Shaken Path, The

Shaken Path, The

A Christian Priest's Exploration of Modern Pagan Belief and Practice

A guide to modern Paganism for the for the uninformed.


Despite modern Paganism being one of the fastest growing new religious movements in Britain and the USA, there is no up-to-date straightforward and informed introduction to modern Paganism from a Christian perspective. The Shaken Path addresses that gap.


“The Shaken Path is a detailed account of the Revd Paul Cudby’s research into modern Pagan pathways. Stemming from a period of study leave, Paul immersed himself in many different Pagan worlds, meeting, befriending and experiencing Pagan beliefs and practices in a spirit of openness and friendly Christian engagement. The result, a description of and reflection on, the worlds of Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens, Animists and Shamans, is an in-depth description and critical reflection on what he found and, because of the trust he built up within his Pagan encounters is a unique piece of research. Paul’s research includes personal story and powerful reflection through an unwavering Christian lens. He offers the reader an account of how he has been challenged and changed by spending time alongside people whom many Christians regard with suspicion and sometimes fear. He records the kindness, hospitality and profound love of Pagans for the natural world, but also does not shy away from things he cannot explain or finds deeply problematic in Pagan practice. In my role as National Adviser for New Religious Movements and Alternative Spiritualities I am approached by many people who are concerned about Pagans or who simply believe that Pagans are in league with the devil in some way. Some of these find the idea of Pagan rituals, spells and magick both frightening and threatening. Paul’s research will provide such people with an accessible account of Pagan life which should go a long way to dispersing hostility and creating a better understanding on which Christians can get to know their Pagan neighbours. Paul, like other diocesan new religious movements advisers, is aware that Christians who pioneer this kind of work, may themselves attract suspicion or hostility from other Christians. He is therefore to be applauded for the thoroughness of his investigation and the care with which he has taken to represent himself as nothing other than a Christian priest willing to learn from and through others. I recommend this research to you and hope it will be successfully published as a major contribution to the understanding of modern Pagan religion in the UK.” ~ Anne Richards, Church of England's National Adviser for New Religious Movements

Paul Cudby’s book, The Shaken Path, clearly demonstrates his openness to hearing about Pagan spirituality from Pagans themselves whist retaining his Christian faith. In doing so, he has been able to shine a more accurate light on how modern Pagans view their beliefs and practices, and to present them in a context that should help to remove much of the fear of Pagan traditions often experienced by Christians. The Shaken Path guides the reader through a variety of the main Pagan traditions, reflecting on similarities and differences found in Christian denominations and, in doing so, provides Christians with an opportunity for deeper reflections upon their own faith traditions and practices. My own experiences of dialogue with those from other faiths as a Pagan have led me to deeper reflections upon my own Pagan path and practices, providing insights that I might not have otherwise gained whilst also leading to a greater understanding of ‘the other’. The Shaken path has the potential to do the same for the Christian reader. I look forward to meeting and engaging in dialogue with Christians who have been accurately informed about Pagan traditions as a result of reading Paul’s book. ~ Mike Stygal, Chair of the Pagan Federation, Personal Communication

This is a must-read book for anyone interested in interfaith work. Pagans seeking ways to more productively talk about themselves to Christians will find it really helpful, and the aspects of comparative religion will reward anyone interested in religion as subject. ~ Nimue Brown: Druid Author and Blogger, Personal Communication

I think that your use of lots of personal - easy to read - anecdotes makes the whole picture deeply authentic and honest. Your research mixed with personal experience shines through, as does your clear loyalty and love for your own faith while holding a clear respect and even admiration for the paganisms you so wonderfully speak about. ~ Mark Townsend: Author and Former Anglican Priest, now Druid and Independent Celebrant, Personal Communication

Paul Cudby
Paul Cudby Paul is the Bishop of Birmingham's Adviser for New Religious Movements and specializes in Christian-Pagan interfaith relations. He is also ...

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