Author: Kenneth C. Haugk
Trade Paperback, 189 pages
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
Publication date: June 1988
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Pagan clergy encounter many of the same problems as clergy of the mainstream religions. Attacks, rumormongering, lies, witch wars, etc. all may occur within even the tightest knit communities. Antagonists can cause disruption in both covens and communities alike, leaving crushed ideals and bruised egos in their wake. Unfortunately, there arenít any books written to help pagan clergy deal with the problems that occur. Pagan clergy often do not have the support system or resources available to them as in mainstream religions. Antagonists in the Church, while written for and by Christian clergy, is a valuable resource for those clergypersons who encounter conflict in their groups.
Conflicts may occur in any group situation, be it a coven or some other group dynamic. Antagonists in the Church offers many solutions for identifying and dealing with these conflicts, as well as advice on how to avoid conflict. Personality characteristics, warning signs and prevention techniques are presented, and the reader will be compelled to highlight full blocks of text.
Haugk outlines the ways in which an antagonist attempts to usurp and destroy the relationships built within the church congregation. Leaders are shown how to prevent or reduce much of the pain created by antagonism, as well as given techniques to tell the difference between healthy conflict and destructive situations. Coping skills are given to help deal with an antagonists wake. Granted, since a Christian minister for a wrote the book for a Christian audience, the situations and biblical references may not apply to a pagan clergyperson, but the techniques and advice are still beneficial to anyone who is in the position of leadership in their community.
I highly recommend that anyone in a position of leadership, whether it is in a coven situation or a larger community, have on hand a copy of Antagonists in the Church. So that the next time a troublemaker enters your midst, you have the skills and techniques to deal with the negative impacts such a person can have.
Reviewed by Jax