Penelope Fleming-Fido (Church Times): Christians and Pagans should reconsider the similarities

In a world where differences between religious groups are often stressed, too few of us realise how many similarities there are between Christian beliefs and Paganism. Though many of us are aware of the pagan roots of some Christian tradi­tions, such as the Yule log and holly, there are deeper rooted similarities than these Christmas trimmings. History has too many examples of conflicts over real or imagined reli­gious differences; so a greater under­standing of each other’s religion might bring a heightened sympathy between us.

The Neo-Pagan religions have many names, including Paganism, Asatru, Wicca, Witchcraft, and Druid­ism. While Paganism stresses a bond with nature and an acknow­ledgement of the natural cycle of life in the world, there is no one tenet of faith that all followers acknowledge as central to their religion.

The word “pagan” has a long and confused history. In the first centuries Anno Domini (also known as the Common Era), a Pagan was someone who did not believe in the Abrahamic religions. The Latin word “paganus” means countryman, and it is easy to see the link between this and the Pagan religion, which is often de-scribed as being that of country-folk.

Paganism celebrates the cycle of the year, and there is no central reli­gious text; so it would have been accessible to peasants who could not read. Its emphasis on the changes that ordinary people could see around them in the trees and earth would have made sense to them.

Read the whole reflection.


Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths, Wicca / paganism

11 comments on “Penelope Fleming-Fido (Church Times): Christians and Pagans should reconsider the similarities

  1. Br. Michael says:

    The difference is between worshiping a real God and worshiping a rock.

  2. Pelican Anglican says:

    This is satire. Right?

  3. Dilbertnomore says:

    This really should have been published in The Onion, you know. Or the TEC Weekly Reader.

  4. j.m.c. says:

    Also pitifully inept in getting the most rudimentary, school-child level facts straight.

    “the Protestant Re­former Erasmus …”

    The Church of England is becoming progressively more culturally illiterate (not to mention regarding the basic substance of its own faith), perhaps some day it will have reached the same level of bathos as is common in TEC.

  5. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    Penelope and the pagans do have a lot In common, they are in need if conversion and need to discern what a revealed
    faith has to offer

  6. Philip Snyder says:

    I am reminded of a line by either C. S. Lewis or G. K. Chesterton: “Christianity and Buddhism are a lot alike – especially Buddhism.”

    Phil Snyder

  7. Christopher Johnson says:

    No, seriously. This has to be satire.

  8. tgd says:

    The bit about Erasmus is obviously wrong, but I’m sure this essay is intended as straight, not satire.

  9. DaveW says:

    Isn’t this what TEC has been doing (and implementing) for the past 40 years?

  10. David Fischler says:

    Please note that the author is a pagan, not a Christian. Why this piece was published in a Christian publication is anybody’s guess, however.

  11. Br. Michael says:

    10, I don’t know but it seems to fit right in with TEC’s understanding of Christianity.