Pagans and Interfaith Dialog

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 8, 2013 — 48 Comments

Yesterday I engaged in a conversation with Paul Louis Metzger, author of “Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths, ” which I reviewed not too long ago, Mike Stygal of Pagan Federation London, and Foundation for Religious Diplomacy Evangelical Chapter Director John W. Morehead for the New Wine, New Wineskins podcast.



Today we had an opportunity to follow up on a recent conversation with some of our friends in the Pagan community. This time, Jason Pitzl-Waters joined us too. Listen in for a constructive engagement of the Pagan/Christian divide.

Download and listen to the podcast here.

In the span of an hour we discussed the need to really deal with the issue of evangelization, secular vs. multi-faith space, Christian privilege, and how to move Pagan-Christian dialog further. I think it was, on the whole, a constructive discussion that I think could be thought-provoking for evangelicals who listen. During the event I was very mindful of my relative inexperience within the context of interfaith engagement, and how there are many Pagans I know who are doing important work on a global scale. For instance, at this moment, Don Frew, a National Interfaith Representative for the Covenant of the Goddess and a Continuing Trustee for the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, is at the URI’s Global Council Meeting.

When we gathered for the morning session, Zubair Farooq (Muslim / Pakistan) opened with a prayer and a candle lighting.  Diana Whitney asked us each to sum up our feelings about THIS Global Council were so far.  There were many expected statements, but one stood out… the Honorable Elisha Buba Yero (Christian & Indigenous / Nigeria) said that he sees something in all of us, a “burning flame in each of our hearts”, a desire for one goal: “to make other people as happy as we are”.

You can read more about Don Frew’s experiences at the URI Global Council Meeting at the COG Interfaith Reports blog. I think it’s important not only that I remember and acknowledge the work that individuals like Don Frew, Andras Corban Arthen, Phyllis Curott, Gus diZerega, or Angie Buchanan are doing, but that Christians just starting to enter into real dialog and discussion with modern Pagans understand the work they, and those like them, have done as well. When animus towards modern Pagans was at its height, and when books written and sold by evangelical Christians were peddling fabrications about what Witches and Pagans do, it was people like Frew and Selena Fox who were on the front lines forging interfaith communication and creating allies who would later help us as we emerged into the mainstream. Today, Pagans are involved in interfaith on many levels, and we have built bridges that perhaps some would not realize if they were not “in the loop” regarding interfaith activism.

Interfaith Action of Central Texas documentary featuring COG member Tom Davis

I’ve spent some time recently talking about the importance of intrafaith, solidarity, and ecumenicism within the Pagan community, but interfaith, reaching out to other faiths, is still vitally important. As I said before heading to an evangelical seminary to speak about Paganism:

“The heart of interfaith is recognizing the common humanity of a believer you may have profound disagreements with. To find areas of commonality, to learn how to move past entrenched hostilities and prejudices. To build a world that is less violent, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I will walk into that seminary with an open heart, and an open mind, and I hope my faith will be rewarded.”

No matter how successful modern Pagans (and our allies) become we cannot pretend the dominant monotheisms don’t exist, nor can we avoid trying to find ways to live and co-exist together. Yes, some of what evangelicals learn in the process of our conversations will be used in evangelization, but it will also humanize us, and hopefully defuse ancient distrusts over time. Pagans working in interfaith, and I suppose I should count myself in that number, are needed, and serve a vital interest to the growth and health of our movement. The simple act of outreach, of talking, can change so much, locally, and increasingly, on a global scale.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • The idea that informing evangelists better arms them against us is not one I have heard before. However, I can’t think of a better idea. I’d be blown away if someone attempting to proselytize to me was actually knowledgeable about the larger Pagan community or any kind of realistic understanding of my faith. Although it’s useful that the W word scares them off sometimes, it would be far more interesting if they really knew what it meant. Interfaith is doing good work, even among evangelists.

    • Kenneth

      For a few years now, some segments of the evangelical movement have tried to develop a somewhat stealthier and more sophisticated approach to “witnessing” to pagans or at least to try to warn off the wider culture from our spirituality without coming off like complete angry nutjobs themselves. They have backed off the Wicca=Satanism narrative, at least publicly, and have taken the tack that “pagans are good but really misguided and lost souls.”

