Looking to the future: Pagan religions in 50 Years

Gus diZerega

Pantheacon 2014 was unusual in the level of acrimony some Pagans raised towards others about a supposed ‘Wiccan privilege’.  I will soon have a article devoted to it here, but that is not this one.  Here I want to explore the kinds of changes in America’s Pagan religions that made it possible for some to bring this charge. For in the years to come these changes will only increase. Our future is a diversity dwarfing what we presently are experiencing.I will start with two basic observa … [Read more...]

Don Frew on saving Pagan lives, ‘Wiccan privilege’ and interfaith

Don Frew

The recent discussions here over what constitutes Pagan religion raised a number of issues with which Wiccan elder Don Frew has an unusual degree of experience.  Few if any NeoPagans have been more active than Frew in our interactions with the wider religious world.  Given that so much of our history is unavailable except orally, or in very specialized venues, I offered him an opportunity here to put some of these issues  into a historical and I think very interesting context. - Gus di … [Read more...]

What is Paganism? Part IV: Interfaith Recognition

Gus diZerega

In many ways, the most convincing evidence supporting the definition of Pagan religion that I have discussed in this series is traditional Pagan peoples’ reactions when they meet modern NeoPagans in interfaith work.A few years back it was trendy in some Religious Studies circles to argue that NeoPagans were so different from indigenous and African Diasporic religions that we should not all be lumped together as "Pagan." Enmeshed within theoretical categories decisively shaped by secular a … [Read more...]

What Is Paganism? Part III: Pagan Religion from a Historical Perspective

Gus diZerega

As is well known in our community, the term “Pagan” was not initially a religious one, and when it took on a religious meaning, it was in contrast to “Christian.” Over the years it has gradually solidified to refer to religions that are not Abrahamic and not Buddhist. Hindus seem to go in and out depending on the writer and the context. So at first, it seems to be a catch-all in historical terms, a kind of linguistic wastebasket into which religions not granted equal status with the “great” ones … [Read more...]

What is Paganism? Part I: The Basics: Religion, Spirituality, and Stories

Gus diZerega

I was recently involved in an intense discussion arising over an article linked from The Wild Hunt. The article complained about a friend’s statement describing Paganism to an interfaith audience, and I responded by defending him. After that the discussion took off in the direction of “Who is a Pagan and how do we know?” I continued until, in my judgment, we were getting too testy. Best to stop.But most of the issues discussed were important.Afterwards I realized I had accumulated what co … [Read more...]


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