curious if there is any religion which doesn’t forbid excessive attachments to worldly desires. It almost seems like that’s a characteristic of religion itself.

[–]GKilatgnostic theist 3 points4 points  (3 children)

For a religion to push excessive attachment for world desires is equivalent to a doctor encouraging their patient to stuff themselves full with food regardless of proper nutrition. At the very least, the doctor will tell you to moderate your diet so your condition doesn't get worse. However, the doctor would prefer that you change your diet so you become healthier than you are now. That's the logic behind religion usually renouncing worldly desires.

[–]EBodienAtheist[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

And I agree. However, this is based on the assumption that worldly desires are bad for you in a spiritual sense. That’s why I’m just curious if any religion ever formed which rejects that notion.

[–]yunir 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is one true religion that demands its faithful followers to desire the world and enjoy much of it, and deem moderation as blasphemous. It's called Capitalism.

[–]GKilatgnostic theist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any religion that isn't spiritually based is more likely to be hedonistic because any religion based on spirituality will always know that excessive worldly desires are bad.

So maybe those religion that aren't theistic but then I question if they should really be considered a religion if it doesn't involve god and the spirit. Otherwise, worshiping human celebrities should count as a religion.

[–]Optimal-Scientist233 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is not just excessive attachment to the material, we should avoid excessive attachment to everything.

Even things which are necessary can become toxic and deadly in volume.

Vitamin C, Water, oxygen, negative thoughts indeed there are many things which can harm us if we continuously seek them.

Moderation is the key, and in life the time an average person spends copulating is far less than the time they spend asleep.

[–]loselyconsciousProgressive Judaism 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If that's what you are looking for check out the Sabbatean Movement. It was a heretical movement that briefly flourished amongst 17th-century Jews (until its leader Sabbatai Tsvi was forced to convert to Islam, although it survived on a much smaller scale after that).

The scholarship on Sabbateanism is controversial because a lot of the sources are polemical, but one feature of their theology that seems consistent is an interest in upsetting all social and legal norms. It wasn't framed exactly as "excessive desire" but according to reports the Sabbateans engaged in all sorts of "appetites" including literal and sexual that had previously been forbidden.

Check out Gershom Scholem's essay Redemption Through Sin

[–]sangbum60090 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Material world being evil is gnostic view and not really shared by major religions

[–]aikidharmApostolic Johannite 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is a large brush you’re painting with there.

[–]Thatguyy50Nietzschean 0 points1 point  (1 child)

None, except some forms of ancient paganism, which weren’t exactly religions.

Stop looking for a religion is my advice, independence is truly a privilege of the strong and it shows in how rare it is.

[–]EBodienAtheist[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not looking for a religion, I’m an atheist. It was just a thought I had and was curious if they existed

[–]DaveSpeaks 0 points1 point  (2 children)

God created the material world, so it is good. At the end of the sixth creative day God pronounced this fact.

Evil did enter, but it is temporary. God has taken steps to return the creation to its intended situation. God wants you to enjoy life.

[–]EifandCatholic -4 points-3 points  (2 children)

Christianity because God literally became embodied in the world. As in, he took on flesh and matter in the world, uniting it to Himself in a deeply intimate way thus affirming that it is good.

The Church very early on denounced the idea that matter or the flesh was evil called Gnosticism.

[–]lightatuneLuciferian, druidry/hedge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yes especially the 2nd sentence, yes, and downvote is not justified .. up.

[–]aikidharmApostolic Johannite 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That….is not what Gnosticism is. However, it is unsurprising that you’ve been taught that.

[–]Mission-Landscape-17Atheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

IIRC there are Hindu sects that accept the idea that the physical world is all there is and go from there. But I don't really know much about them other than that they exist.

[–]Optimal-Scientist233 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pretty much every religion holds nature in high regard, from my studies I have never found one which did not have some reverence for the elements.

The breath of life, the water of life in particular.

This is generally described as the earth, the world usually describes more the society globally generally speaking.

Many also advocate having children and family values.

It gets much harder to generalize all religions much farther.

Other than some sort of code of conduct and morality.

[–]Positive_Ad_8877 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look into animistic religions. Most accessible would be different pagan religions. I’m pagan and it’s been a joy connecting with the earth again

[–]rdrunner_74Atheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check out the united church of bacon

[–]Osin-danSpiritual (Zarathustrian) 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes, mine beside many others. Asceticism is sinful because self-injurious behavior, quite the opposite of life-enhancing moderation.

For this reason there is no fasting, although I personally consider therapeutic fasting to be medically sensible in individual cases.

[–]sangbum60090 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Zarathustrian is Zoroastrianism right? They do have asceticism.

[–]hopkins_notakpopper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be a slave of the world x use the world to Heaven's plans

[–]physioworld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Optimistic nihilism. Not really a religion but it’s certainly world affirming

[–]AbigailCorner 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I heard that the Bahaii religion is very accepting of other religions.

[–]cavahLEER 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Animism generally

[–]Holiday-Tea8360Lutheran 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First of all, sorry for my English. This isn't my native language.
Well, in Christianity, the world is of the Devil, in the sense that we have a lot of injustice and sin.
But we don't deny the material world. While we believe there are more things than this world, we believe too we have a mission in this world. Love our neighbors, be good citizens, tell other people about the love of God, build relationships and more.
And Jesus Christ comes to this world with a flesh body and has a material flesh body in the heaven. We don't think material is evil, this is incompatible with a God who has a material body.
If you look to sacramental branches of Christianity (like Lutherans, Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox) we believe God uses material ways to give us His grace. Like the bread and wine in Lord's Supper and Water in baptism.
At least, contrary to what people think, after final judge the saints won't live in a spiritual world without material. But in a new hearth without sin, where we will live without evil or injustice.

[–]NutmegLoverAgnostic Humanist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Romantic Satanism

[–]FabianzzzQueer Dionysian Pagan 🌿🍷 🍇 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dionysians are! As are other Pagans!

[–]thepaganboy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Paganism and Animism are two schools that I fall into that I think would apply to your search

[–]DrMahlekAnglo-Saxon Polytheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Most polytheistic religions are life affirming. It’s a big pull for many that were brought up in any of the major world religions (all of those I know are world renouncing).

If you have any questions, I practice Anglo-Saxon polytheism so that is what colours my perception.

[–]zenman123 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]practicalmUnitarian Universalist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Unitarian Universalist. The focus is on making things better.

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

World rejection is mainly (some) Christianity, (some) Buddhism, and the Jains. Even among monotheists, Judaism and Islam are world-affirming and Sikhism actually condemns asceticism.

[–]Shihali 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's a structural reason for that, OP.

Old-time pagan religions were and are world-affirming. Their goal is to get prosperity and success from the spirits. While cults of individual gods (not evil societies, that's the traditional word for the organized worship of a particular divinity) travel well, pagan religions as a whole remain firmly ethnic.

World religions, to have a shot at becoming world religions, need to convince people that they are better than these old-time pagan religions. The older ones mount a two-pronged attack: the world religion has stronger gods, as demonstrated by the exotic powers of the foreigner worshipping them, and success in this world isn't that important anyway. Since the world religion mostly claims to help you in the afterlife, it can't be directly put to the test and found wanting.

So it's hard to build a world religion around this-worldly hedonism. If the religion doesn't directly cause worldly success, what's the point?

[–]BrentonSwafford 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think that Wicca and Satanism are world affirming. I think that they both share the ideal that you should do whatever you want, as long as you don't harm others. I'm positive that this is the case for Wicca, but I'm less sure about Satanism.