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Opening a Pagan Theological Dialogue

By Christine Kraemer

Paganism is focused on practice rather than on belief. Ritual – whether we perform the rituals of a particular tradition, innovate our own, or a bit of both – is at the center of most Pagans’ religious lives. We build altars, sing chants, leave offerings, drum, and dance. But the ritual of reciting a creed, a doctrinal statement of belief, is notably absent. Pagans may recite liturgy together, but none of it begins with “I believe.”

Unfortunately, in our attempts to distinguish ourselves from the strongly Protestant Christian culture of the United States, we’ve rejected more than the idea of creed. Even the idea of having beliefs –and of having theology, a framework for discussing beliefs – has become suspect. And in refusing to acknowledge belief as an intrinsic part of practice, we’ve dulled our understanding of ourselves. Even worse, our resistance to the idea of building Pagan theologies may have slowed the development of a new, distinctively Pagan intellectual culture.

I want to help change all that.

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