pagan theology, religion in popular culture, and more

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Pagan Consent Culture: Building Communities of Empathy and AutonomyPagan Consent Culture: Building Communities of Empathy and Autonomy (2016)

In this collection, Druids, Wiccans, Heathens, Polytheists, and others show how to ground good consent practices in Pagan stories, liturgies, and values. Although many Pagans see the body and sexuality as sacred, Pagan communities still struggle with the reality of assault and abuse. To build consent culture, good consent practices must be embraced by communities, not just by individuals—and consent is about much more than sexuality. Consent culture begins with the idea of autonomy, with recognizing our right to control our bodies in all areas of life; and it is sustained by empathy, the ability to understand and share the emotional states of others.

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Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective: Divided for Love's SakeEros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective: Divided for Love's Sake (2013)

Within the past twenty years, contemporary Pagan leaders, progressive Christian and Goddess theologians, advocates for queer and BDSM communities, and therapeutic bodyworkers have all begun to speak forcefully about the sacredness of the body and of touch. Many assert that the erotic is a divinely transformative force, both for personal development and for social change. Although “the erotic” includes sexuality, it is not limited to it; access to connected nonsexual touch is as profound a need as that for sexual freedom and health. In this book, Christine Hoff Kraemer brings together an academic background in religious studies and theology with lived experience as a professional bodyworker and contemporary Pagan practitioner. Arguing that the erotic is a powerful moral force that can ground a system of ethics, Kraemer integrates approaches from queer theology, therapeutic bodywork, and sexual minority advocacy into a contemporary Pagan religious framework. Addressing itself to liberal religious people of many faiths, Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective approaches the right to pleasure as a social justice issue and proposes a sacramental practice of mindful, consensual touch.

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Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan TheologiesSeeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies (2012)

Contemporary Paganism focuses on practice, often neglecting theology. Yet belief and practice are intertwined. With an estimated 1.2 million Pagans in the United States and significant numbers elsewhere, Seeking the Mystery is important for Pagan self-understanding and also for non-Pagans who want to understand what their Pagan neighbors believe. This short introduction to Pagan theology—or better, theologies—is a valuable primer for students and practitioners alike.

"As contemporary Paganism puts down its roots in the fertile soil of the 21st century, Pagans are seeking to deepen their understanding of their chosen spiritual path and to explain it to others in shared language. Seeking the Mystery is an important new book that enables Pagans and others to explain contemporary Paganism in the language of theology. It is highly recommended for both theologians and religious practitioners of all faiths."

--Vivianne Crowley, Author of Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium

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Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic NovelsGraven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010)

Comic books have increasingly become a vehicle for serious social commentary and, specifically, for innovative religious thought. Practitioners of both traditional religions and new religious movements have begun to employ comics as a missionary tool, while humanists and religious progressives use comics’ unique fusion of text and image to criticize traditional theologies and to offer alternatives. Addressing the increasing fervor with which the public has come to view comics as an art form and Americans’ fraught but passionate relationship with religion, Graven Images explores the roles of religion in comic books and graphic novels.

In essays by scholars and comics creators, Graven Images observes the frequency with which religious material—in devout, educational, satirical, or critical contexts—occurs in both independent and mainstream comics. Contributors identify the unique advantages of the comics medium for religious messages; analyze how comics communicate such messages; place the religious messages contained in comic books in appropriate cultural, social, and historical frameworks; and articulate the significance of the innovative theologies being developed in comics.

[Read more on Patheos] [Buy now at Amazon]

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