Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ

Mark Townsend. Llewellyn, $19.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-0-7387-2191-0
"Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?" This challenging question motivates Townsend (The Path of the Blue Raven) to explore his own relationship with Christ. His undertaking is divided into three distinct segments. In part one the author draws distinctions between Jesus as a historical figure, as Christ of church doctrine, and as divine, Cosmic Christ presence. This distinction between doctrine and divinity allows Townsend, a former Anglican priest who is now a member of a Druid group, to integrate the teachings of Jesus with Wiccan, Druidic, and other earth-based spiritual practices. Part two collects fifteen essays by various Pagan elders on the subject of Christ. Essays range from personal stories of Christians discovering Paganism to more scholarly looks at Christianity's mythological roots. The essays are diverse and thought-provoking, if somewhat uneven. Part three is a series of interviews given by notable Pagan teachers. Most admit to respecting Christ's message of love and valuing his spiritual teaching independent of institutional Christianity. This work admirably promotes understanding between belief systems that have a sometimes uneasy relationship. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
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