Relational Polytheism

One of the key pieces of my evolving personal theology is relationship. This idea seems to be taking root and flowering in the work of other Polytheist thinkers, too. People who identify with other practices, traditions, and labels will also understand the concept of relationship, as no one tradition holds the copyright to such a concept. In this piece I'd like to outline my ideas on this topic.THEORYMy thoughts around sacred relationality began by studying Christian theology, … [Read more...]

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What is Paganism? A Resource List

Yesterday I gave a presentation on Paganism at Seattle Pacific University. This is an annotated version of the hand out I gave the students. The list the student got did not have commentary, and the links were written out. Here, I've hyper-linked. I figured it might be helpful for others.One very important note: this list primarily reflects me, my biases, and my experience with Paganism. There are SO MANY books and websites out there. My aim was to inform, on a general level, college aged … [Read more...]

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The Vocabulary of Spiritual Practice, Part 2

I apologize for leaving you hanging. I have been laid out with strep throat! Let's get back to our regularly scheduled blogging, shall we?I recently posted about some terminology and I'd like to finish off exploring a few more words related to my practice.DevotionWhat do we mean when we talk about devotion? This word is used exclusively in the context of relationship. I've never heard anyone use it outside of this context. The nature of the devotions may be different from person to … [Read more...]

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The Vocabulary of Spiritual Practice, part 1

Humans like boundaries and definitions. We like order. Understanding what something is or is not happens early on in our development and helps us to make sense of the world. I learn a lot about humanity by watching my kids. When infants and older babies, there is no male or female, no boy or girl. There are only people that are safe. Once self-awareness begins somewhere in the third and fourth years (2 or 3) noticing body parts and differences, as well as growing a vocabulary for explaining … [Read more...]

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The Immaculate Conception: A Common Misconception

When I defended my master's thesis on feminist Mariology (the study of the Virgin Mary), my panel included a United Church of Christ minister and historian, an Eastern Orthodox Christian and expert on religious education, a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan order, and Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist theologian and thorn in the side of the Roman Catholic Church. The opportunity to study with Rosemary was one of the reasons I chose to attend the Graduate Theological Union; it was a huge … [Read more...]

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What’s the Big Deal About Polytheism?

Over the last few years, as the polytheist "community" (faction? collection of people using this as a descriptor?) grows, there has been drama and contention about the words "polytheist" and "polytheism". Now that I am co-chairing a conference on polytheism I've been fielding questions about this word and our purpose.Why Polytheism?I cannot speak for other polytheists, nor for those who choose not to use this word. I will explain why I like this word and use it as a … [Read more...]

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A Polytheist Twist on Narrative Theology

Narrative theology (also known as postliberal theology, which I just found out) is a recent theological development where the overarching narrative of the Christian story takes on central importance, over/against ideas of systematic theology. One of its main points is that individuals are part of a community and that community's history, which is the focus of Christian narrative theology. I like the idea of being part of a story that is bigger than myself. That seems to take into account the … [Read more...]

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