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

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 mytholog ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published June 8th 2012 by Llewellyn Publications (first published June 1st 2012)
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I have struggled with Jesus and Christianity my entire life, and this book has shown me a way to finally accept that Jesus isn't evil; however,the church that claims him often fails to live up to their namesake and even often contradicts his teachings. I am now able to say with confidence that Iam okay with Jesus, just not with Jesus as the Christian church has formed him.
This compares the viewpoint of Christiainity toward Jesus as well as those who still practice the old pagan ways.It is quite a deep exploration showing us the three fold Jesus, the one of history, the mythical one and the mystic one. The life of Jesus even leading up to his crucifixion follows quite closely the Egyptian religion, the pagan way of following the year. The book even argues the Christian religion became something Jesus never intended thanks to Constantine. Read this book and make up ...more
Conni (AKA Book Goddess) Wrightsman
This book is worth it's weight in gold if for no other reason then the final section: stories and essays from Pagan elders. They contain fascinating insights and I highly recommend this book. The author's love for Jesus shines through on every page!
I posted my reflections and review on Huffington Post Religion -- "Every Conceivable Jesus: A Review of "Jesus Through Pagan Eyes"-- check it out!
Michael Redmond
The Rev. Mark Townsend's JESUS THROUGH PAGAN EYES: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ (Llewellyn, 2012) reads pretty much as one would expect. It's a mishmosh of alternative views of Jesus Christ and traditional Christianity that relies heavily on the usual Gnostic texts and cross-cultural mythology studies.

The Rev. Mr. Townsend, a former priest of the Church of England and a self-described Druid, makes a very big deal of conclusions by cutting-edge scholars/criti
Where this book was good it was very good, but overall I felt it was uneven. Townsend's contribution is a nice introduction for people who have only been exposed to a narrow and orthodox chistology, but for those more widely read in these areas, the contribution is lackluster. I was expecting really hard-hitting stuff. Alternative theologies on the outskirts of mainstream christianity, like black liberation theology and anarchist readings of the new testament, have a way of commanding attention ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Freia added it
Meh. I was pretty excited about the first 1/3 of the book. Trying to strip away the church corrupted Jesus and find what He was before is exactly what I was looking for. Turned out I was completely uninterested in the book when it stopped talking about that and became personal essays of other people's opinions on him. At this point, it's a dnf for me. Bummer.
This book was most useful for its essays by various Pagans, and secondarily for the interviews... I can't speak to the history - I'm not widely read on Christian theology and most of what I read in the first third of the book took me by surprise. I've never read into the Gospel of Thomas or into the gnostic/esoteric side of Christianity, so most everything was new to me. The last third, the interviews, was largely repetitive, but this is possibly because I come from a Pagan background and could ...more
Very smart. In part one, Townsend manages to present a number of complex subjects — scholarship on the historical Jesus, major strains of heterodox understandings of Christology — in a way that invites further learning while still presenting a coherent whole. Readers who aren't already familiar with major branches of neopagamism, especially Wicca, may find themselves needing to catch up, but only a bit.

The essays and interviews by/with prominent pagan thinkers are a little hit and miss, but the
For Pagans who feel a pull towards Jesus and his teachings,but not towards institutionalized Christianity, Reverend Mark Townsend presents a new look at Jesus. By exploring the historical Jesus and the Cosmic Christ, Townsend presents a Jesus that would be just as much at home celebrating with Pagans as with the followers who took his name; maybe more at home with the Pagans.

An excellent book for those who didn't grow up Christian but are curious about Jesus. It's also a good starting point for
Even though I am not religious, I've always enjoyed learning about different religions. This book has three parts, and while I think the first part is necessary as it explains a lot to the reader, the second and third parts (stories and interviews from various established Pagans) are what made it worth reading. Still, it was not what I was expecting. Perhaps if I were more knowledgable in Paganism I would have enjoyed it more.
Rebecca Hamilton
I thought when I read about this book it would be intetesting but I did not enjoy it. It brought back memories of why broke from what I was taught as a kid.
Mary Weatherwax
An interesting read that provoked some new ideas and reinforced some that I have had for quite a while now. Maybe I am more of a pagan than I know.
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