Watch Kristen Davis’s recent presentation on Paganism vs. Christian Worldview, or read the talk below.
America is known for being a melting pot. We have people from all over the world, from every culture, nation and religious system. We are a haven for the persecuted and a delight for the imaginative, who need only an opportunity in order to do great things. We are a land of opportunity because we believe “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Yet as of late we’ve watched as many of these rights appear to be slipping away. We’ve watched our country go from a respected world influencer to one of extreme debit that is mocked by foreign nations. What has changed? What has caused this cultural shift? While to be sure there are a multitude of influencers, I believe one of the key reason is because we have lost our foundation.
I am an avid lover of archaeology, because it is a snapshot of the past. In the world of archaeology the culture is static and frozen. The people have long since passed. The places and cultural ideas are no longer shifting and changing. They are the perfect subjects of study because they stay put and do not talk back. Yet as I’ve delved deeper into archaeological study I’ve found that it is also of great insight into modern culture. Because the subject of study is static and frozen, one can view the whole picture from beginning to end, as one views a painting or the story line of a book. The plot has already unfolded and one can see how the changes affected the culture at large, and ultimately the end of a particular way of life. In this way archaeology is instrumental in apologetics, because we are able to see the end results of a particular worldview as it has already played out in another culture.
One such worldview is paganism. Earlier this year I was asked to do a presentation on Neo-paganism at a conference in Frenso, CA. Knowing very little about Neo-paganism I decided to discuss it through the lens of archaeology. Paganism is not a new worldview, it is arguably the oldest and the most prominent in ancient culture. Neo-paganism is merely the resurfacing of that system. I would like to share a summary of my findings on the pagan worldview with you today because I think it is instrumental in answering the questions about the cultural shift we see in America.