To help people keep up with developments at the Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions, I’ve created a couple of social media pages for the Center. There’s a Facebook page now, as well as Instagram. Please follow and share.

I was very pleased to be invited to take part in this conversation with Mukunda Raghavan of Meru Media and Sarenth Odinsson, James Stovall and Caitlin Stormbreaker, hosts of the podcast Around Grandfather Fire. I think that you will find this wide-ranging discussion richly informative about the theory and practice of revivalist polytheism.

The new devotional volume from Bibliotheca Alexandrina dedicated to Athena and Minerva includes my essay “Athena and the Heart of Truth”. My thanks to editors Jason Ross Inczauskis and Amanda Artemisia Forrester and to Rebecca Buchanan for all her work on behalf of BA. The devotional is available now in paperback, and will soon be available on multiple ebook platforms. If you like, you may purchase the paperback through this affiliate link, and I will earn a commission at no cost to you: https://amzn.to/3hAwFtK.

This is an interview I did for the Mad Sage Astrology blog about Neoplatonism and theurgy.

The Center for Global Polytheist & Indigenous Traditions is pleased to announce a call for papers for its first online conference, “Polytheisms Today and Tomorrow” to be held on October 28-29, 2021.

“Polytheism” is a sometimes contentious term for traditions with an apparent multiplicity of objects of religious regard, but much of the contentiousness around it arises from the prejudice monotheist hegemony has imposed upon that multiplicity of the divine which ancient civilizations celebrated. Traditions falling under this contested rubric today face many common challenges, having survived racism, colonialism, religious bias and missionary pressures. Other traditions of this character were sundered, but are being revived, demonstrating that conversion is not the end of their story.

The Center seeks abstracts for an online conference dedicated to the preservation and promotion of polytheistic traditions both continuous and revived from anywhere in the world. In addition, this year’s conference will feature a special panel focusing on African Traditional Religions curated by Prof. Tapiwa Praise Mapuranga of the University of Zimbabwe.

The sections of the conference will include:

Polytheism in the study of religions: theoretical and methodological issues

Practical issues facing polytheistic traditions in the contemporary world

Revival of sundered traditions and renewal of continuous ones

Regional focus: African Traditional Religions

Papers should aim for a reading length of about 20 minutes. Please send abstracts of approximately 500 words to Dr. Edward P. Butler, Director, CGPIT (epb223@gmail.com) for sections 1-3. For the section on African Traditional Religions, inquire with Prof. Mapuranga (mapspraise@yahoo.com).

The Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions at Indic Academy (CGPIT) is pleased to report that the fellowships announced on March 26 (https://www.indicacademy.org/research-fellowships-on-global-polytheist-indigenous-traditions/) have been awarded.

In the category of African Traditional Religions: Preservation & Promotion in the 21st Century & Beyond, Oluwo Olawole Olakunle of Nigeria, a babalawo (or priest of Ifá), has been awarded $1600 to develop The Ifá Podcast and livestream, which will dispel stereotypes about Africa’s indigenous spirituality and present accurate, undiluted information about this tradition with an inspiring, futuristic vision targeting a global network of African millennials, research institutes, technologists, students, local priests, government institutions, and diaspora networks.

In the category of Reviving Polytheisms, $1600 has been awarded to Justin Shaffner, an anthropologist and research associate at the University of Michigan, for his project Boazi-Anim Cultural Revival, which seeks to aid in sustaining and renewing the indigenous traditions of Anim speaking communities in Papua New Guinea, who have been severely impacted by colonialism, resource extraction and evangelical Christian activity, including the willful destruction of cult houses and relics. The portion of Shaffner’s project being funded by CGPIT is a text, written in close consultation with Anim elders, outlining the current status of Anim traditional knowledge practices and their own account of the history of the cosmos, including the onslaught of modernity through their own first-hand experience, toward developing a counter-epistemology from which to better affirm and appreciate Melanesian religious experience and perspectives and contribute to the understanding, preservation and revitalization of Anim speakers’ distinctive cultural heritage and history.

Finally, also in the category of Reviving Polytheisms, $1600 has been awarded to Stefanos Spanopoulos of Greece for his project, A Theoretical and Practical Reconstruction of the Arcadian Mysteries of Hekate-Despoina, which recognizes the need in revived polytheisms for the development of new Mystery cults directly inspired by the surviving information of their ancient counterparts while simultaneously responding to modern problems and needs. Accordingly, Spanopoulos plans to undertake a careful study of historical material on pertinent Mystery cults of antiquity, synthesize the theological framework necessary for the seamless insertion of a new Mystery cult into contemporary Hellenic polytheism, and create a step-by-step guide for its application.

The projects being funded through the CGPIT fellowships embody the Center’s vision of fostering mutual understanding and alliance among all polytheist and indigenous traditions worldwide and aiding in their maintenance, interpretation, renewal and promotion. By supporting a priest in an ancient, continuous African tradition, a revivalist of a sundered European tradition, and an anthropologist helping Indigenous people of Oceania strengthen their threatened tradition on their own terms, these three fellowships express the essence of CGPIT’s mission, a triangle composed of continuous traditions, revived ones, and new intellectual models of engaged scholarship deployed on behalf of both.

CGPIT Annual Report

April 15, 2021

The Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions was included in the round of annual reports for the various initiatives at Indic Academy, though we only got started in March.

This thread on Twitter has links to all the annual reports. It’s a great way to see the rich diversity of activities Indic Academy is supporting:

I’m very excited to announce the first round of research fellowships from the new Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions, in Chinese Polytheism (Shenjiao/Daoism), African Traditional Religions, and Reviving Polytheisms. Please check them out and share widely.

I am pleased and honored to announce that I have accepted the position of Director of the new Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions at Indic Academy, one of six “Thought Centers” at the Academy. Here, from the announcement, is my description of the Center’s mission:

The Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions seeks to promote a renaissance in the traditions which honor the divinity in all beings and the inexhaustible multiplicity of the divine. We seek to help practitioners of these traditions in tending their legacies and fostering creativity within them, as well as in interpreting them for outsiders in the spirit of building bridges between civilizations. We will not shrink from critiquing the distortions these traditions have suffered from previous generations of Western scholars and the injustices they have suffered from religious conversion, colonialism and white supremacy. We seek to promote interdisciplinary and innovative research methods and paradigms, including affirming the inherent value of direct experience of the Gods, spirits and divine forces both in antiquity and today. We are committed to the widest possible dissemination of the results of research and the broadest possible participation in our projects, both from within conventional academic structures and beyond them. We do not find the distinction between the cutting edge of new thought and the recollection of ancient wisdom, or between science and religion to be salient, inasmuch as they share in the goals of human flourishing and the discovery of truth. We ground ourselves on primordial revelations but are also committed to the proposition that theophany is ongoing and a human right, that the boundaries between traditions are real, but also always permeable, and believe that if we only remove the obstacles to hearing them, the voices of the living immortals are here to guide us and cooperate with us in building a world of mutual respect, dialogue and reciprocal aid.

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My Theological Encyclopedia of the Goddesses and Gods of the Ancient Egyptians, available here since 2009, and which will remain so, is now available in paperback and Kindle ebook form as well.

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