      In some ways, I find it more insulting than the old angry methods. They figure if they treat us nice, they can get closer to us, and convince us that they’re not like the youth program director or pastor that pissed us off in middle school, which they assume is the only reason we became pagan. If they can get us past our old perceptions of Christianity, we’ll see that their spiritual software has what we’ve really been looking for all along, and more.

      Will interfaith dialogue help strengthen their pitch? I don’t think so, for the simple reason that they’re lazy and have no true interest in learning what we’re about. There’s a ton of information about paganism in all its forms in print, online etc. The level of scholarship and understanding by the “soft sell” evangelists, while obviously much better than the old “devil worshippers” pejorative, is still pretty pathetic. From what I can tell, they never really read primary sources or talk to mature pagans who are happy being pagan, and they certainly never attend any rituals.

      I don’t consider them enough of a threat to foreclose all interfaith talks with Christians who seem to have some sincere intentions. I think most of us are smart enough to know when someone is coming at us with an agenda, so if someone uses an interfaith forum to try to recruit, call them on it and disengage if they persist.

      • AndrasArthen

        I agree that interfaith dialogue won’t “strengthen their pitch,” but for a reason other than laziness. I’ve been involved in the interreligious movement since the mid-seventies, and I can’t think of a single Christian representative I’ve known personally who hasn’t become more liberal as a result of any substantial involvement in interfaith dialogue. Most Christians (most people, really) tend to know very little about religions other than their own. Once they get exposed to the incredible diversity found in the interreligious movement, it typically opens their eyes to perspectives and choices they hardly knew existed and, to one degree or another, reshapes their relationship to their own faith (I think that happens to most everyone, not just Christians, but that’s whom we’re talking about). Of course, there are the ones who will dip a toe in the waters and run scared back to the “safety” of their churches, but I think most Christians who approach the interreligious movement as a fertile ground for evangelizing have a surprise or two coming their way.

        • Kenneth

          You allude to a very, very interesting dynamic within human history and anthropology. Who gets assimilated by who, and on what terms? The answer is always complex. Even when occupiers have a huge disparity of power in their favor, they end up “going local” sooner or later, and in ways deeper than they ever imagined or will admit.

          I think that phenomenon even explains our modern pagan revival to a large degree. The ancient Christians, in their minds, vanquished paganism, Christianizing their rituals – solstice etc. The flip side of that is Christianity got paganized. The old ways, the cultural memories and myths lived on and were transmitted down to us in a time when we finally had the freedom to take that DNA back and transcribe it into something whole and functional again. The paganism of Christianity was so deep and pervasive that it was a main cause of the rise of Protestantism.

          I’m undecided on how much this dynamic plays out in interfaith work. I don’t know how often this work opens closed minds because the premise of the work tends to draw open minded folk from the start. Most Christians I’ve seen on these councils tend to be liberal or even heterodox to the point that they’re almost pagan in practice and worldview. Conversely, some of the pagans are friendlier to Christianity than most of us and some verge on being Christo-Pagans themselves.

          In other words, I question the value of building bridges over chasms that are already narrow enough to step across. I admit my experience and study of this area is limited, so I’m curious to hear from some of you at the forefront of interfaith work. Have you had cases where Christians or yourselves came into the process with deep mistrust and came out with a very different appreciation of the other?

      • These stealthier, newfangled evangelicals are actually having a fair amount of success with some Big Name Pagans. It has always been a favored strategy of the Christians to curry favor with Pagan “leaders” as part of their long game.

        • Mike

          Suggesting that you don’t believe Pagan “leaders” might also have a long game…..

      • I hope you’ll take another look at some of us, such as my work bringing Gus diZerega and Philip Johnson together for conversation in Beyond the Burning Times (Lion Publishing), and Paul Metzger’s work in inviting Pagans and others to contribute to his book on religion from a Christian perspective. You might just find with another consideration that some of us are making a good faith and honest effort at understanding Pagans with no hidden agenda. But you have to be willing to consider us trusthworthy just as Evangelicals have to be willing to do the same with Pagans.

        • Kenneth

          Beyond the Burning Times has a prominent place on my book shelf, )or at least an upright one with minimal dust, which is a relative position of honor in my library!)

