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Researching Paganisms : Pagan Studies (Paperback) - Jenny Blain

Researching Paganisms

Pagan Studies (Paperback)

By: Jenny Blain (Editor), Douglas Ezzy (Editor), Graham Harvey (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st January 2004
ISBN: 9780759105232
Number Of Pages: 256

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Should researchers of spirituality and religion be distantly "objective," or engaged and active participants? The traditional paradigm of 'methodological agnosticism' is increasingly challenged as researchers emphasize the benefits of direct participation for understanding beliefs and practices. Should academic researchers "go native," participating as "insiders" in engagements with the "supernatural," experiencing altered states of of consciousness? How do academics negotiate the fluid boundaries between worlds and meanings which may change their own beliefs? Should their own experiences be part of academic reports? Researching Paganisms presents reflective and engaging accounts of issues in the academic study of religion confronted by anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, historians and religious studies scholars--as researchers and as humans--as they study contemporary Pagan religions. The insights that contributors gain, with resultant changes to their own lives, will fascinate not only other scholars of Pagan religions, but scholars of any religion and indeed anyone who grapples with issues of reflexive research.

Researching Paganisms successfully portrays the multiplicity of its subject matter. This collection provides a solid place to begin one's explorations of pagan studies and-at the same time-addresses theoretical and methodological issues that will inform future discussions about the role of the academy in the study of contemporary religious traditions as well as the relevance of religion in contemporary societies. Contributions are all first-rate. -- Stephen D. Glazier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
An interesting set of essays on the study of 'neo-paganism'...a useful reflection on the prejudices, preoccupations, instincts, emotional and personal traits which we all bring to our studies-a useful tool for self-analysis. -- Rene V.L. Wadlow * Transnational Perspectives *
Researching Paganisms is an important book not only for scholars and students of contemporary Western Paganism, but also for all social scientists and religious scholars who do ethnographic research. Some of the best-known and some newer scholars of contemporary Paganism on three continents explore the role of the ethnographer in mystery religions, the way in which their research has changed them and their perspective, and how their research may have influenced those they study. This book would make a wonderful addition to any social science methods class both for the issues and questions it raises and because all the chapters are written as engaging first-person narratives. -- Helen Berger, West Chester University, Author of A Community of Witches and Voices from the Pagan Census

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. I
Performance and Reflexivityp. 13
Bardism and the Performance of Paganism: Implications for the Performance of Researchp. 15
Methods of Compassion or Pretension? The Challenges of Conducting Fieldwork in Modern Magical Communitiesp. 43
The Deosil Dancep. 59
Challenging Objectivity, Theorizing Subjectivityp. 69
Psychology of Religion and the Study of Paganismp. 71
Drugs, Books, and Witchesp. 85
Gleanings from the Field: Leftover Tales of Grief and Desirep. 97
Religious Ethnography: Practicing the Witch's Craftp. 113
Embodying Relationships, Community, and Historyp. 129
At the Water's Edge: An Ecologically Inspired Methodologyp. 131
Thealogies in Process: Re-searching and Theorizing Spiritualities, Subjectivities, and Goddess-talkp. 147
Living with Witchcraftp. 171
Re-Locating the Researcherp. 189
Between the Worlds: Autoarchaeology and Neo-Shamansp. 191
Tracing the In/Authentic Seeress: From Seid-Magic to Stone Circlesp. 217
Pagan Studies or the Study of Paganisms? A Case Study in the Study of Religionsp. 241
Indexp. 257
About the Contributorsp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780759105232
ISBN-10: 0759105235
Series: Pagan Studies (Paperback)
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st January 2004
Publisher: ALTA MIRA PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.66 x 15.39  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.45

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