Paganism & Christianity: A Resource for Wiccans, Witches and Pagans [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Paganism & Christianity, the Pagan Awareness Network’s Gavin Andrew examines the reasons why paganism has traditionally been reviled, uncovering some of the lesser-known aspects of Christian history. This concise resource explores Christianity's deep entanglement with European and Middle-Eastern indigenous beliefs, and reveals the basis for Christian attitudes toward modern paganism.

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Paganism & Christianity: A Resource for Wiccans, Witches and Pagans

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Overview

In Paganism & Christianity, the Pagan Awareness Network’s Gavin Andrew examines the reasons why paganism has traditionally been reviled, uncovering some of the lesser-known aspects of Christian history. This concise resource explores Christianity's deep entanglement with European and Middle-Eastern indigenous beliefs, and reveals the basis for Christian attitudes toward modern paganism.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940032948384
  • Publisher: Gavin Andrew
  • Publication date: 12/14/2011
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 499,165
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

What is PAN Inc?


The Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated (PAN Inc) is a not-for-profit educational association with members Australia-wide. It is run by a management committee whose members are drawn from a broad cross-section of the Pagan community. The Association is incorporated in the state of New South Wales, with sub-committees in other states of Australia. It has no formal ties with any religious body, but works in a proactive fashion, both within the Pagan community and as a point of contact for the public, including government and media organisations.


PAN Inc aims to continue as the Australian Pagan communitys most effective networking and educational body.


Our Mission


The Pagan Awareness Network Inc (PAN Inc) aims to:


Correct misinformation, raise awareness and educate the general public about Paganism and associated beliefs and practises in order to achieve religious tolerance


Foster the growth of the Pagan community through service


Brief History


The Pagan Awareness Network began in January 1997 when the Witches League for Public Awareness (Salem Mass. USA) withdrew their regional controllers. David Garland was the Australian representative and with the support of the coven he worked with, had already embarked upon the task of making the WLPA a registered organisation here in Australia when this happened. Rather than waste all the work that had already been done David decided to start a new group here in Australia and so came up with the Pagan Awareness Network (PAN).


It was around the same time that it was decided to register a Church (SOTEG) and to make PAN the educational arm of that Church, to save both time and money. PAN started out with a web site and information pamphlets that aimed to get the truth out there about what Pagans are and what they really do.


March the 23rd 1997 was the first Public Full Moon Circle PAN held and was very successful. These still continue every month in Seven Hills.


In the June of the same year, as part of SOTEG, the first public Sabbat was held, a Yule. This was a huge success and almost 200 people turned up as well as Channel 9.


On the 30th of September the Pagan Awareness Network split with SOTEG Inc and became an entity in its own right, incorporating on the 15th of October 1997 and officially becoming the Pagan Awareness Network Inc.


We have responded to many issues in the press and had most of our responses published. Hopefully we will continue to attract more of the positive media coverage that we received throughout 2003. We have an ongoing relationship with many reporters to keep the correct information about Paganism in the public arena.


2003 was a positively huge year in relation to media involvement and the general increase in the awareness of organisations like PAN; our membership base increased dramatically. It seemed that throughout 2003, not a month passed by without PAN Inc contributing to a news item, whether radio or print journalism, on a local, regional or national level. PAN Inc was involved with resovlving a religious vilification issue in Casey (south east Melbourne) and David Garland appeared on "A Current Affair" Ch 9 to make comment on the 'Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001Victoria'.


We have continued to maintain our political involvement; liasing with State and Federal Governments regarding issues that affect Pagans and to support and promote religious tolerance. In the past we have made submissions to State Attorney Generals on proposed legislation and changes to laws including the Witchcraft laws in VIC and Knife legislation and Religious Discrimination Laws in SA.


We will continue to lobby the State and Federal Governments to ensure the basic rights of Pagans in Australia are protected and or become recognised.


We have run many social events, an annual picnic, social BBQs and Ghost Tours. PAN successfully backed Pagan 98 in Queensland and 2002 saw us launch the first Pagan Pride Day in Sydney.


2003 saw us host our first of many winter gatherings: Hollyfrost which continues to be a resounding success. Aimed specifically at families wanting to celebrate the solstice together we made merry and feasted under the Yule tree in Western Sydney.


In 2004 PAN Inc took over the running of Magick Happens and we have run it since keeping to the tradition and the fantastic community spirit that Rowan started with this event.


Our Sydney Full Moon Circles have run continuously since March 1997 never missing one, rain hail or shine and we now have several other circles running regularly around the country. In 2005 we also began running a training program to help support our Full Moon circles.


