Christopher Gérard (born July 7, 1962 in New York) is a Belgian novelist, publisher and literary critic. He is known as a promoter of modern Paganism, drawing much inspiration from Hinduism, and published the journal Antaios from 1992 to 2001. He has written novels and non-fiction books where paganism and the city of Brussels are recurring elements.
Pagan Power in Modern Europe (1999)
Hinduism Today : Pagan Power in Modern Europe By Hughes Henry, Belgium, July 1999
- Yes, India is the land of the Gods par excellence... The experience of the divine presence in India is within the reach of anyone who searches even a little bit. The temples are full of flowers and offerings, and you only have to flow along with the crowd, melt into it and place yourself in the hands of the Gods. I do not advocate conversion to Hinduism, but I do recommend its inspiration. I told this to the brahmins that took me into their homes. One said, 'Establish your reawakened Paganism on a valid foundation and there'll come a day when it will catch on. It won't be long.' As true Pagans, they feel no need to convert anyone.
- One can convert to the major, organized religions or to a school of ethics, but one cannot convert to Paganism. One simply belongs to it.
- I have two small altars where I burn incense when I have time and I'm in the mood, but I'm not really a pious practitioner. Modern living being what it is, I am not much into practice, but my thought, on the other hand, goes on uninterrupted.
- A hundred years ago, the idea was rampant in public opinion that Pagans were barbarians, grown-up children who worshiped pieces of wood. Today one tends to describe them as villains, as Nazis. In a very subtle way, Paganism is disenfranchised as a faith and presented as a highly dangerous and regressive movement.
- This current of thought, which has developed mainly in the United States in the Protestant context, claims witchcraft as its own, which makes me boil. They start off with the principle that in the European countryside a tradition of black magic has survived as an aspect of Paganism. They claim to be bringing forth an organized, conscious religion which has survived through the centuries as an underground movement. This is a historical hallucination and, alas, they are founding a Pagan renaissance upon this decadence.
- I was motivated not so much by belief, as by loyalty to my Pagan ancestors, who were loyal to their Gods, worshiping underground, always resisting, and who punctuate our history.
- I am taking the high road, an ascetic path, but one which to my way of thinking is the only valid path which in the long run has got what it takes. It's a slow and sometimes discouraging undertaking. At times it can seem a little bewildering. Europe is yet far from being re-Paganized, but little by little, thinkers catch the idea and feel reconquered. Generally, it doesn't take much: an image, an attitude, an experience, rather than a speech, and everything that has been repressed has come back ever so strongly. Our role is that of waker-uppers.
- I have no idea what forms this Paganism will have in another 30 years, I think we will be surprised. The Gods will manifest more and more--it's a matter of survival for the Earth, our Mother. That we Pagans are ever more numerous to worry over Her future is surely a sign of the Gods who act through us.
- When I dug into this temple, which had been destroyed by the Christians, I was shocked... I was barely 15, yet I understood in a powerful hands-on, nonintellectual way, how harsh had been Europe's conversion to Christianity. They burned temples, smashed statues, massacred the priests and established extremely harsh laws. By 392 ce, Paganism died.