The most comprehensive study available of neo-pagan religious movements in North America and Europe.
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.
Modern Paganism in World Cultures collects the work of specialists in religion, folklore, and related fields to provide a comprehensive treatment of the movement to reestablish pre-Christian religions. Detailed accounts of the belief systems and rituals of each religion, along with analysis of the cultural, social, and political factors fueling the return to ancestral religious practice, make this a rich, singular resource.
Scandinavian Asatru, Latvian Dievturi, American Wicca—long-dormant religions are taking on new life as people seek connection with their heritage and look for more satisfying approaches to the pressures of postmodernism. The Neopagan movement is a small but growing influence in Western culture. This book provides a map to these resurgent religions and an examination of the origins of the Neopagan movement.
• 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
• 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