The association also has a number of subcommittees that run events, workshops and gatherings to ensure the diverse nature of the Pagan community is catered for.


We have continued to grow over the years to the point where we publish our own monthly bi-newsletter called The Small Tapestry and an annual called The Tapestry in house including printing.


The future promises to be exciting for PAN Inc and the wider Pagan community. With our members support, we will continue to deliver and grow as an association.


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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted May 25, 2012

    Fresh, Exciting, Relevant. A MUST read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book from start to finish, and there were areas that stood out as having a special significance. Within the section on the Occult and the Church’s tendency to fear Pagan ritual as ‘Black magic,’ the author makes an assertion that I have often made -

    Christians can be very good at ‘black magic.’ Of course most of them would not see their prayers of intercession in this light, but when one comes across examples of Christians holding “prayer warrior meetings” to direct their intercessions “against the enemy” (often Pagan groups representing that enemy) then what else can one call it? Gavin Andrew details a scenario where a particular Christian group even rejoiced over the dreadful bodily trauma and pain they believed their prayers had caused a particular Pagan whose influence they were worried about. Even if their prayer and the person’s illness were not literally related, what else can we call the intention of this but black magic?

    Other exciting areas covered are the following: The reality of the deeply mutli-dimensional early Christian church, not all of which saw Jesus as the God-incarnate of later orthodoxy; The surprising links between early Christian ritual (which was often ‘sky clad’) and modern Wicca; The chilling accounts of the terrible mediaeval period of witch hysteria.

    The book concludes with a chapter called ‘Finding Common Ground,’ where the author highlights three main areas of potential commonality between the two traditions:

    The first is, surprisingly, within the theology, and in particular ‘incarnational theology.’ After asserting that many modern Pagans believe in the immanence of the divine within nature, which usually takes the form of either Pantheism or Panentheism, Gavin Andrew rightly alludes to the growing number of Panentheistic

    Christians, and also that the whole notion of the Incarnation of Christ implies deity and humanity enmeshed. I (with my Progressive Christian friends) would suggest that Jesus Christ – the part literal / part mythic incarnation – is a symbol of what is true for all people, and indeed all things.

    The second point of commonality is philanthropy and, while pointing out the many worthy modern pagan charities, the author pays due respect to the long history of Christian charity and service. Something which he asserts that pagans generally admire and, if they do top, ought to.

    And the third point Gavin Andrew makes is on ecological awareness and concern for the environment. Tapping into both the more positive passages of the Hebrew Scriptures and the poetry of the medieval ‘honorary pagan’ St. Francis of Assisi, Gavin Andrew shows how creation centred spiritualty has been a long (and, sadly neglected) area of Christianity. Clearly this must be one of the most obviously places for Christian and Pagan to work together for the common good.

    I could say so much more, but let me conclude with this: ‘Paganism & Christianity’ is a brilliant resource for any Pagan or Christian who genuinely wants to better understand the relationship between these two great traditions. It will not be a comfortable read for some; especially Christians who are not prepared to look critically at their own religion’s history. Some of Gavin Andrew’s responses to the claims made by certain voices from within the church about Pagans are hard-hitting, but I believe necessary.

    Mark Townsend, author of Jesus Through Pagan Eyes

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    "Gavin Andrew has created an absolutely necessary resource

    "Gavin Andrew has created an absolutely necessary resource for the globally-emerging contemporary Pagan community. We are a people with such a convoluted history and our survivals, revivals and recreations in the post-industrialist information age are often considered to be hopeless anachronisms lacking in the 'required' authenticity which measures valid spiritual or religious phenomena. Andrew clearly communicates how this is not so, and after establishing this basic premise begins to analyse the earliest ideological differences and divergences between Christianity and Paganism as they were then, as they transformed, died and re-emerged (for the most part in the case of Paganism) and as they exist today. We are then guided very simply from the garden-bed of these conflicts and the articulation of how Paganism and Witchcraft are reviled and accursed in Biblical Scripture into a transparent account of history, ideology and theology as pertains to the discussion at hand. This vital work also opens discussion on how to critique Christian commentaries and criticisms of modern-day Paganism and Witchcraft as well as advice and guidance on how to open healthy interfaith dialogue with our Christian peers without entering the realms of coercive proselytising. Ultimately this straight-forward and accessible work is not only a highly-credible resource for Pagans, but I also believe that it would benefit Christians yearning to reconcile with Pagans. My only criticism is that the book is not longer."

    - Gede Parma, Craft teacher and author of Ecstatic Witchcraft, By Land, Sky & Sea and Spirited: Taking Paganism Beyond the Circle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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