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Jesus Through Pagan Eyes, by Mark Townsend

Reviewed by Nimue Brown

[Snip] This is one of the most fascinating and thought provoking books I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time. Author Mark Townsend has considerable experience of both Christianity, and Druidry. As a Christian he’s even been part of the establishment, as a serving priest, and has had his faith challenged by having to deal with hostile reactions from the very Church he worked to serve. Organised Christianity is full of politics, and I learned things I could not have imagined about ‘orthodoxy tests’ and pressure to conform. But Mark is not a conforming spirit, and this is part of what makes him such an interesting figure.

What this book offers is some of Mark’s perspective on Jesus, as myth and historical figure. He takes us into the differences between Church and Jesus, picking up on the fact that many Pagans have no issue with Jesus and huge issue with what other people have done in his name. Then there are essays from leading Pagan figures, exploring ideas of Jesus, followed by interviews with further well known Pagans focusing on specific aspects of Jesus myths and attitudes. There’s a vast amount of insight, knowledge and diverse opinion here.

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