John Lennon the Born Again Pagan?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  January 3, 2007 — 1 Comment

Christianity Today has published an excerpt of “The Gospel According to the Beatles” by Steve Turner. In the excerpt Turner discusses John Lennon’s brief fling with evangelical Christianity.

“…his exposure to TV evangelism didn’t appear to have any effect until he suddenly announced to close friends in the spring of 1977 that he’d become a born-again Christian. He had been particularly moved by the U.S. television premiere of Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell as Jesus, which NBC showed in two three-hour segments on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1977. A week later, on Easter day, he took Yoko and Sean to a local church service.”

But perhaps even more surprising than Lennon’s fling with Christianity is the fact that he might have been embracing modern Paganism in the year before his death.

“By the time Frederic Seaman became John’s personal assistant in February 1979, John’s main interest was reading books on religion, psychic phenomena, the occult, death, history, archeology, and anthropology. Specific books Seaman can remember him asking for included Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny, by Bika Reed; Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler…Seaman, who was present with John’s sons, Sean and Julian, recalled, “John began working himself up into a tirade against Christianity, saying that it had virtually destroyed what was left of pagan culture and spirituality in Europe-a great loss to civilization.” He then announced that he was now a ‘born again pagan.'”

Its hard to imagine how different the face of modern Paganism would be now if John Lennon had become Wiccan (or a perhaps a Druid). But sadly, due to an assassin’s bullet, we will never really know where his faith journey would have taken him.

Jason Pitzl-Waters