One of the most common requests that occur in discussions regarding Heathenry are for sources and this type tends to be the unspoken standard. Usually when these requests surface, it is in between two people that consider themselves studied in the worldview. Many times this seems to be an insult or a way to stop a conversation to people who don’t spend the time in scholarly sources. Many times this could not be further from the truth. Ideally it should be seen as a request to better understand the point’s beginning, by going to its source (pun intended).
A scholarly source is based in academically backed research, utilizing recognized sources and standards of citation. The use of these sources are great boons to the veracity of your argument or understanding – it is “written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news.”
The degree to which a source is scholarly, unless it is published from a reputable University, can be up to the person reading it. Qualifiers such as degrees, experience, and research methods bolster claim of scholasticism – and accordingly these things increase the value of the presented research. The information can be regarded as more valuable, accurate, or even correct. However, with the standard audience these sources are directed towards results in the overly academic tone. This tone, while expected in the scholarly community, tends to put people off from reading it as they feel it is out of their depth… it also adds to the negative connotations people attach to asking for sources. This is a shame, because these sources are incredibly helpful in development of the Heathen worldview.
Take the time needed to understand scholarly sources, or ask someone that has taken that to help in understanding them.