Paganism is a polytheistic religion that worships multiple gods and goddesses (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020), while Christianity is a monotheistic religion that worships only one God. Paganism and Christianity have many different views regarding justice and morality. To start with, let us first define what each of these terms means. Justice can be defined as the quality of conforming to principles of reason, generally accepted standards of right and wrong, and the rules of just conduct. At the same time, morality is conformity to the rules of proper conduct. (Greenberg & Colquitt, 2014) With that said, let us look at how these concepts are viewed in Paganism and Christianity.
In Paganism, justice and morality are two separate concepts. Justice is about upholding what is right and punishing what is wrong, while morality is about following a code of conduct that is considered good. In Christianity, these two concepts are often seen as being intertwined. Christians believe God is the ultimate source of justice and morality. As such, Christians often see it as their duty to uphold justice and follow God’s moral code. (Boyd & Thorsen, 2018)
Another significant difference between the two concepts is that, in Paganism, justice is often seen as relative. What is considered unjust can vary from culture to culture (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). For example, in some cultures, it may be considered to kill someone who has murdered another person. In other cultures, however, it may be seen as unjust to kill someone, no matter what they have done. Christianity, on the other hand, often views justice as being absolute. This means that there is a fixed standard of what is right and what is wrong. Christians believe that God is the ultimate judge of right and wrong, so they often look to Him for guidance on how to live justly. (Boyd & Thorsen, 2018)
Focus on each is another crucial way justice and morality differ in Paganism and Christianity. In Paganism, justice is about ensuring people get what they deserve. This is often based on the idea that an eye for an eye or that person should suffer the consequences of their actions. In the tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, justice is the central theme. The main character, Oedipus, is trying to discover who killed the previous king of Thebes, Laius. He is determined to find the killer and punish them for their crime. This is an example of justice as Oedipus tries to ensure that the killer gets what they deserve (Sophocles, 2018). This view of justice is similar to what is seen in Paganism, where justice is often seen as relative and is based on the idea of an eye for an eye. Morality, on the other hand, is about living in a pleasing way to the gods. This means that people should follow the rules and regulations set forth by the gods, even if they will not get what they deserve. In Christianity, justice ensures that people are treated fairly (Grudem, n.d.). This is based on the idea that all people are created equal in the eyes of God and should be treated as such. Morality, on the other hand, is about living in a pleasing way to God. This means that people should follow the rules and regulations set forth by God, even if it means that they will not get what they deserve.
In Paganism, the focus is on living in harmony with nature and the universe. The ultimate goal is to achieve balance and peace. There is no right or wrong way to live, and everyone can follow their path. There is no judgment or punishment for wrongdoings, and everyone is responsible for their actions. The emphasis is on personal growth and development and finding your truth. In Christianity, the focus is on obeying God’s laws and living a good and moral life. A strict code of conduct must be followed, and those who break the rules will be punished. There is a clear right and wrong, and good and evil. Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins and that by following his teachings, we can achieve salvation. (Boyd & Thorsen, 2018).
In Paganism, there is often a focus on the current life rather than the afterlife. This means that pagans may be more likely to take justice into their own hands rather than wait for a higher power to meet out punishments. In Christianity, there is a focus on the afterlife and on living by the will of God. This means that Christians may be more likely to make moral choices based on the consequences in the next life rather than the current one. (Boyd & Thorsen, 2018)
Another most straightforward way that the concepts of justice and morality differ between Paganism and Christianity is in the area of human rights. In Paganism, there is no belief in the inherent worth or dignity of every human being (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). Instead, people are seen as deserving of rights and protections based on their merits or contributions to society. This can lead to a situation where people considered “undeserving” or “unworthy” are denied fundamental rights and protections and are treated as second-class citizens. On the other hand, Christianity teaches that every human being is made in God’s image and therefore deserves respect and dignity. This belief in the inherent worth of every human life leads to a much different view of human rights, where everyone is entitled to fundamental rights and protections regardless of their merits or contributions.
In Paganism, justice is often tied to balance (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). This is the idea that for the universe to be in harmony, there must be a balance of good and evil. On the other hand, Christians believe that justice is about restoration, not balance. In other words, Christians believe that it is always to make things right, regardless of whether or not this creates a balance of good and evil.
