In Pagan Ethics: Paganism as a World Religion (2016), Michael York examines the ethical parameters of paganism when considered as a world religion along side Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The issues of evil, value and idolatry from a pagan perspective are analysed as part of the Western ethical tradition from the Sophists and Platonic schools through the philosophers Spinoza, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche to such contemporary thinkers as Grayling, Mackie, MacIntyre, Habermas, Levinas, Santayana, etc. From a more practical viewpoint, a delineation of applied pagan ethics is then furnished in connection with such present moral issues as same-sex union, recreational drugs, eco-awareness, abortion and terrorism). Finally, overviews of sectarian pagan ethics (Shinto, Santeria, Heathenism, Druidry, Romuva, Slavic, Kemeticism, Classical and Wicca) are furnished to allow both the general and pagan reader a familiarity with the provocative range and differentiation of pagan ethical thought.

The book approaches the Western ethical tradition as an historical development and a continuing dialogue. The newness of this approach derives from the consideration of paganism as a legitimate voice of religious spirituality rather than a satanic aberration or ridiculous childish behaviour. The book is aimed toward both the contemporary Western pagan and anyone with an interest in the moral dilemmas of our present times and the desire to engage with the global ethical conversation in an accessible manner.

Among the more important features of the book are its presentation of a re-evaluation of idolatry, the notion of the virtue-value, the richness of the pagan tradition, and the expansion of Western ethics beyond its Christian heritage.

In short, this is the first comprehensive presentation of contemporary, classical and indigenous pagan ethics. The subject is examined as both an internal conversation between pagans and as a basis for a wider exchange of ideas with such traditions as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. and with such significant figures as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Nietzsche, etc. As an on-going engagement that builds upon both an obscured and forgotten legacy and an innovative insight into global problems of today, ethics from a pagan perspective are sometimes highly controversial vis-à-vis various already established standards, but they are also to be seen as dynamic with regard to offering possible solutions commensurate with a balanced and sustainable global future. Pagan ethics are not without disagreements on many fronts but offer an expansion to traditional ways of thinking and behavioural patterns as well as a progressive way of life in the pursuit of happiness and collective sanity.