Pagan Theology Round-up

Pagan Theology Round-up June 7, 2015
Space Galaxy by Dawn Hudson (public domain image).
Space Galaxy by Dawn Hudson. Public domain image courtesy of Publicdomainimages.net.

Since my post on May 25 on Reawakening a Pagan Theology, the subject appears to have caught some momentum in the blogosphere.  I’m pleased to have contributed to the conversation, and I thought I would direct my readers (who, hopefully, share my interest) to some of the articles I have found on the subject since.

On June 3 Yvonne Aburrow posted a primer on theology of sorts in an article on Sermons from the Mound for beginning Pagans.  She explained a lot of the terminology used in the study of theology and cited several excellent resources, including:

  • An article she’d written on the essentials of theology more than two years ago, which is very helpful if you’re not academically trained in the field (like me)
  • A book by our former channel editor Christine Hoff Kraemer (which I was supposed to review but forgot I had on my e-reader because – long story – I misplaced it, but I will remedy that SOON)
  • An article by Christine to recommend resources on Pagan theology 
  • Another article by Christine on Pagan theological viewpoints of divinity (hard and soft polytheism, loose monotheism, loose duotheism and pantheism; and her “three legs of the cauldron” metaphor is excellent)
  • The articles on the centers of Paganism by John Halstead and John Beckett that I cited in my address
  • An article on the nature of gods and of worship that Ian Corrigan wrote for his new blog about two weeks prior to my post.

Yvonne also wrote an article on June 6 that explained the nature of theology, why Pagans do (contrary to popular belief) need it, and added a few cautionary notes about why it’s important to be self-aware of the biases that a particular theological viewpoint will foster in each of us.  Aside from the articles I specifically cited I had read none of them so I’m glad to have been pointed in this direction.  I think it’s a great place to start!

In his column All Our Relations on PaganSquare on June 4, Gus diZerega made an intelligent argument for why Pagan theology is not as important to Pagans as it might be to people of other faiths.  I don’t agree with all of his assumptions (namely that “theology” is a concept for People of the Book . . . “you keep using that word” comes to mind) but it’s definitely worth reading.  P. Sufenas Virius Lupus points out the flaws in the comments.  I do agree that experiential truth is (usually) more important to us than dogmatic truth, which is why our theologies overlap and are often messy.

In his column Theosis: Thou Art Becoming on PaganSquare on June 6, David Oliver Kling of the Cherry Hill Seminary shared his description of his course on Theological Reflection that he offers there as food for thought for others.

I’ve also read a lot of great articles on specific Pagan faiths and their individual theologies:

  • Anomalous Thracian posted a primer on Polytheism over at the Wild Hunt on May 29.
  • Galina Krasskova has a great article over on Gangleri’s Grove from May 31 where she rants nicely against the pervasive theory in academia that monotheism is more “highly evolved” than polytheism and atheism is more “highly evolved” than that.  I agree completely: this idea of an evolution away from religion is bunk and is grounded in Colonialism.
  • On June 1 John Beckett posted some thoughts about the CUUPs view on gods and spirits.
  • My friend Graeme Barber wrote a neat article on June 4 on our local Okanagan Paganism blog about how it’s not necessary to be a warrior in order to be a Heathen, and it’s okay.
  • On June 4, Anna Walther discussed Home Base Practice on HumanisticPaganism.com describing the importance of daily practice in connecting with the spirit of a place.  I include exactly this sort of thing as part of my daily practice and experience with the numinous so I loved it.  And even hard polytheists would find little to argue with in this one.  As a matter of fact, if you are a hard polytheist I recommend that you read it because although Anna talks little about spirits, she does talk about connection with the land, and here I think many, perhaps even most of us, share a common ground.

I apologize, especially to my fellow Patheos Pagan writers, for anything I might have missed, and I invite you to share more articles and links in the comments.


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