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David Allen Harvey

Classical polytheism or “paganism” presented a challenge to the Philhellenes of the Enlightenment, who found it difficult to accept that the greatest minds of antiquity had been taken in by (vide Fontenelle) “a heap of chimeras, delusions, and absurdities.” Rejecting the claim that “paganism” was a deformation of the “natural religion” of the early Hebrew patriarchs, several Enlightenment thinkers developed theories of classical polytheism, presenting it as the apotheosis of the great kings and heroes of the first ages of man, a system of allegorical symbols that conveyed timeless truths, and the effort of a prescientific mentality to understand the hidden forces of nature. Although divergent in their interpretations of “paganism,” these theories converged by separating its origins from Judeo-Christian traditions and presenting religion as an essentially human creation. Thus, Enlightenment theories of classical mythology contributed to the emergence of the more cosmopolitan and tolerant spirit that characterized the age.

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Mirko M. Hall

thirty years. Drawing upon Germanic and Celtic paganism, völkisch mysticism, and antimodernist imagery including National Socialism, neofolk is perhaps most noted for its (supposed) association with a nebulous web of right-wing ideologies. According to

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The Shaping of a Community-Building Discourse among Israeli Pagans

Shai Feraro

This article charts the recent development of Modern Paganism in Israel (1999–2012) and analyzes the discourse maintained by Israeli modern-day Pagans when discussing questions of organization and of religious-political rights. As such it deals with the complexities of identifying oneself as a (Jewish-born) Pagan in Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people. I argue that although Israeli Pagans may employ a community-building discourse, they constantly fear the perceived negative consequences of public exposure. They see the bond between (Jewish) religion and the state in Israel as a main factor in the intolerance and even persecution that they expect from the government and from Haredim (“ultra-Orthodox” Jews). The result of this discourse during the first ten years or so of the presence of Modern Paganism in Israel can be seen through the metaphor of a dance, in which participants advance two steps, only to retreat one.

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Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska

The article aims to show how ethnographic data concerning religious rites, both Catholic and pagan, circulate in culture and thus become a kind of historical source for re-enacting other, invented religious rites. In the example of the Rękawka fair in Cracow, it is demonstrated how religious content present in nineteenth-century ethnographic descriptions, originally ascribed to pre-Christian paganism but incorporated into a Catholic fair, was separated from it and used in recreating and performing a neopagan rite. Investigating an Early Middle Ages re-enactment movement, the author focuses on the process of transforming ethnographic data into historical ones. Analysing the problem of authenticity of such sources, she points out the particularities of achieving authenticity in a re-enactment movement: to some, the contemporary Rękawka fair remains only a kind of historical re-enactment, while according to others it is a true neopagan rite.

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Analyzing African Formations

Multi-national Corporations, Non-capitalist Relations, and 'Mothers of the Community'

Caroline Ifeka

The West gazes hard at the continent it is has exploited for so long. Reflecting Western discourses of Africa as that ‘dark other’, texts use epithets immersed in preconceptions of Africa’s inequality: differences of race and religion, with Western ‘civilization’ standing for, and justifying, unequal power relations of apparent antiquity. Nineteenth-century Royal Geographical Society audiences, enthusiastic supporters of Britain’s growing empire and overseas Christian missions, learned from distinguished travelers about ‘the slave trade’, ‘ju-ju’, ‘paganism and devil worship’, ‘Mecca’, ‘the import-export trade’, ‘white traders’, and ‘black middlemen’. Favorite twentieth-century discourses included ‘black nationalism’, ‘weak states’ and ‘African indebtedness’, ‘corrupt government’, ‘ruthless multi-national oil companies’, ‘environmental pollution’, and ‘poverty’. Twenty-first-century researchers write of ‘endemic violence’ coalescing around inter-state international borders or intra-state ethnic boundaries; ethnic militants fight for ‘ethnic sovereignties’, jostling to wrest from the nation-state customary rights of ownership and control over ‘our god-given’ oil, clashing with giant multi-national corporations that lease from nation-state governments—not oil-producing communities claiming customary ownership—vast blocks of swamp, desert, and sea under which lies ‘black gold’ (Ifeka 2000: 452; cf. Hertz 2001: 194ff.).

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Anna Bara and Sveta Yamin-Pasternak

the Russian Neo-paganism and their means of framing and advancing a coherent response to the threats posed by modernity to national identification, the ethno-cultural milieu, and the ecological equilibrium of the Russian territory. Two subsequent

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Lionel Blue

religious and national passions. They help to turn a precarious peace into a murderous ‘holy’ war. It is after all so easy. Paganism is not dead, and it is easier to worship a holy object than a holy action (and also less demanding). The golden calf is more

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The Burial Rituals of the Khakass People

Main Factors of Evolution

Larisa Anzhiganova and Margarita Archimacheva

Translator : Tatiana Argounova-Low

Customs and Shaman Burial Ritual of the Turkic Peoples of the Sayan Altai and the Southern Siberia.”] In Zhrechestvo i shamanism v skifskuiu epokhu (Paganism and Shamanism in the Scythian Era), ed. A. Ia. Alekseev , V. Iu. Yakovenko , and V. A

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Christian Interpretation of Kohelet [Ecclesiastes]

Three Examples from History and the Present

Elisabeth Birnbaum

paganism, which was originally impure but which had become pure through faith in Christ, while the Jews were rejected. Such procedure is not specific to a Christian interpretation of Kohelet; it can be found in Christian interpretations of all the books

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Jeff Kirby

Movements: Environmentalism and Ecological Habitus ”. Mobilization 13 ( 2 ): 205 – 218 . 10.17813/maiq.13.2.k5015r82j2q35148 Harris , Adrian P. 2008 . “ The Wisdom of the Body: Embodied Knowing in Eco-Paganism .” PhD diss. , Lancaster University