Jesus Through Pagan Eyes, from a Pagan Perspective

by NanLT

Pagan High Priestess, NanLT takes a look at "Jesus Through Pagan Eyes" written and compiled by Mark Townsend, Christian Priest, Druid, and magician.

"Jesus Through Pagan Eyes" by Rev'd Mark Townsend provides a look at Jesus the man, and Christ the God figure, from a new perspective. Townsend looks not only at the New Testament of the Christian Bible in forming his own views, he also incorporates writings on Jesus discovered in transcripts long removed from the New Testament such as The Gospel of Thomasand the Gospel of Mary and he calls upon other scholars for their insight. Finally, Townsend spoke with several followers of different Pagan religions, asking them for their viewpoints.

A selection of essays written by these Pagans forms the second part of this book. In the third section, many well-known and lesser-known Pagans from a varied mix of traditions are interviewed.The result is an insightful look at the man, Jesus of Nazareth and the religion that he inspired.

This Pagan's Views on "Jesus Through Pagan Eyes"

My thoughts

Emergence @NanLTI have followed a Pagan religion for over 20 years, and during that time have had to explain and justify my beliefs many, many times for people who either cannot or do not want to understand why I choose to hold beliefs outside of the "norm". Invariably, at some point when some are questioning me on what I believe and why the question will arise "Don't you believe in Jesus?"

My response leads to further confusion for the questioner, because I always respond to the positive. Yes, I do believe that Jesus, the man, lived and died around the Sea of Galilee around 2000 years ago. Yes, I do believe that he was a great man and that he performed great miracles. I believe that he was an Enlightened Soul who taught much about loving one another and finding our soul connections to Spirit. But, I don't worship him and I am not a Christian.

Jesus is one of many prophets, holy men, and Ascended Masters from different times, different places, and difference religions who has lived on this Earth. We have a tendancy to discount as "untrue" teachings put forth from those who follow religious beliefs different from our own, and to put forward as being "infallible" truth those teachings put forth from followers, or founders of religious beliefs the same as our own. But, at their heart, the words of all of these teachers and prophets has been the same - Be kind to each other. Take care of those who need taken care of. Feed the hungry. Heal the sick. Love your fellow man.

In reading Jesus Through Pagan Eyes I was able to clarify some of the thoughts and ideas I had held about this man over the years. I actually went through and answered the interview questions put towards other Pagans within the third section of the book. You can read my responses to those questions at This Pagan's View of Jesus

Who is Mark Townsend, B Th

A brief biography

Mark Townsend was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 2006. In 2010 though, he resigned his commission in the C of E to follow where his faith was leading him. Since 2011 he has served as Priest of the Open Episcopal Church.

Mark's experiences have provided him an appreciation of the wide range of beliefs outside of Christianity, most especially the Nature-based religions of the British culture, including Druidism. He combines the traditions of Nature religions into his own ceremonies and rituals and believes that in doing so he is following in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi, an earth-based priest who sang canticles to brother sun, sister moon and mother earth.

Memberships:
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD)
Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC)
Progressive Christian Alliance (PCA)

Mark Townsend
Mark Townsend
Courtesy Mark Townsend

Discover More

Mark Townsend's minstries

Find out more about Mark Townsend and what services he can provide as a Christian minister and celebrant, and as a magician.

Mark Townsend Ministry

Mark Townsend Magician, Priest, Author

Magic you will believe in!

Read it for yourself

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

For Pagans and Christians alike, Jesus Through Pagan Eyes offers a provocative portrait of Jesus—as a compassionate, life-affirming, nature-inspired spiritual teacher.

Llewellyn Publications  / $19.95  $12.08

View on Amazon

Should You Read It?

Yes

Energy Mandala @NanLTIf you are a Christian who is seeking to find a better understanding of the founder of your beliefs, then this is a book you need to read.

Likewise, if you are a Pagan who is seeking answers, or if you are wondering if it is possible to be Pagan and still believe in Jesus, then you need to read this book.

Many people will say that they love and admire the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, it's the churches which stand in his name today they are not happy with.

"Jesus Through Pagan Eyes" removes the bias of 2000 years of "churchianity" and presents the man who accepted people, regardless of status, the man who said "The Kingdom of God is within you.", the man who loved his neighbour as he loved himself.

 

 

What others have to say

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Updated: 11/18/2013, NanLT
 
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frankbeswick on 11/21/2013

I have ordered the book from Amazon and intend to read it, and I will prioritize it in the list I am committed to reading.

You are, of course correct, that the issue should not be sidelined too much by a discussion of Francis of Assisi. However, I was named after him and I was raised for a while in a Franciscan parish, so I have an interest in him, and I have a general interest in nature spirituality, with which he is associated.

NanLT on 11/21/2013

I am not an expert on St Francisof Assisi. I am using the words that were used by the uthor of this book, Mark Townsend. I feel that to debate the merits of whether or not this one man should or should not be called "Priest" and whether or not he would have taken on such a title for himself rather detracts from the knowledge we could all learn from reading this book.

frankbeswick on 11/21/2013

Francis would not have thought of himself as a priest, as he considered that he was unworthy of the rank, though he was more worthy than some of the priests in his time and ours. Deacon is one step below priest. He was pressed to take ordination as a deacon, but his humility prevented him from going further to ordination.

In one sense all Christians are priests, as they share in Christ's priesthood. We call this the priestood of all believers, which Catholicism underplays, I think to its detriment. Nevertheless, if you want to say that Francis was a priest, are you using the word in a sense different from the Christian or Catholic usage? What then do you mean by describing him as a priest.

NanLT on 11/21/2013

St Francis is considered by many to have been a priest, duly ordained and officially recognised as such or not. Perhaps he was not officially a Catholic Priest, but he was a priest nonetheless.

frankbeswick on 11/21/2013

I must make a minor correction to this article. Francis of Assisi was never ordained a priest, the highest that he ever went was deacon. You can be a member or founder of a religious order without being a priest.

frankbeswick on 11/20/2013

This sounds original and I will be having a look at the book, though I do have a large backlog of books to read at the moment.

jptanabe on 11/20/2013

I had not heard of Mark Townsend, he sounds like a very interesting character!

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