Ascendant II: Theology for Modern Polytheists

Edited by Michael Hardy

Price: $10.99 (paperback) 
Publication Date: 24 December 2019
Place of Publication: Asheville, North Carolina
ISBN: 978-1673715149
Pages: 181 pp
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5 x 8

Are the Gods good? Are the Gods real? Is polytheism at odds with science? What is the place of personal experience in modern paganism? How do we deal with and define cultural appropriation? What roles do cross-cultural interpretation play in polytheist theology?

Theology provides a language and a tool set for studying theos, that is, the divine. Whether conducted by seasoned academics, armchair philosophers, or ordinary folks figuring out just what they believe, theology is the source of all interpretation of religious source texts, myth, and practice.

However, formal and scholarly theology has almost always focused on the monotheistic religions or very occasionally on Eastern polytheistic religions, such as Hinduism and Shinto. Western polytheism is seen in academia as a subject more suited for anthropology or history than theology. That has now begun to change. Various forms of contemporary paganism are gradually gaining an updated theological foundation for their practices and beliefs as modern polytheists themselves engage in theology. The first volume of Ascendant was Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s entry into this exciting (new) field. It is our hope that the second volume, Ascendant II, which you hold in your hands, will add to the foundation of modern pagan, polytheist theology — and that each successive volume in the series will further strengthen that foundation.

So what do you believe? What do you practice? And why?

Ascendant II is available in paperback format through Amazon and through Barnes and Noble. Ebook editions are available for 24symbolsiBooks, kindlekobonook, scribd, and will be available soon on other platforms. All of the proceeds from Ascendant II – as well as many of the other volumes in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina series – will be used to help promote the revival of the worship of the Greek and Egyptian Gods, with a portion of the proceeds given to a worthy charitable organization in their name.  So, not only will you be getting a wonderful book about sacred journeys – but your money will be going to do good work and help the revival of ancient polytheistic religions.

ATTENTION Librarians, Teachers and Retailers: Ascendant II is also available at reduced cost for academic institutions, lending libraries (public and private) and retailers. Check our online store, or email with any questions.

We are rebuilding the Library of Alexandria one book at a time!


Dedication … 2

Introduction by Michael Hardy … 5

On the Goodness of the Gods: An Essay in Moral Theology by John Michael Greer … 9

On Idols and Myths: The Gods as Real and Sensory Objects by Brandon Hensley … 33

The Theology of Personal Experience by John Beckett … 61

The Case for Cultural Appropriation in Contemporary Paganism by Wayne Keysor …71

Applying Cross-Cultural Methods of Myth Interpretation to the Myth of Baldr’s Death by Ky Greene … 85

Modern Science and Contemporary Paganism: Uneasy Friends, Amicable Rivals by Wayne Keysor … 99

God Among Many Gods: Deploying a Classical Christian Proof for Polytheistic Religion by Brandon Hensley … 121

Appendix A: Moral Humans and the Immoral Gods: An Examination of the Problem of Divine Evil in Contemporary Paganism by Wayne Keysor … 143

Appendix B: Images Credits … 171

Appendix C: Our Contributors … 172

Appendix D: About Bibliotheca Alexandrina — Current Titles — Forthcoming Titles … 175