          I try to extend a cautious benefit of the doubt to anyone who approaches for dialogue in apparent good will. That store of good will either builds or falls from there depending on how the interaction proceeds. From what I’ve seen, you seem sincere in having a real interfaith dialogue.

    • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

      I’m not too familiar with evangelicals trying it with pagans, but I’ve seen them try it with Muslims. Some groups have moved away from the Islam=Satan bit that’s popular right now (sounds familiar eh?) into actually trying to convert people using a clear if basic understanding of the Qur’an.

      That said, I think they might be able to branch into Wicca, but I doubt they’ll be able to handle the wide diversity under the term “pagan”. The method that works for soft polytheists that still accept some sort of overarching unity in the universe won’t work for hard polytheists like me and vice versa.

      • Kenneth

        It seems to me that a large part of the “poaching” issue has to do with the pagans being targeted for conversion. It’s been my experience that a fair percentage of pagans who first come over to our side, especially the young ones, haven’t done the deep personal inventory and spiritual work to know why they are drawn to pagan religion or even if they are.

        Many turn out to have no real disagreement with Christianity or its worldview, but come to us because we seem more open minded, more feminist, more nature oriented, we won’t try to beat their divination ability out of them with a Bible, what have you. Plus they figure we’ll teach them some cool spells to seduce people and vanquish their enemies at school. In other words, I don’t think Christian missionaries, or those of any other faith, can pluck someone from paganism unless they’re ripe for plucking.

        • harmonyfb

          My own coven had a number of students who came to worship with us and slowly realized that what they wanted wasn’t a new religion, but a less-restrictive version of their old religion. ::shrug:: If the Gods didn’t call you, you won’t stay – and that’s not a bad thing.

  • cernowain greenman

    Interfaith dialog is difficult for Evangelicals of any faith because they have to stop trying to convert others long enough to listen to the other person. That can be very hard for them to do!

    My hope is that if we engage in these talks that the Evangelicals will discover we are content with our path– just as much as they are with theirs and we can coexist in peace.
    And maybe there will be less demonizing of the other on both sides.

    • I would highly recommend that you check out John Morehead’s extensive body of work on evangelizing to Pagans and other “alternative” groups. You will find that Evangelicals, including especially those like Morehead who do a good job of coming off as “Pagan-friendly”, remain unreservedly committed to “converting” us. Even for the most seemingly liberal and “accepting” of these Evangelicals, engaging in “dialogue” with Pagans is for them, unambiguously and emphatically, just another tactic for attaining the end goal of the “Great Commission”: the total extirpation of all other religions. This is what they say themselves among themselves when they think we aren’t listening (but since they put it in writing and put it on the Internet they must think we are stoopid or something).

      • My response is to two comments here. First to RabbitGoddess. I suggest that Pagans should be involved in dialogue so they can define themselves for the world, as well as contribute to the common good in a pluralistic context. Non one in the podcast suggested Pagans should be involved in dialogue so they can seek approval of the Christian majority. I’m not sure how that came through in the listening to the dialogue. Perhaps more from assumptions than the podcast itself? And to Apulius Platonicus, I’ve noted this before on The WildHunt in comments and on my blog in that he functions as a Pagan mirror to Evangelical countercult approaches to Pagans and other minority religions, always viewing Evangelicals as the enemy with more interest in boundary maintenance than understanding, conversation, and cooperation. This is a pity. As the record indicates in an interview I gave last year for the Alternative Religion Educational Network, although I do believe in sharing my faith in Christ as a significant spiritual pathway that I’d like others to embrace of their own free will (and this is part of every Christian’s identity just as eschewing such evangelism is part of the Pagan identity), if such an aspect of Pagan-Christian dialogue is not welcomed by the Pagan then this is respected. Unfortunately, Platonicus continues to paint a misrepresentation of my views and practices, which is countered by my reputation among a growing number of Pagans, and my actual statements and practices in this area. I hope that Platonicus will one day consider moving beyond the stereotypes and embrace a fair and honest approach toward me and other Evangelicals rather than perpetuating the way of defensiveness and confrontation.