In Paganism, morality is often based on the consequences of one’s actions. If an action results in good consequences, then it is considered moral. If an action results in dire consequences, then it is considered immoral. Christians, however, believe that the morality of an action is based on the character of one who performs it. In other words, Christians believe it is always to do what is morally right, even if the consequences are dire.
In Christianity, morality is about responding to God (Grudem, n.d.). This means Christians must obey God’s commands to be moral. Christians believe they are accountable to God for their actions and will be judged by him according to their morality. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, morality is da central theme. Dante is trying to reach the highest level of heaven, which requires him to make moral choices. He is guided by Virgil, who represents reason and justice, and Beatrice, who represents faith and love (Alighieri, 2021). This view of morality is similar to what is seen in Christianity, where morality is about responding to God and following His commands.
In contrast, Paganism generally does not have the same concept of accountability to a higher power. For pagans, morality is about following the natural order of things. This means living in harmony with nature and the universe.
In Paganism, morality is often about following the crowd or fitting in (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). This means that people are more likely to do what is considered morally right if it is what everyone else is doing. In Christianity, morality is about being different from the world and being set as part of God. This means that people are more likely to do what is considered morally right if it is what God wants them to do, even if it is not what everyone else is doing.
Another critical difference between the concepts of justice and morality in Paganism and Christianity is how each religion approaches the problem of suffering. In Paganism, suffering is often seen as part of life (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). It is something that cannot be avoided and that people must learn to deal with. Christianity, on the other hand, views suffering as being a problem that needs to be solved. This is because Christianity believes that suffering results from sin and can be overcome through faith. Christians believe forgiveness is the best way to achieve justice, while pagans believe that revenge is the best way to achieve justice. This difference in belief often leads to different approaches to justice. The Christians tend to focus on forgiveness, while the pagans tend to focus on revenge.
Moreover, in Paganism, humans are responsible for creating justice. This means there is no right or wrong way to live, and everyone is free to follow their path (Althaea Sebastiani, 2020). There is no judgment or punishment for wrongdoings, and everyone is responsible for their actions. The emphasis is on personal growth and development and finding your truth. On the other hand, Christianity views God as the ultimate source of justice. This means that a strict code of conduct must be followed, and those who break the rules will be punished. There is a clear right and wrong, and good and evil. Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins and that by following his teachings, we can achieve salvation.
In Paganism, the concept of justice is often used to justify violence. This is because pagan cultures often believe it is to use force to get what you want. Christians, on the other hand, believe that justice is about peace. This is the idea that it is always to seek peace, and violence is never the answer.
In Paganism, morality is about being a good person. This usually means following the rules set forth by society and being a good community member. In Christianity, morality is about being Christ-like (Boyd & Thorsen, 2018). This means being selfless, loving, and forgiving. It also means living a life that is pleasing to God. Paganism generally focuses on doing what is right to maintain balance and order in the world. This includes following the rules set forth by society and being a good community member. Christianity, on the other hand, focuses on being like Christ. It means living a life that is pleasing to God. While both Paganism and Christianity have their moral code, the main difference is the focus.
In conclusion, Paganism and Christianity have very different views regarding justice and morality. While Paganism often sees these concepts as relative, Christianity views them as absolute. Christians tend to focus more on the afterlife and obeying God’s laws, while pagans often focus on the present life and on following the natural order of things. Christians also believe that every human being is made in God’s image and deserves respect and dignity. In contrast, pagans may not believe in the inherent worth of every human life.
Alighieri, D. (2021). The Divine Comedy (illustrated). Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing.
Althaea Sebastiani. (2020). Paganism for beginners: the complete guide to nature-based spirituality for every new seeker. Rockbridge Press.
Boyd, C. A., & Thorsen, D. (2018). Christian Ethics and Moral Philosophy. Baker Academic.
Greenberg, J., & Colquitt, J. (2014). Handbook of organizational justice. Psychology Press.
Grudem, W. A. (n.d.). Christian ethics: an introduction to biblical moral reasoning. Crossway Uuuu-Uuuu.
Principles of Moral Thought and Action. (n.d.). Www.patheos.com. https://www.patheos.com/library/pagan/ethics-morality-community/principles-of-moral-thought-and-action
Sophocles. (2018). Oedipus the King. Franklin Classics Trade Press.