- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ Paperback – 15 Jul 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
About the Author
Rev. Mark Townsend (Hereford, England) is a priest, magician, and writer whose work explores magic, Paganism, and Christianity. He is a member of The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and performs his soulful magic all over the world.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
This quotation from the second century Gospel of Philip sums up the feeling-tone of Mark Townsend's 'Jesus Through Pagan Eyes'. It is cleansing and transfiguring to read.
Why did I read this book? Like Mark I'm an OBOD Druid. I'm also a mentor in that tradition, aware the people enter the Order from all sort of points of view. So there's an element of homework. But beyond that, though I don't personally identify as either Pagan or Christian, I have an abiding interest in both traditions. I recognise that there are many Christianities and Paganisms loose in the world, some of which are able to interweave and so add to the creative possibilities of 21st. century spirituality.
Why might you want to read it? 'Jesus Through Pagan Eyes' is a friendly and accessible book on a hot topic in the field of spiritual change and development. Mark Townsend is well-placed to develop it and has done so with authority and elegance. It is not too long - and yet covers a lot of ground.
The book is structurally creative. It is written in three parts. The first, written by Mark, looks at theological development in the Christian tradition, engaging in particular with the work of theologians like Matthew Fox (who has contributed a substantial foreword) and Richard Rohr. In particular, Mark looks at different ways in which the figures of `Jesus' and `Christ' (both separately and together) can be understood.
The second part comprises chapters by respected writers from pagan traditions, talking about their understandings of Jesus and what, if anything, he means to them now. Here we begin to get the full diversity of voices, which is such a feature of the book. Chapters which stood out for me on first reading included 'The Lily Gross and the Green Man', offering reflections arising from an image in an English country church, by Maria Ede-Weaving; 'Jesus, Horse of God', drawn on insights from "Afro-Diasporic and other possessory traditions", by Diana L. Paxson; and 'I Have No Temple: a Consideration of Jesus as a Pagan Teacher of Gnosis', reflecting largely on G.R.S. Mead's translation of 'The Hymn of Jesus', by Marcus Katz. From a Druid point of view, there are also significant chapters by Emma Restall-Orr, John Michael Greer and Philip Carr-Gomm.
The third part comprises interviews from "respected pagan elders", these being: Maxine Sanders, Selena Fox, Raven Digitalis, Sorita D'Este, Caitlin Matthews, Janet Farrar, Gavin Bone, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Cassandra Eason, Raven Grimassi, Scott Blunt, Kerr Cuhulain, and Gill Edwards. The interviews contain a wealth of information and opinion, though on the whole they did not hold me in quite the same way as the chapters in part two. But good value, all the same.
Overall, a book for our time.
(1) The gospel of Philip: saying 98 (in Jean-Yves Leloup The gospel of Philip: Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the gnosis of sacred union, Father Leloup's own translation)
The first section of the book deals with Mark stripping away some of the gloss and glamour from the Jesus that churches have popularised, and concentrating on the essence of Jesus, rather than the hype and expectation loaded onto him. He talks from an interesting vantage of someone who is both a Christian priest and a Druid.
Throughout the book both Mark and some of the other writers/interviewees have spoken of the different versions of Jesus, from historical man, to a Church-perpetuated myth, to a more universal version of a Mystic or Cosmic Christ.
I found resonance, or at least a fascination, with some of the essays by the pagan writers....some more than others. I found the essays on how some of these pagans, especially the Druids amongst them, viewed Jesus drew me into their worldview.
The interviews with different established pagans was a bit hit and miss for me, but not because of the style of writing or the questions asked, but more for how I could, or could not, relate to what they said.
I'm not sure it has made me want to forge any greater bond with Jesus, any more than reading about Buddha or Ghandi would make me want to have a greater bond with them on a mystical/spiritual level...though I could see why there might be a loose spiritual affiliation, but it was an interesting read nonetheless.
Jesus Through Pagan Eyes has been thoughtfully researched. Mark Townsend's beautiful tapestry is created with Jesus the historical person, Jesus through the interpretations of theological development and then finely woven with the understanding of who Jesus is and what he represents by thirteen respected Pagan elders from a wide range of paths.
Reverend Townsend has created an intelligent vision. There is a crossroads where harmony, understanding, forgiveness, respect and ultimately friendship can exist. Where similarities between seemingly divergent paths might be illuminated if one chooses to seek. This lovely book has encouraged me to step onto this bridge to meet half way my old friends and teachers, and forge a new and inclusive path with an opening of heart. Each must forge her own path through the forest for ultimately it is a personal journey.