Walking With The Gods: Modern People Talk about Deities, Faith, and Recreating Ancient Religious Traditions
An ethnographic study of contemporary Western polytheism that raises surprising questions about Deity, religion, faith, nature, and humanity's relationship to each. More
“Mainstream Western culture more or less assumes that people who worship multiple Divine Beings are primitive, imbeciles, lunatics, cult victims, or mentally ill and in dire need of psychiatric help. Yet history shows that until the monotheist Abrahamic faiths of the near-East came to dominance, humans everywhere widely and actively worshipped multiple Deities, ancestors, nature spirits, and other spiritual entities. These are the same ancient humans whose architectural prowess gave us the Coliseum, the ziggurats, the pyramids, the city of Petra, and the Great Wall of China. Their intellectual acuity gave us democracy, philosophy, geometry, astronomy, and the beginnings of chemistry—just to give a handful of examples. How could they have accomplished those things if they were insane, underdeveloped, or intellectually deficient? Why must contemporary polytheists be regarded the same way?-- Walking With The Gods, “Preface”
Walking With The Gods is the result of Dr. Wilkerson’s 3-year long ethnographic survey of 120 contemporary Western polytheists that offers a startling, intimate and detailed view of this emerging religious practice and raises important theological questions about our culture’s assumptions regarding Deity, faith, religion, nature, and humanity’s relationship with each. Through thorough analysis and articulate ethnography, Dr. Wilkerson demonstrates how these emerging religious practices constitute a unique religiosity that substantially differs from the concerns of a contemporary Western culture that is dominated by a monotheist perspective.
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