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Introduction to Pagan Studies (Pagan Studies Series) Paperback – October 27, 2006

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0759108196 ISBN-10: 0759108196 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews


In this refreshingly grounded, balanced, informative, thorough and equitable work, Paganism comes of age with Barb Davy's Introduction to Pagan Studies. The book discusses Paganism through the categories of theology, cosmology, social organization, ritual practices and historical origins in a comprehensive yet engaging manner that will appeal to insiders and outsiders alike. Davy has successfully chronicled Pagan growth from new religious movement to a world religion - especially its denominational tendency. In short, by exploring the multiple nuances of Paganism, this is the book for which everyone has been waiting. (Michael York, Bath Spa University)

This book provides a detailed and fascinating introduction to the varied worlds of contemporary Paganism. While some might dismiss the rise of nature religions as a fad, Davy skillfully excavates the origins of the movement, as well the multiple streams that have woven their way across the religious landscape. She offers a valuable contribution to the emerging study of contemporary Paganism. (Professor Douglas E. Cowan, Renison College, University of Waterloo)

An essential overview and distillation of current academic thought concerning the history, beliefs, and practices of modern Paganism. Accessible and written as an introductory textbook, Davy provides an excellent starting point to people wanting to know more about Paganism, and to Pagans wanting to explore the burgeoning realm of Pagan Studies. Highly recommended. (Jason Pitzl-Waters The Wild Hunt Blog)

Davy...has crafted a fine text to support undergraduate scholarly study of this religion...of particular interest are the sections on literary influences, origins, ethics, current issues, and research...This book will be excellent for courses in religious studies, sociology, and cultural studies. Summing Up: Highly Recommended. All levels. (M.R. Pukkila, Colby College CHOICE)

This book is invaluable to teachers and students and a critical addition to every Pagan's library. Introduction to Pagan Studies gives the reader a solid understanding of the diverse and complicated collection of beliefs, practices, and issues involved in the many religious traditions that fall under the banner of contemporary Pagnism, and operates as a springboard to deeper study and research. (Newwitch)

Barbara Davy's excellent introduction to the study of Paganism offers a clear view of the state of academic knowledge about Paganism, anticipates areas of growing interest, and skilfully enables readers to reflect on approaches to this and other religions. This accessible book will be of value to anyone interested in Paganism and to anyone interested in the study of religions. (Dr. Graham Harvey, Religious Studies, Open University, UK)

About the Author

Barbara Jane Davy holds a Ph.D. in religion from Concordia University, Montreal. She has been engaged in the academic study of Paganism for ten years, and has written articles on Paganism, shamanism, and nature religion ritual studies, environmental ethics, and the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas in journals and encyclopedias. She currently serves as President of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada and has been an active member of the Nature Religion Scholars Network within the American Academy of Religion since 1997.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pagan Studies Series
  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press (October 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759108196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759108196
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Introduction to Pagan Studies' is not the usual faire one has come to expect from books dealing with such subject matter. There are no intermittent "personal experiences" with non-human entities to be related to the spiritual thrill seeker, no emotive songs of praise, exotic spells or rituals to engage the reader into their own subjective flights of fancy.

This exhaustive 245 survey on contemporary paganism is in every way a textbook reminiscent of the wonderful volumes I'm sure you remember from your high school and college days. You know the ones I'm referring to, those books you carried around in your tote bag but never really opened. There is more history and sociology than magic and mystery here. This is not to be negative by any means because this was exactly the authors' intent. `Introduction to Pagan Studies' is designed to educate, not entertain so if you're willing to put in the time and effort to learn something of value here's the book with the information.

Author Barbara Jane Davy has provided us with an excellent text establishing a scholarly, systematic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the ever growing pagan culture of the 21st century. If you're looking for an emotional high or adrenaline rush reading about things that go bump in the night this is not the book for you. However if you're interested in understanding the historical framework, societal influences, psycho-philosophical considerations and environmental, Gaea concerns that serve as the foundation of all varieties of contemporary paganism than this is an excellent place to begin. Come on, give it a try. A little time in school never hurt anyone.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kristi L. Waterworth on December 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a refreshing text on Paganism. Written as a textbook for a university class of the same name, it portrays a very accurate picture of the Neo-pagan movement. I was delighted and will be using it as a reference for the classes I am teaching at our local Temple.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Roberts on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Content-wise, this book is alright. It is after all an introduction to Pagan Studies and covers a lot of material. It is a great general introduction to the issues, histories, and ideologies involved in the study of modern pagan movements. For people who want something beyond a general introduction, this book is valuable for its bibliography alone and can point you in the direction of many major texts in the field.
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