        • John Morehead is a professional missionary and missiologist. His area of specialization is “alternative” religious groups, ranging from Mormons to Pagans and just about anything in between. He views these groups as “unreached peoples” and is committed to, well, “reaching” them. If you know what I mean. All of his work with Pagans is grounded in his own heartfelt “obedience to the Great Commission”, as he himself explained quite clearly in an article he wrote a decade ago: “Ministry to Alternative Spiritualities in Religiously Plural America” (

          I have absolutely no interest in misrepresenting John Morehead. I am, however, quite interested in better acquainting Pagans with what Morehead himself says about his missionary work when he is addressing a Christian audience, as opposed to the way he, very skillfully, presents himself to Pagans. He is a man on a Mission, and he is very good at what he does.

        • Cat C-B

          Thanks for your patience, John. Some of us simply haven’t yet encountered the kind of tolerant, eduction and awareness centered interfaith work you’re trying to pursue, and we’ll hear you if you keep coming back and letting us know what your actual purposes are.

          The repeat offenders… well, since they like to make their minds up based on selective reading of evidence and with a strong confirmatory bias against any and all monotheists… there’s not much to be gained there.

          As we both know.

          (I’m just putting my nose in to make it clear that there are more than trolls wandering The Wild Hunt’s hills. Re-engaging lurk mode…)

          • Trolls, just so you know, are magical creatures native to Northern Europe. They are perfectly peaceful and harmless if left alone. Well, mostly. According to tradition they cannot stand the sound of church bells, nor can they tolerate the smell of Christians.

            And, as a matter of fact, Trolldomr is basically the ancient Nordic equivalent of the Ango-Saxon Wiccecræft.

  • Jason, it was a pleasure to engage in the conversation with you, Mike, and Paul, and to deepen our relationship. I think we covered good ground during our talk, even if we only raised issues with introductory thoughts for further discussion amongst ourselves and others in the near future. The discussions about evangelism/proselytizing, as well as Christian dominance in the public square were especially noteworthy. I have long appreciated the work of Don Frew, Selena Fox, Gus diZerega, and others and hope to connect or continue to connect with them in this process as the case may be. (Could you make an introduction to Frew for me?) As I stated in my concluding comments, it would be great if Paul and I and other dialogue-oriented Evangelicals could be part of Pagan conferences where civil dialogue was featured with Q&A to follow. I pledge to work with you and others in this regard, and through the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy as well.

    • Raksha38

      Pagan conferences should be for Pagans. At all other times, we are forced to deal with the privileged monotheisms in this country, regardless of whether we are interested in interfaith work. Sometimes, we need spaces to ourselves. If you really want to be respectful of other people’s paths, you need to accept that some spaces are just not for you.

      • Northern_Light_27

        Depends on the conference IMO. If it’s something like P-con, I don’t really see the harm for one panel. It’s already very public, enormous, and it’d be easily avoidable there.

        • Deborah Bender

          As you say.

          The point of having a panel that includes Christians would not be a feeling of obligation to the Christians, but because the organizers of the panel think that a Christian POV or experience is relevant to the panel topic. At an event the size of P-con, non-pagan voices are a drop of ink in the ocean.

          A conference for fifty or two hundred people would be different.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Perhaps it would be interesting to see more interfaith conferences.

        Of course, who would represent ‘Paganism’ at these?

        • harmonyfb

          Of course, who would represent ‘Paganism’ at these?

          All of us! 🙂 Every possible religious viewpoint under the furthest reaches of the Pagan umbrella could have representatives, and it would be glorious!

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            You know that would not happen with the current set-up.

            At a conference, each delegation would have a spokesperson.

      • Franklin Evans

        A different perspective: A Pagan conference is precisely where we want those interested in interfaith dialogue to be. I can think of no other environment in which they could see and learn more about who we are, how we think and feel, and at least be exposed to the realities of many paths to one destination. Just a thought.

        • Raksha38

          If those interested in interfaith dialogue just wanted to learn about Paganism, then I would absolutely welcome them *as attendees* at Pagan conferences. It would be a good place to learn. That is not what Morehead is proposing, though. He wants to come into Pagan conferences, Pagan spaces, and turn the attention back on Christianity. Yes, I could just not go to those panels, but why should I have to actively try to avoid that? I already go to Pagan conferences in an attempt to avoid having my attention forced back to Christianity because every single other aspect of our culture is so focused on it!

