Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4475
Age Group: Adult
Posted: April 24th. 2000
Some Educators Not Only Have A Clue...
When Deamon Child of Witch/Pagan Resources emailed us last week to ask if we had seen this book, we were very interested-especially since he said that Witchvox was 'all over it.' Of course, we scurried our curious pagan selves over to the bookstore and grabbed a copy. What a treat! Thanks for the tip, Deamon Child, you made our day!
The Witches' Voice has been picked as one of the top ten sites for online religions in the new book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Religions Online."
"Welcome to the World of Online Religion" is the theme and focus of this book. From Christianity and Buddhism to Native American spirituality and Neopaganism-if it's a religion and it's online, then it's covered here.
The section devoted to neopagan web sites and beliefs is interesting and a very positive portrayal of the rise of pagan sites on the Web. Chapter 26, entitled, "She Is God: Neopaganism and Wicca" states:
"It's hard to imagine a group that has become more familiar with cyberspace, and projected a more vivid image of itself on the Web, than those known as Neopagans or Wiccans. Their strong accent on feminine resources, both divine and human, is matched by a zest for artwork and ritual creativity. The Web sites that follow provide the outline of Neopagan 'metaphysics,' but they do not exhaust its potential." Along with the listing/reviewing of TWV and Witch/Pagan Resources, other pagan sites are included, such as Church of All Worlds, COG, Witches Web, Ring of Troth, ADF, Circle Santuary and many, many more. There is a section on basic beliefs, networking, pagan news outlets and search engines.
The author, Bruce B. Lawrence, is an Episcopal priest, Professor of Asian Religions and Chair of the Department of Religion at Duke University; American Academy of Religion's distinguished lecturer in History of Religions for 1998-1999 and author of ten books including, "Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age". The entire section on Neopaganism is treated with respect, clarity and open-minded optimism.
The Wired Monk, Lawrence's helpful cartoon spokesperson is always ready with hints, tips and interesting info. My own hint of the day is that this book would make a good educational tool not only for pagan activists, but for press reporters, school librarians and anyone else who may have an interest in religions on the Web. Hint, hint!
Complete Idiot's Guide to Religions Online (Complete Idiot's Guide)- by Bruce B. Lawrence
Paperback - 380 pages 1 edition (December 17, 1999)
Alpha Books (Macmillan USA) ISBN: 0-7897-2209-7
Pagan Community on Standbye Alert for "Jag"!
Now we here at TWV don't know if the folks who produce the television show, "JAG" have a copy of the Idiot's Guide or not. According to the show synopsis for Tuesday April 25th, "The Witches of Gulfport" :
"Mac and Harm investigate charges of sexual misconduct against Chief Petty Officer Merker who is the leader of the Wiccans, a local witches coven with many Navy members." (The blurb also reveals that the petty officer is indeed convicted). Our first thought was that this sounded pretty bad-and it may turn out to be just that bad. We'll have to wait for the show to air and go from there. But then again, we have also heard unconfirmed reports that a Wiccan acted as a consultant for the show. And an astute reader remarked that if the Wiccan's conviction was indeed the end of the entire plot, why would the show reveal that? The point of any show promotion is to get folks to watch the show to see what happens. Giving away the ending up front would seem rather strange, the reader pointed out.
We don't know which way the plot will twist. But in any case, the pagan community certainly DOES know what to do about media misrepresentation after all of our many years of activism: like the heroine in the folk tale, "Rumpelstilskin", we are pretty adept at turning someone's plain straw stupidity into educational gold.
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