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Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives (Religion in Contemporary Cultures)

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ISBN-13: 978-1851096084
ISBN-10: 1851096086
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Editorial Reviews

Review

• Provides an up-to-date, scholarly treatment of an important, but often misunderstood, emerging religious movement

• Not only describes the practices, but also examines the social, cultural, and political issues stimulating the growth of Neopaganism

• Examines such issues as identity formation, imagined communities, indigenous rights, and religious freedom in postmodern society



• Photographs of neo-pagan leaders, practitioners, and rituals, along with maps of areas where various religions are practiced

• Contributions from an international team of scholars provides insight into belief systems and cultural influences



"This volume is highly recommended for scholars of alternative religions, paganism, new religious movements, and contemporary religious developments."

-

Sophia

Book Description

Thor and Odin, Dievs, Diana, fairies—these old gods find new life in the Neopagan movement. In North America and Europe, people increasingly turn to ancestral religions, not as amusement or matters of passing interest, but in an effort to practice those religions as they were before the advent of Christianity.

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Product Details

  • Series: Religion in Contemporary Cultures
  • Hardcover: 382 pages
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO (December 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851096086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851096084
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,608,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 24, 2009
A topic widely misunderstood, here explained mostly by insiders who are scholars, this collects essays on European-American revivals, reinventions, and reimaginings of ethnically based, traditionally rooted, and nature-based polytheistic practices. Although aimed at the scholarly audience-- for all eight chapters come heavily documented and occasionally sound more like lectures than articles-- it's an accessible collection. The subject's a new one; before the 1960s counterculture, few had known of seekers who shared ambivalence to the dominant "Abrahamic" faiths and who, common with neo-pagans, found their inner dissatisfaction with common religions shared by a few dissenters and visionaries. The past couple of decades, despite the "satanic panic" of the late 80s & early 90s, a growing number have come out of what the U.S. military contributor, Stephanie Urquhart, calls "the broom closet."

Commonly jumbled with Wicca, neopagans interviewed here disdain this confusion. Many seek a Reconstructionist approach founded on what can be gleaned from the fragmented practices left behind after hundreds or thousands of years of Christian suppression of native faiths and more "natural" religions. The languages, the myths, the rituals all demand serious discipline. Those who follow this initiatory path may debate, as in Asatru, with those advocating an Eclectic approach-- more akin to Wicca in a multicultural, willfully varied, if less rigorously historic construction. Generally, those in this anthology appear more sober than some discordants featured in Margot Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon," (reviewed by me) which by the way would provide for the American background as with Ronald Hutton's "Triumph of the Moon" for British neopaganism recommended prior reading before this volume.
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