What Do Pagans Think About Jesus?

Christ the Redeemer
In general, Jesus doesn't play a role in Pagan spirituality at all. Image by Moskow/Moment/Getty Images

A reader asks, “I met a woman at a Pagan event who said she was raised Catholic. Now that she’s Pagan, she still has a statue of Jesus on her altar, along with a bunch of other gods and goddesses. I thought Pagans rejected Jesus, and that’s why you turn Pagan? What do Pagans think about Jesus, anyway?

Well, it looks like there are a couple of different misconceptions we need to clear up right away.

The first, and probably most important one, is that the majority of people who become Pagan are not rejecting anything. They’re moving towards something new, something that is right for them. At no point is anyone in the Pagan community required to reject other belief systems, so I think the use of that particular word – which does tend to have some negative connotations – is inaccurate.

People become Pagan for a variety of reasons – sure, some of them are former Christians. In fact, considering the percentage of people in the world who are Christian, there’s a good chance that most Pagans are ex-Christians. As the Pagan community ages, there are also a significant number of people who didn’t become Pagan, but have been raised from childhood as Pagans.

Okay, so moving on to the question of Jesus. What do Pagans think of him? Clearly, the woman you met feels a connection to him, or she wouldn’t have a statue of him on her altar, Pagan or not.

However, he’s not a Pagan deity, and doesn’t turn up in many Pagan sacred texts, so it’s not as thought he’s part of the average Pagan’s spirituality. We asked a few Pagans what – if anything – they thought about Jesus, and here are some of the answers.

  • Cassaundra, a Druid from Oregon, says, “I don’t give much thought to Jesus at all. He seems like he was probably the original hippie, preaching about peace and love and tolerance, hanging out with lepers and prostitutes. Not part of my pantheon, though, so I don’t usually think about him at all.”
  • Mechon, a Pagan from North Carolina, sees Jesus as a teacher. “I grew up Christian, and even now that I’m not a Christian anymore, I still think Jesus was probably a great teacher, and I’m sure we could all benefit from his wisdom, but I think a lot of people have taken his messages completely out of context. Especially the guys who actually wrote the bible.”
  • “Jesus is a fictional character,” says Xander, an eclectic witch in Florida. “Christians see Zeus and Thor and all of the gods of other cultures as fictional, and that’s sort of the way I see Jesus. He’s not part of my pantheon at all.”
  • Could Jesus have been a prophet, if he existed at all? That’s what SallyFourth, a Celtic Pagan thinks. “I think he was a holy man,” she says, “and probably a prophet, which may be why he was killed, because he would have been considered really subversive. But even if he was a prophet, he was a prophet of a religion I am not a part of, so his teachings don’t really mean any more to me than the teachings of Buddha or Mohammed.”

So, what do Pagans think about Jesus? Depends on the Pagan. With the exception of a few syncretic Pagans who blend a combination of religions – like the one mentioned in the original letter – most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about Jesus.

Many of us don’t think about him at all, or while we may acknowledge his possible existence, it makes no real difference to us, because he’s simply not part of our belief system.

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Wigington, Patti. "What Do Pagans Think About Jesus?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 28, 2016, thoughtco.com/what-do-pagans-think-about-jesus-2561508. Wigington, Patti. (2016, March 28). What Do Pagans Think About Jesus? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-do-pagans-think-about-jesus-2561508 Wigington, Patti. "What Do Pagans Think About Jesus?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-do-pagans-think-about-jesus-2561508 (accessed February 18, 2018).