Yikes! I just noticed on my Aegean Archaeology lecturer, Louise Hitchcock's blog that she has me listed in the sidebar as "The last rational Pagan"... Besides that being a provocative statment to other Pagans - and let me emphasise that I didn't say that myself, although I do appreciate that Louise thinks I'm rational, thanks Louise! - I'd better quickly put up a post that makes me look rational then!!!! Yeah, its a problem, being kinda in the middle of, on the one hand modern Paganism, which is obviously a religion, and on the other hand being so attracted to Richard Dawkins' and his so-called "militant atheism"... and then it's rather shocking when one discovers through academic research just *how different* ancient paganism(s) are from what is purported to be Paganism today. Although... that does not mean that I think contemporary Paganism is not Paganism, just that many of the historical claims of modern Paganism are complete bunkum. But we've known that since at least 2000 with Ronald Hutton's "Triumph of the Moon", haven't we. But still, there's more to be done, more modern claims to be dissected. Sabina Magliocco has done an interesting analysis on Raven Grimassi's "Stregheria", and I think there's more to be looked at with that from a Roman religion angle. Sarah Iles Johnston is rumoured to be considering analysing Hellenic Reconstructionism... There's lots to look at, lots to do for people with an ancient religion bent to focus on in comparing modern Pagan religions with ancient ones... There's going to be a bit of that - at least from the angle of "Goddess worship" at the next World Archaeological Congress in Dublin in June. I've heard its all going to be "very respectful" to the religionists. Dawkins would have an apoplectic fit... although last I saw of him on TV he seemed very restrained - too restrained I thought. I like it when he argues against religion, its terribly stimulating and frankly, it needs to be done.