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Other religions

Page history last edited by Yvonne 8 years, 7 months ago


The Pagan view of other religions

 

The Pagan view of other religions tends to be that they are the right religions for people who choose those religions. We have chosen our spiritual path, and they have chosen theirs. Because many of us believe in reincarnation, we feel that there is plenty of time for people to experience a variety of paths.

 

Clearly different religions make different truth claims, but there may be a "perennial philosophy" which recurs repeatedly in the voices of people of different paths.  It cannot be said that all religions are true, since they make such wildly differing claims; but it can be said that there is truth in all religions, and that there is the possibility of connecting with the numinous/Divine/the deities in every tradition.  Nevertheless, Pagans are critical of ideas in other traditions, especially when they denigrate a particular group of people, or espouse values which devalue the Earth (and thus potentially lead to environmental destruction) or are contrary to reason.

 

Most Pagans do not bring their children up as exclusively Pagan; they may take them to Pagan events & festivals, and bring them up with broadly Pagan values, but they do not indoctrinate their children in Pagan beliefs. [1]

 

Most Pagans were not brought up as Pagan, so they have usually identified as Pagan in their late teens or early adulthood. Some Pagans identify as Pagan much later in life. Therefore a lot of Pagans have had experience in other religious traditions, either because they were brought up in them or because they joined them for a while in the process of seeking the right spiritual path for them.

 

Interfaith groups usually contain a few Pagans, seeking to promote understanding of our religion amongst other religions, but we are not interested in proselytising. We do, however, object to attempts by (some) other religions to convert people to their faith.

 

Our closest "kin" in philosophical terms are indigenous religions, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, and much of Unitarianism, Unitarian Universalism, and many Jews and Quakers.

 

However, the magical tradition from which several modern Pagan traditions have emerged was strongly influenced by the big three monotheisms (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) and of course many of us live in a society whose laws, festivals and customs are based on Christian traditions, so it is inevitable that there will be some influences from the three monotheisms, even if it is something that we are reacting against.  Sadly, for some people, this reaction can take the form of rejecting and reviling Christianity.  Whilst we reject much of Christian doctrine, there are some useful concepts and spiritual truths in the Christian tradition, and many fine and enlightened Christians willing to engage in dialogue, so it would be a shame to ignore them.  Also it's not very spiritual to spend hours moaning about how dreadful another tradition is - I recommend that you focus instead on making your tradition and your spiritual journey the best it can be, and learning from people on other spiritual paths in a spirit of humility, dialogue, and sharing.  I think we should remember that much of Christianity is focussed on justice, liberation and love.

 

One of the biggest issues in interfaith dialogue for Christians is that they believe that the incarnation of Christ was unique. [2] For polytheists, this is a non-issue; gods are frequently incarnated as humans, and humans occasionally ascend to godhood. Examples include Buddha, Aradia, Merlin, Kwan-Yin, and the Dalai Lama (the incarnation of Chenrezig).

 

Pagans also recognise the great contributions to art, science and philosophy made by people of all religions and none.

 

Other religions' views of Paganism

 

 

Other religions’ theology

 

 

BBC religions section

Atheism
The ideas and views of people who don't believe in God.
Baha'i
One of the youngest of the world's major religions.
Buddhism
A way of living based on the teachings of Siddartha Gautama.
Candomblé
A religion based on African beliefs, originating in Brazil.
Christianity
A highly diverse religion with many different theologies.
Hinduism
A group of faiths rooted in the religious ideas of India.
Islam
Revealed in its final form by the Prophet Muhammad.
Jainism
An ancient philosophy and ethical teaching that originated in India.
Jehovah's Witnesses
A Christian-based evangelistic religious movement.
Judaism
Based around the Jewish people's covenant relationship with God.
Mormon
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Paganism
Contemporary religions usually based on reverence for nature.
Rastafari
A young religion founded in Jamaica in the 1930s.
Santeria
Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion originating in Cuba.
Shinto
Japanese folk tradition and ritual with no founder or single sacred scripture.
Sikhism
The religion founded by Guru Nanak in India in the 15th Century CE.
Taoism
An ancient tradition of philosophy and belief rooted in Chinese worldview.
Unitarianism
An open-minded and individualistic approach to religion.
Zoroastrianism
One of the oldest monotheistic faiths, founded by the prophet Zoroaster.

 

 

 

 

LGBT movements in other religions

 

 

See also our Sexuality page, with links to articles and resources for LGBTQI spirituality

 

Colours of religion

Some fascinating articles about the different colour symbolism of the world's religions:

 

 

See also...

 


 

 

1 - A Covenant of the Goddess questionnaire asked: What has been the religious/spiritual training of your children?

(Note: 49% of respondants indicated having no children, so the statistics are for those respondents with children)

 

Another faith 9%
None 12%
Your faith 27%
Multi-faith 52%

 


 

2 - Second Spring: Other religions

 

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