News and Notes – Pagan Theology and Scholarship

Image adapted from "Hobbit Home" by shes_so_high. Originally posted on Flickr. CC license 2.0

Sacred Lands conference, summer Contemporary Global Paganisms course at Cherry Hill Seminary, and crowdsourcing Pagan theology. [Read more...]

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The varieties of religious experience

Rainbow At Maraetai Beach New Zealand, by Haley Sulcer

Having distinctive religious traditions matters because each tradition expresses a distinctive identity, philosophy, tradition, set of values, mythology, and community identity. These traditions are ways of being in the world. They are collective projects which explore the question of “How shall we live a good life?” (and what do we mean by ‘a good life’) in very different ways. They each have their own rich collection of source texts and rituals which try to answer that basic question, along with many of the other great existential questions, such as “Why are we here?” [Read more...]

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The Pagan umbrella is leaking

A big tent?

The “Pagan umbrella” is leaking, but I think we need to look at ways to ensure that we don’t misrepresent each other’s traditions, and that we don’t assume that everyone else shares our values and perspectives. And maybe we need to change the metaphor from an umbrella to a big tent, or a party, or perhaps a (slightly dysfunctional) family, or something. And if someone could come up with a name that wasn’t applied to us from outside, maybe that would help too.
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Metaphors can kill

Image adapted from "Hobbit Home" by shes_so_high. Originally posted on Flickr. CC license 2.0

Metaphors are a very powerful thing. They can dictate how we we see the world, and therefore how we behave. They can constrain our expectations of what will happen, and how it will happen. The metaphorical connotations of an idea shape and limit what can be said about it. [Read more...]

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Tradition

Tree with birds, by Mary Hart

Tradition is something that grows and evolves. It is not set in stone, but is more like a discourse; if you start with a particular set of premises, ideas and values, you will get further ideas and practices that are consistent with the initial set of ideas. Religious traditions evolve according to social, cultural, and political circumstances. [Read more...]

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Today in Boston

Standing in Love

Like everyone else in Boston, I am wholly distracted by the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect going on in my city. Prayers and reflections on violence, death, and living from a place of connectedness. [Read more...]

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Fundamentalism

Trapped

What is fundamentalism? Is it all bad? Can the term ‘fundamentalist’ be applied to Pagans? [Read more...]

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