          I’m just saying I want some spaces that are just for Pagans. They’re focused on our concerns and our interests only. FOR ONCE! No matter how interested any Pagan is in interfaith work, we should not be obligated to provide platforms for Christians in every single aspect of our lives. That’s not exclusionary, that’s just doing our own thing. And Christians who claim to have respect for other faiths need to accept that some things just aren’t about them.

      • Cat C-B

        Did you miss the part about “Pagan conferences where civil dialogue was featured”? There are actually Pagan conferences that deliberately feature interfaith dialog. I’ve taken part in at least one, designed for leaders and teachers within the Craft; leaders and teachers of other religious groups were specifically invited.

        Sometimes such networking is useful. The Parliament of World Religions, The Religious Association for the Freedom to Marry, a variety of Earth Day celebrations… I can think of a number of ways that relationships across religious boundaries have been leveraged into being more effective advocates for work that is a priority within our _own_ religious movement.

        While I agree completely that there are times and places that should be kept for Pagans only, it’s not necessary to conclude that there is no legitimate place for dialog.

        Elders, leaders, and teachers often benefit from the relationships and communication that result.

  • Wow these kids from all faiths working things out. In Texas no less.

  • Kilmrnock

    I tend to agree, inter and intrafaith work and discussions are well worthwile .Once my schedule lightens up , i’d like to get involved . Is there a central organisation i can contact? Or where or who is the best way to find out about local groups ? I would like to get involved on a local basis , not sure where to start though. I do attend local pagan meet ups , get to talk to all sorts of pagans and local pagan events as i can . But not much in the way of interfaith . but as an older , somewhat knowedgable pagan, CR i may be able to help .

    • AndrasArthen

      Try to find a local interfaith council. If there’s one in your area, chances are that the UU church (assuming there’s one near you) will be involved, so check with them and see if they can help you get connected. Most interfaith councils tend to be fairly liberal, given the nature of their work, so most likely they’d be happy to invite you to attend a meeting & get to know you. Sometimes, though, depending on where you live and the makeup of such a council, you may find resistance from members who are not familiar with paganism. If that turned out to be the case, and if the local UU church is pagan-friendly, you may be able to get their minister or interfaith representative to act as your sponsor. Those of us who are involved with large international interreligious organizations such as the Parliament of the World’s Religions or the United Religious Initiative can also serve as advocates or resources in such cases, so if you were to encounter any difficulties, just drop one of us a line.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Where do you draw the line between intrafaith and interfaith?

    I can see intrafaith being a valid term when you have Gardnerians and Alexandrians talking, but when you have a Gardnerian and a Forn Sed adherent talking, I’d call that just as much interfaith as a Jew and a Hindu talking.

    • Kenneth

      If you have two Wiccans from the same lineage in the same coven, THAT could arguably be in interfaith discussion! 🙂

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol


        There is something to be said for dogma and orthodoxy, at times.

      • Didn’t the whole “interfaith” meme began as a strictly intra-Christian exercise in overcoming their 2000 year long history of hating each others guts and cutting each others throats?

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Here is the problem when discussing Interfaith and Paganism, at least in the UK:

      “The Inter
      Faith Network itself does not have individual membership because it is
      a body linking organisations. However, among its members a number are
      inter faith organisations who very much welcome new members.”

      This is great, for organisations wanting to interact. But when you consider that most Pagans are individuals/solitaries who don’t recognise centralised organisations of their faith(s), it makes it quite difficult to achieve that interaction. Also, on the Member Bodies List-page, there is no mention of any Pagan/Heathen body.

      Oh, and if an organisation does try to join the Inter faith Network (The UK’s largest interfaith organisation), you get this:

      “The Inter Faith Network for the UK grants membership to Bahá’i,
      Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian
      bodies, but it has refused the Druid Network

      • Deborah Bender

        I think you might be missing the import of the second sentence in your quotation.

        In the U.S., local interfaith councils, which are typically based in a city or town, set their own admission requirements. Some are open to all religions; some are open to individuals whose involvement with their religious community is informal. National bodies like the North American Interfaith Network are more likely to be composed of member organizations because individual membership would be unwieldy on that scale.

