Are these values still practiced in Pagan culture today?
A central tenet of paganism is stewardship of the environment and an appreciation for nature. Many pagans engage in environmentally-related activities and join groups. The overarching theme of life and death guides their beliefs regarding the planet and its protection (for instance, truly embracing ‘Mother Earth’ and the fauna and flora).
According to The Pagan Federation, “women’s spirituality is one of the richest and most dynamic forces in modern Paganism.” In addition to reverence for the “Goddess,” all pagan women are respected, and can explore and form their own traditions. It seems that both of these emphases are still strong today – women are independent and pagans are actively involved in concerns of nature.
I think modern Pagans are more respectful of both women and the environment than they were in the Greco-Roman era.
The Romans were so pugnacious that they ravaged much of their environment and resources to maintain their empire. Their sanitation habits were deplorable, including some horrific abortion practices. Women had little hope of upward mobility or independence, and many worked as prostitutes or were impregnated with unwanted children, leading to aforementioned horrific abortions, or even the common practice of infanticide. The Greeks invented democracy, but their system of life depended on slavery, and only Citizens could vote-Citizens being, of course, land-owning males. Of course, these societies, and Paganism, may have started on a much better note before Biblical times.
Today, Pagans are very different. Check out Sue Monk Kidd’s (author of “The Secret Life of Bees”) book “Dance of the Dissident Daughter” on how Goddess worship improved her life and spirituality. It’s a great account of the heart and soul of Paganism today. If you are as interested in Ancient Greece and Rome as I am, check out Professor and author Rodney Stark, who writes some excellent books on the Greco-Roman world during the rise of Christianity.
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