Pagan priest challenging peoples' opinions on gender, religion and 'bi-spirituality'

Pagan druid and Christian priest Shawn Sanford Beck will be in Regina on Friday to talk about what he calls 'bi-spirituality.'

Shawn Sanford Beck has always been interested in Christianity and paganism

Shawn Sanford Beck will speak at a workshop titled 'The Blended Chalice: ChristoPaganism as Spiritual Path' at Regina's Knox Metropolitan Church on Friday. (Shawn Sanford Beck)

Shawn Sanford Beck is an ecumenical priest who says he sees divinity in the natural world around him.

Beck, who also practices magic and paganism, said a "mechanistic worldview" means humans are often viewed as the only beings that are alive while everything else is just a cog in the cosmic machine.

"I have just been interested in both paths [paganism and Christianity] and in some ways have practiced both paths — sometimes uncomfortably — because there is certainly a long history of conflict between those two spiritual paths," Beck said. 

"But more recently [I've] recogniz[ed] that they have come together in harmony with me."

Beck will make the trip south to Regina for a workshop at Knox Metropolitan Church on Friday evening, where he'll discuss "bi-spirituality in contemporary society."

Beck said he hopes a wide variety of people attend and find the workshop useful, whether it be other pagan druids, practicing Christians or just anyone who is curious. Admission is by donation. 

The priest said he is open to debate and challenge from people who think the two belief systems cannot co-exist, as long as there is genuine interest and in good faith.

One thing that might catch attention is Beck's embrace of the idea of a feminine god, a god with no genders or many genders — omnigenderous, Beck says.

"If you have a purely masculine god, you're missing out on a whole swath of other ways, rich ways, to imagine who and what divinity is within our lives and within the whole creation."

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend


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