About the Temple of Sumer :
The Temple of Sumer is an International Reconstructionist Religious Organisation dedicated to the study and restoration of the Sumerian and related Near Eastern Religions. While our numbers may be in the minority compared to the wider Neopagan and Heathen Communities, we are probably larger in size that many realise, given that we have two Sumerian Recons represented within the Pagan Federation alone; Steffy in Scotland, and Mariana in Portugal.
The Sumerian Paganism as we know it began in the late 1980s, with its first internet presence in the form of Twin Rivers Rising surfacing around the early 90’s, though it wouldn't be until early 2000 that communities began to take shape, following hot on the heels of the Gateways to Babylon site launch. This paradigm shift was buoyed by the advent of the Internet, and the rise of the World Wide Web, allowing people to connect and collaborate from all four corners of the earth like never before. The first of these communities was Sumer - The Garden of the Gods, with Tablet of Destiny community following on not long after. In early 2006 Temple of Sumer Organisation was founded as an offshoot of the Tablet of Destiny community. It’s founder Edward VanDerJagt, himself a second generation Sumerian. Last year marked our tenth anniversary, with now over a decade online.
The Temple of Sumer have good relations within many different faith traditions, both inside and outside of Paganism. Sumerian and Near Eastern Paganism also work well within the Interfaith Communities, being both the ancestral religion of the Abrahamic faith traditions, and Pagan religion in their own right. Being a branch of Semitic Paganism this allows us to bridge the gap between both the major world religions and the Pagan faith traditions much easier. To this end, we are the first Pagan faith tradition to have a Pagan voted to the role of Chair of an Interfaith Group, alongside the very same Pagan giving the welcome address at a National Conference on Interfaith, which we hope will go some way to clearing the path for other Pagan faith traditions attaining similar roles.
The Temple of Sumer also have good relations with other ANE Pagan and Chaldean Pagan Communities, and work closely and in conjunction with other Semitic Pagan and Neopagan communities, from Babylonian to Assyrian to Anatolian to Canaanite to Natib Qadish. In 2011 our organisation contributed to Tess Dawson’s ‘Anointed: A Devotional Anthology for Deities of the Near and Middle East’. In 2015 Edward VanDerJagt released his annotated and illustrated book on the ‘Descent of Inanna’, in a bid to dispel misinformation and falsehoods, and present the myth in context from a Sumerian perspective. Later that year saw the first Goddess evocation entirely in Akkadian given at the Scottish Pagan Federation’s Annual Conference as part of the closing ritual, which had an elaborate weaving theme which paid tribute the Sumerian Goddess of weaving Uttu. In late 2016 work began on the first official Temple of Sumer book or Primer, which will cover the basics of contemporary Sumerian religious practice, and is tentatively entitled: 'Walking the Sumerian Path'.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the Sumerian community.
Our Primary Goals :
The Temple of Sumer’s main aims are:
To increase the visibility of the Sumerian, Akkadian and other Ancient Near Eastern Pagan faith traditions
To further the relationships between those of Sumerian and other Ancient Near Eastern faiths worldwide.
To strengthen the relationships between the Sumerian faith tradition, and other Pagan and Heathen faith communities worldwide.
To provide education on Sumerian and Near Eastern faith traditions as a Pagan path
To provide education on Sumerian and Near Eastern faith traditions as the ancestral religions of the Abrahamic faiths.
To work with other faith traditions to strengthen the equality an equal rights and equal recognition of all branches of Paganism and ancestral religions.
To work within the Interfaith Communities to bridge the gap between the major world religions and the Pagan and ancestral faith traditions.
To dispel any negative stereotypes and falsehoods surrounding the Sumerian faith tradition.
To dispel any negative stereotypes around polytheism and the polytheistic communities.
The Temple of Sumer, nor its members, maintains no ties to Zuism or the Zuist Church, nor recognizes its legitimacy as a governing body over the affairs of Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, or other pagan and polytheist groups that derive their practices and beliefs from the religions and cultures of the Ancient Near East.