        I interpret your quote as saying something similar about the UK; if you aren’t the representative of an organization, get started in interfaith at the local level. It’s usually better to get started locally anyway because it takes a while to learn how to be effective in interfaith work and it’s easier to learn how through personal interaction.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I would be missing that but for the fact I have heard/read that the IFN has been somewhat obstructive in that regard, also.

          This is an interesting website to read in that regard:

          Apparently, the IFN’s stance is largely influenced by the Catholic Church, who have refused to be involved in an organisation that Pagan faiths are also involved in. It causes more hassle to deny Pagans access to the organisation than to have Catholics leave, apparently.

          • Mike

            The IFN is working through a process of strategic review. A significant part of that process is looking at its membership policy and Pagans have been invited to discuss the membership policy with representatives of the IFN. The IFN has constitutional processes it must work through in order for change to occur. But the prominance of their current membership policy as a part of the strategic review indicates to me that they are aware of potential issues and are working through the process to make the changes that work for their organisation and address the issues.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Until they IFN can be assured that allowing Pagan organisations to become involved with them without the Catholic delegation withdrawing, is it really in their best interests to allow Pagan organisations to sign up?

            Pains me to say it, but the Catholic Church in the UK represents far more people than any Pagan organisation (or, all of them combined) does.

            I don’t have to like the fact, but I can understand the logic.

          • kenneth

            It’s logical from a political standpoint. At the same time, what’s the point of having an interfaith organization that only engages those already within your comfort zone? It’s sort of like having a whites-only diversity council.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Yes, but what happens if you try for a diversity council and the whites refuse to participate? Just as futile, don’t you think?

    • Intrafaith is usually defined as work within a self-defined tradition while interfaith is between divergent traditions. This has flexibility, so that it may be as narrow as Protestant-Catholic work or as broad as Pagan-Christian conversations.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Comparing Pagan to Christian is less accurate than comparing Pagan to Abrahamic.

        The level of divergence in Paganism is so vast that I think people need to reconsider whether there is any real level of intrafaith within Paganism. It is all interfaith.

  • RabbitGoddess

    I don’t understand why I as a pagan SHOUD seek approval of a Christian majority. Why should I care if they approve or not?

    As a child growing up in the west I was beaten up for not being Mormon, when I moved to the East coast I was beaten up by the Catholics for not being Catholic, and by the protestants because they thought my name sounded Jewish .

    Their violent God…yes He is a violent human sacrificing God, gives them a scapegoating mindset that has demonstrated itself for 2000 years (longer if we are looking at the genocides of their kind loving God in the OT). It makes people better more compliant victims of violence.

    The protestant ethic in particular has turned the US into a corporate drone colony that considers the rest of the world its abattoir / pantry/ disposable fill in the blank..The UNDERLYING MINDSET is creating most of the problems we face.

    Appeasing a serial killer and his obedient clone clown posse does not make him any less likely to kill you. Christianity itself is one of the premiere tools of empire in non-overt colonization.

    I currently reside in the northwest US and get people knocking on my door at least twice a month trying to convert me to their god….quite frankly it is insulting and I can only imagine what the rest of the people of other religions who have Christian missionaries invading their country must feel like.

    • kenneth

      Serial killer clowns for Jesus! You know, I’ve been do some dark dark places in the online fetish world, and I have a pretty strong stomach. Watched stuff that would make Larry Flynt swoon like an antebellum Southern belle. But THIS image chills my blood! Missionaries in clown makeup. That’s a perfect storm of wrong right there. The serial killer part only adds to the terror marginally.

      • Genexs

        The serial killer clowns for Jesus is a good image, but then again, sometimes clowns can be funny. I think a better image is the one I got from a title of a very bad z-budget film, “Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist”. It kind of reminds me of what the Catholic Church is trying to go thru now, prying up every rock in an effort to find a candidate for pope who is has not been implicated in child sex crimes.

        • Bor1am

          A book you might find interesting is “Original Sin, Ritual Child Rape & The Church” by Dr. DCA Hillman. This shows just how far back this practice goes and why it was practiced originally as an anti-pagan and anti-woman deterrent.

  • the great Richard Wilhelm, sinologist, Lutheran reverend and socialist who came in 1899 as a missionary to China but then translated the major classics of Confucianism and Taoism into German made at the end of his life the remark that it is a great consolation for him that he did not convert a single Chinese to Christianity