As a member of the Advisory Board of the open access online journal Oscillations: Non-Standard Experiments in Anthropology, the Social Sciences, and Cosmology, I am especially pleased to announce that its latest issue, “In-dividuals and Multiplicities”, features my article “Polytheism as Methodology in the Study of Religions”. Here is the abstract:

Contingent historical factors have resulted in a peculiar disciplinary organization of the Western academy such that ‘Theology’, which on the analogy of other similarly-named disciplines such as ‘Biology’ one might expect to study the diverse manifestations of divinity in general, instead practices what the article terms a methodological monotheism, presupposing that theos is necessarily extensionally singular. The study qua Gods of the Gods of traditions with many Gods, or of any God not conceived as identical with the singular supreme being methodologically posited as the one God of all peoples, having been excluded thus from Theology, the study of these objects has been instead relegated to the field of Religious Studies, which, as an anthropological discipline, is assumed to practice methodological atheism and to study religions purely as forms of historical human behavior. The article proposes a resolution of this dilemma through the adoption of a methodology based on the characteristic polycentricity of polytheism in a comprehensively reconceived and non-reductionist discipline of Theology.

My thanks to the editors of Oscillations, Adam Louis-Klein and Justin Shaffner, for their vision and tireless dedication to a new path forward for the social sciences. The article is available online and in pdf form here.


My new online course, “Introduction to Polytheism”, is being offered through Indica Courses, an initiative of Indic Academy. From the description:

Polytheisms may well be the most undervalued cultural resource in the world. We fail to grasp the nature of polytheism in thinking that it merely constitutes a division of divine labor among a number of limited demigods. Rather, fully functioning polytheisms embody multiple different fundamental accounts of the nature of reality nevertheless forming a stable matrix. Through hosting a plurality of Gods, polytheistic civilizations exhibit maximum diversity in maximum solidarity: each one is a multiverse. This course provides an overview of continuous and revived polytheistic traditions from every part of the world, offering the seeker a basis for further study and comparison.

The course will be 15 sessions, meeting Thursday mornings at 6:30 PM IST/9 AM EST, beginning Sept. 2. Enrollment includes access to recorded sessions.

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:

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 ( for sections 1-3. For the section on African Traditional Religions, inquire with Prof. Mapuranga (

The Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions at Indic Academy (CGPIT) is pleased to report that the fellowships announced on March 26 ( 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.