Student protests, rallies and sit-ins are a distant memory for much of the population; a nugget from another time. To others they are merely stories out of history books or photographs in magazines. But for a group of Syracuse students, faculty and staff, protests have become a very real and very contemporary reality. “It is clear now, in instances too numerous to describe … that the administration is turning focus away from values of diversity, and rather toward higher academic ratings and rankings; away from transparency and accountability, and toward secretive, top-heavy models of dominance; away from values of community engagement and towards the Ivory Tower on the Hill model; away from considering itself a university and toward functioning as a corporation,” wrote members of the student group Campaign for an Advocacy Center in an Oct.
“It is clear that Pagan elders need to listen to the young and new, or the young and new will bring change regardless.” – Jeff Mach, Rutgers University alumnus. In the final article of our series “Pagans on Campus 2014,” we discuss the challenges and hurdles that lay before young Pagans as they reach out beyond campus life and beyond the comforts of the Pagan Student Association. If backlash is not the biggest problem, what is? The students also share their thoughts on the future of Paganism as a whole.
Our fathers had their dreams; we have ours; the generation that follows will have its own. Without dreams and phantoms man cannot exist.” – Olive Schreiner
We often spend much of our time listening to community elders, learning from experience and absorbing the collective knowledge of past generations. While this is time well spent, it is often at the expense of looking toward the future; toward the growing the minds that will eventually inherit our projects and cradle experience in their hands. In a three-part series “Pagans on Campus 2014,” The Wild Hunt will look to the next generation – the youth who are just starting out as independent adults and, more often than not, as Pagans.
In 2010 Syracuse University’s Henricks Chapel formally appointed a Pagan Chaplain, making Syracuse the second American university to appoint such a position. The University of Southern Maine (UME) set the precedent way back in 2002. Syracuse was next in 2010 followed by the Air Force Academy (USAFA) in 2011. More than three years have passed since Syracuse welcomed Pagan Chaplain, Mary Hudson. In that time she has accomplished much; most recently, the installation of a dedicated sacred stone circle in the campus’ main quad. Prior to 2010 Syracuse had already taken steps to advocate for religious plurality and tolerance.
Top Story: The Los Angeles Times covers a three-day conference about the future of American Christianity at the Claremont School of Theology. Entitled “Theology After Google”, the main focus was on how Christian churches need to change with the times, but there was plenty of food for thought for non-Christians interested in the future of religion. “The consensus: It’s a whole new world out there. Churches will ignore it at their peril. “I think things like denomination and ordination are part of the old system of control and domination that has to go,” [Pastor Doug] Pagitt, 42, said as he relaxed after the conference’s first day at the Theo Pub set-up for participants …