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Association of Polytheist Traditions

Deity and Humanity in Modern Heathenism

Copyright © by Arlie Stephens 2003

This paper was written for a beginning systematic theology class at the Pacific School of Religion, a rather liberal Christian seminary in California. The assignment was to take two theological "loci" (areas of belief and doctrine), and explain your beliefs about each one, demonstrating how beliefs about one area influenced and limited what could be believed about the other.

The usual Christian "loci" are things like Christology (the nature of Christ), Trinity, Ecclesiology (the nature and purpose of the Church), anthropology (the nature and purpose of human beings), soteriology (salvation), etc.

Being heathen, I was taking this class to learn about Christian theology from the outside. However, the professors suggested that I write about my own beliefs, rather than theirs, since what they really wanted was that I demonstrate understanding of how beliefs are interrelated, not knowledge of any particular doctrine.

I was happy to take them up on this suggestion, and this essay is the result. (Actually, a previous version is the real result; I've taken the opportunity to make a few changes.)

A printable MS Word .doc version of this essay can be found at www.worldash.org.