Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ

Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ


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For Pagans and Christians alike, Jesus Through Pagan Eyes offers a provocative portrait ofJesus—as a compassionate, life-affirming, nature-inspired spiritual teacher, freed from the limiting ideology of the Church. Rev. Mark Townsend sets the stage by exploring the historical evidence of who Jesus was as a human being before delving into the realm of metaphor and mythology, the notion of Christ, and the Church's conception of Jesus as Christ.

The heart of this unique book lies in the thoughtful and deeply moving collection of stories, essays, and interviews about Jesus from today's most respected Pagan, Wiccan, and Druidic leaders. Contributors such as Maxine Sanders, Christopher Penczak, Janet Farrar, Diana Paxson, Philip Carr-Gomm, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, John Michael Greer, Selena Fox, and Raven Grimassi explore the historical figure of Jesus in relation to Witchcraft, the tarot, goddess worship, and shamanism—while illustrating how this god of the Christian church blesses and inspires those who embrace non-traditional spiritual paths.

Whether you envision Jesus as an ascended master, a human teacher, or a mythic god-man, this remarkable book will introduce you to a Jesus who fits fully into the Pagan imagination.


"Townsend uses Jesus to initiate dialogue, and he does so in way that is accepting and inclusive of many understandings and interpretations of Jesus, his purpose, and his relevance (or irrelevance) in the religious practices of contemporary Pagans."—Huffington Post

"This work admirably promotes understanding between belief systems that have a sometimes uneasy relationship."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738721910
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 06/08/2012
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

A former clergyman in the Church of England, Reverend Mark Townsend now leads his own inclusive and ecumenical ministry that nourishes a strong appreciation for the diversity of faith beyond Christianity, and which strives to honor the divine in all people, regardless of their faith, culture, sexuality or background.

A priest of the Open Episcopal Church and member of the Progressive Christian Alliance, in addition to being a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the author has been featured on the BBC and several other news programs throughout Britain. He is the author of The Gospel of Falling Down , and Jesus Outside the Box (O Books). He lives in Hereford, England.

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Table of Contents



Preface – by Barbara Erskine

Foreword – Welcoming this Book, by Matthew Fox

Introduction - ‘Divine’ Babies and ‘Dirty’ Bath Water

Part One – The Naked Nazarene!

Chapter 1) The Tri-part Jesus

Chapter 2) Will the real Mr. Jesus please stand up!

Chapter 3) The Naked Jesus

Chapter 4) I am not the way (and other ‘alternative to the church’ Jesus wisdom)

Chapter 5) Jesus and the Tarot Twelve card.

Chapter 6) Reclaiming Jesus Christ

Chapter 7) The Cosmic Christ

Part Two – Jesus Through Pagan Eyes - A selection of stories and essays by Respected Pagan Elders

Chapter 8) Jesus: a view from the earth, by Emma Restall Orr

Chapter 9) A Witch’s Tale of Christmas, by Reni at ‘Spells and Witchcraft.’

Chapter 10) A Confession, by Adele Nozedar

Chapter 11) The gift of Jesus to Pagans and Christians, by Joyce Higginbotham

Chapter 12) Jesus Through the Eyes of a Witch, by Christopher Penczak

Chapter 13) The Lily Cross and the Green Man, by Maria Ede-Weaving

Chapter 14) A Goddess Advocate Talks about Jesus, by Karen Tate

Chapter 15) The Shamanic Christ, by James Carrington

Chapter 16) Encountering the Galilean, by Stephen Critchley

Chapter 17) The God from the House of Bread, by John Michael Greer

Chapter 18) Jesus, Horse of God, by Diana L. Paxson

Chapter 19) I Have No Temple, A Consideration of Jesus as a Pagan Teacher of Gnosis,

by Marcus Katz

Chapter 20) The Fertile Christ, by Philip Carr-Gomm

Chapter 21) Jesus and the Devil’s Picture Book, by Sarah Kral

Chapter 22) Soul Friends - A Wiccan / Jesus based Spirituality, by Erin Dragonsong

Part Three – Thirteen Interviews with Respected Pagan Elders

Chapter 23 - Maxine Sanders

Chapter 24 - Selena Fox

Chapter 25 - Raven Digitalis

Chapter 26 - Sorita D’Este

Chapter 27 - Caitlín Matthews

Chapter 28 - Janet Farrar

Chapter 29 - Gavin Bone

Chapter 30 - Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Chapter 31 - Cassandra Eason

Chapter 32 - Raven Grimassi

Chapter 33 - Scott Blunt

Chapter 34 - Kerr Cuhulain

Chapter 35 – Gill Edwards


Epilogue – A Druid Magician and the Son of God, by Rob Chapman



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Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ 6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
rogerdmac More than 1 year ago
Mark Townsend’s new book, “Jesus Through Pagan Eyes” begins with a bit of a departure for this master storyteller. In Part One, Mark undertakes to introduce the reader to a Jesus seldom found in the institutional church; one bereft of the theological baggage heaped upon him by centuries of churchianity. Mark skillfully and convincingly weaves oft-forgotten wisdom from early church leaders with modern Historical Jesus scholarship and concepts from the Pagan and Druidic traditions into a beautiful tapestry of both the person of Jesus and the Christ- consciousness that he exhibited. This is a Jesus simultaneously stripped down to a beautiful soul-friend and elevated to an incarnation of love and grace that we can all aspire to emulate. Freed from the ideological shackles of the tradition-laden church is found a Jesus that we should all find. In Parts Two and Three Mark gives way to respected Pagan leaders and invites them to share their own insights and feelings about Jesus in the form of essays and interviews. Whereas Part One was a scholarly, yet accessible examination of theological or Christological concepts interspersed with personal reflections; parts two and three are deeply personal and compelling portraits of a Jesus seldom found inside the institutional church. While some of these reflections will be seen as controversial, as will the whole book; the beauty found herein is undeniable. This is a truly remarkable work, as it combines both the cerebral approach and the emotional. As a lifelong Christian and a pastor to boot; I found much wisdom and beauty in this book; and was introduced to aspects of Jesus that had never been exposed to, but found myself asking “Why did I never see this before”? Revd. Roger McClellan, Co-Founder and Moderator of The Progressive Christian Alliance