Thursday, December 08, 2005

More thinking

When I get to thinking theologistically (is that even a word?!? Cause if it's not, it should be, it's the logistics of theology) my brain starts going into overdrive.

I make no bones about the fact that I consider myself a pagan, that my chosen method of religious celebration is neo-pagan with Discordian tendancies, and that I see deities from many cultures are archtypal manifestations of a unknowable higher power.

One of my pet projects has been learning more about Jesus outside of the Christian doctrine. Many pagans are Jesusphobic. They have no problems revering Buddah as divine, or Zeus, or Morrigan, but the idea of Jesus as a divinity cheeses them off.

In many ways it's fall out from years of Christian Manifest Destiny. You have to admit that overall, Christianity has been less than allowing when it comes to other religions in their same space, and that a good chunk of their history involved stamping out people who didn't think like they do, sometimes violently. Plays Well With Others doesn't show up on Christianity's report card that often.

It also stems from the fact that most pagans are previous Christians, who left the religion because it didn't work for them. We're just now starting to see second-generation pagans (like my son). So for many pagans, seeing Jesus as deity, is like going back to the faith that, for many of them, was restrictive, opressive, judgemental and cruel.

So finding ways to find Jesus' core message, one that is relevant and relatelable for pagans, outside of the Paulistic and Reformative doctrine that grew millenia after the man preached, is a challenge, at best. One source of information is the discussion over Quelle (or 'source'), the 'Gospel of Q'.

While still controversial, the concepts presented by the possibility of Q are based in sound Biblical scholarship, that the Gospels, as presented in the modern Bible, are not contemporary to Jesus, and that they are most likely based on earlier descriptions of Jesus and his works. (Debates of how much of the Gospels are add-ons after the fact, to fill out Jesus' life story, and enhance his divinity, are left to more educated people than I.)

And now I've been babbling, and my brain has run out of steam for a bit. I'll get back to this after Mousie goes to school...

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Hi, was just searching for stuff about second-generation Pagans, and came across this post.

There's a wealth of information about the non-Christian Jesus, especially in the Unitarian tradition.

I tend to see Jesus as being in the same philosophical tradition as Lao Tsu, Gandhi, Rammohun Roy, and the Sufis - all the type of thinkers that Pagans have a lot of sympathy with. It's just that it's difficult to see beyond the Christian overlay to the real Jesus.