Researching Paganisms

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Jenny Blain, Douglas Ezzy, Graham Harvey
Rowman Altamira, 2004 - Religion - 273 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
PERFORMANCE AND REFLEXIVITY
13
BARDISMANDTHE PERFORMANCE OF PAGANISM IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF RESEARCH
15
METHODS OF COMPASSION OR PRETENSION? THE CHALLENGES OF CONDUCTING FIELDWORK IN MODERN MAGICAL COMMUNIT...
43
THE DEOSIL DANCE
59
CHALLENGING OBJECTIVITY THEORIZING SUBJECTIVITY
63
PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION AND THE STUDY OF PAGANISM
63
DRUGS BOOKS AND WITCHES
63
ATTHEWATERS EDGE AN ECOLOGICALLY INSPIRED METHODOLOGY
105
THEALOGIES IN PROCESS RESEARCHING AND THEORIZING SPIRITUALITIES SUBJECTIVITIES AND GODDESSTALK
115
LIVING WITH WITCHCRAFT
137
RELOCATING THE RESEARCHER
155
BETWEEN THE WORLDS AUTOARCHAEOLOGY AND NEOSHAMANS
157
TRACING THE INAUTHENTIC SEERESS FROM SEIDMAGICTO STONE CIRCLES
183
PAGAN STUDIES OR THE STUDY OF PAGANISMS? A CASE STUDY IN THE STUDY OF RELIGIONS
207
INDEX
223

GLEANINGS FROM THE FIELD LEFTOVER TALES OF GRIEF AND DESIRE
75
RELIGIOUS ETHNOGRAPHY PRACTICING THE WITCHS CRAFT
87
EMBODYING RELATIONSHIPS COMMUNITY AND HISTORY
103
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
233
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About the author (2004)

Jenny Blain is Senior Lecturer, School of Social Science and Law, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Douglas Ezzy is Senior Lecturer, Sociology, University of Tasmania, Australia. Graham Harvey is Lecturer in Religious Studies, Open University, UK.

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