Christo-Paganism

May 19, 2009 at 1:52 am 6 comments

For some time now, I’ve been noticing a growing number of people calling themselves Christo-Pagans, Christian Witches and the like, combining these religions in some way. Judeo-Pagans and Jewitches have also been popping up. While many Western Pagans draw inspiration from Buddhism and Hinduism, Eastern religions give themselves a lot more easily to syncretism than do the more exclusivist Abrahamic faiths. And yet, some people still feel called to reconcile what seems to many as contradictory belief systems. Some would say all this is really fluffy eclecticism run amok, and in some cases, perhaps it is. Up til now, I haven’t really taken a stance for or against this trend.

As time has gone on I’ve realized that some of my own values owe more to Christianity & Judaism than they do to Paganism. There are some values in common, like hospitality, piety and honoring the family. But others like “turning the other cheek” and some aspects of social justice are lacking in traditional polytheistic religions. At one point I even saw a Heathen fellow denouncing the value of forgiveness in his blog. I’m sorry, but without forgiveness, there would be no friendship, no marriages, no families. No society. Maybe there is a certain point where we as individuals or as a society can’t forgive an action. Where we draw that line is up for debate.

Embracing these ethics does not mean becoming part of the religion that originated them necessarily. It means admitting that polytheistic religions don’t have all the answers, though at the same time, neither do the monotheistic ones. Really, all faiths are human creations and thus, subject to human flaws. While they may be inspired by the Divine in all its forms, it is all filtered through the lenses of our culture and time. I guess all this is a large part of why I became a Unitarian Universalist, was to affirm these values. That and I felt I was not getting enough moral guidance from other Pagans, in fact all too often I encountered people that made poor role models- both regular community members and clergy/leaders. I saw people making bad choices repeatedly and not learning from them.

This is just the beginning of a new leg of my journey, and I’m not sure where it will lead. I’ve been reading “ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path” by Joyce & River Higginbotham, review will be forthcoming.

Note since this may be controversial: feel free to disagree civilly, but any hostile posts will be deleted and users banned.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Concepts & Definitions, Ethics, Pagan Communities.

Beyond Reconstructionism Deafness as Disability

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sources of Values « Politics and Polytheism  |  June 18, 2009 at 12:54 am

    […] that were instilled in me in childhood, as well as those I’ve learned from experiences. In an earlier post I owned up the Christian/Jewish influence on my values. There are also the values of religious […]

    Reply
  • 2. al vee  |  November 13, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Loved your article. I was raised Catholic, and have also been a fundamentalist Christian. Once I left Fundamentalist I became what you might call an “undegreed scholar of Christianity.” Anyone who has studied Christianity in depth, particularly Catholicism, knows that Christianity, again, particularly Catholicism, is a pagan religion already. Every bit of it was borrowed from the pagan religions it encountered as it made its way across the Roman empire. The dying savior and eucharistic meal were taken from Mythraism, and the cult of Apollo as well, Mary Queen of Heaven is none other than the mother goddess in her Jewish disguise, the saints are no less than recreations of the many gods and goddesses of old and even have many of the same powers and patronages.
    I have no problem calling myself a Christo Pagan. If the Catholic Church would jettison the Old Testament God, it would be one of the most perfect pagan religions there is. A great book, a long read, “Christian Myths and their Parallels in other religions” by T.W Doane. This is a 1972 books so do not look for it in Borders or Barnes. I would head to the library.

    Reply
  • 3. al vee  |  November 13, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Loved your article. I was raised Catholic, and have also been a fundamentalist Christian. Once I left Fundamentalist I became what you might call an “undegreed scholar of Christianity.” Anyone who has studied Christianity in depth, particularly Catholicism, knows that Christianity, again, particularly Catholicism, is a pagan religion already. Every bit of it was borrowed from the pagan religions it encountered as it made its way across the Roman empire. The dying savior and eucharistic meal were taken from Mythraism, and the cult of Apollo as well, Mary Queen of Heaven is none other than the mother goddess in her Jewish disguise, the saints are no less than recreations of the many gods and goddesses of old and even have many of the same powers and patronages.
    I have no problem calling myself a Christo Pagan. If the Catholic Church would jettison the Old Testament God, it would be one of the most perfect pagan religions there is. A great book, a long read, “Christian Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions” by T.W Doane. This is a 1972 book so do not look for it in Borders or Barnes. I would head to the library.

    Reply
  • 4. Matt Stone  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I agree we can learn from other paths. I’m a Christian who’s learned from Paganism. Not a Christopagan, lest that be misunderstood. Just a Christian informed by Pagan appreciation for symbol and ritual.

    Reply
  • 5. revbuck72  |  June 3, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Loved your article. You might find it easier combining Christian Gnosticism with Paganism. Christian Gnosticism is polytheistic. Gnostic Christopagan or Chrisopagan Gnosticism sounds more plausible.

    Reply
    • 6. caelesti  |  June 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you- I don’t consider myself a Christian/Pagan syncretist primarily, but there are places where my path intersects- particularly in European folk Catholicism and Latin American liberation theolog(ies) I must say I find Gnosticism a bit confusing to explore- it seems there are many differences between what I’d call modern pop “neo-Gnosticism” that influences New Age & Neo-Pagan subcultures and ancient forms of Gnosticism. You might also find my friend/colleague Naomi Jacobs’ blog here of interest https://andotherlight.wordpress.com/ She is like me a modern Druid & Gaelic polytheist who also has interests in Gnosticism & liberation theology and also does sociology research about how disability & Christianity intersect. And Narnia…lots of Narnia!

      Reply

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