Introduction to Pagan Studies

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Rowman Altamira, 2007 - Religion - 245 pages
Pagan Studies is maturing and moving beyond the context of new religious movements to situate itself in within of the study of world religions. Introduction to Pagan Studies is the first and only text designed to introduce the study of contemporary Paganism as a world religion. It examines the intellectual, religious, and social spheres of Paganism through common categories in the study of religion, which includes beliefs, practices, theology, ritual, history, and role of texts and scriptures. The text is accessible to readers of all backgrounds and religions and assumes no prior knowledge of Paganism. This text will also serve as a general introduction to Pagan Studies for non-specialist scholars of religion, as well as be of interest to scholars in the related disciplines of Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural Studies, and to students taking courses in Religious Studies, Pagan Studies, Nature Religion, New Religious Movements, and Religion in America. The book will also be useful to non-academic practitioners of Paganism interested in current scholarship.

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User Review  - earthlistener - LibraryThing

Introduction to Pagan Studies is a great book which overviews not only the believes found within paganism in general but also the pagan community as a whole. This book on contemporary paganism is ... Read full review

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This is not so much a review but to point out some inaccuracies. In one section the author makes the claim "the label "Celts" used to apply only to Gaelic speakers (Scots Highlanders and Islanders, and the Irish, Welsh, Manx and Northumbrians)" which of course is not the case at all. Firstly "Celt" is from the Greek word "Keltoi" which became the Latin "CeltŠ" and was used for the "Celtic" tribes of Gallia, or Gaul (as the Germanic Franks used to call it c.f. Old English "Wealas" ("Brythonic or Romance speaking foreigner") and Modern English "Wales"), and was first used in the British Isles when the Gaelic (or Goidelic) and Brythonic languages were shown to be connected (along with the extinct Celtic languages of Mainland Europe). Secondly, the Welsh may be Celtic speakers, however apart from small areas of Wales, Gaelic was/is not spoken there. Welsh is a Brythonic language. The Gaelic/Goidelic languages (and by default peoples) are the Irish, Scots Highlanders (including the Islanders who are generally Norse-Gaels for reasons that are a whole new subject) and the Manx (who are also usually classed as Norse-Gaels...a Brythonic language was spoken on the Island of Man sometime ago however).
A more glaring error is claiming the Northumbrians were some of these original "Celts" that spoke Gaelic, when in fact they speak a Germanic language, in fact a form of English, which like there culture is derived from the Angles or Engla or Englisc a tribe that lent it's name to England; which was created as a nation by the unification of the so called "Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms" which were in fact ruled by the Angles (Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia), Saxons (Wessex, Essex, Sussex) and Jutes (Kent, and before they were taken by the West Saxons, the Isle of Wight and Hampshire). Most Northumbrians (who are generally extremely proud of their heritage could tell the author this)...Eastern Lowland Scotland and it's language (which thankfully was not included) is also derived from the same Northumbrian kingdom, originally Bernicia (with the far north of land being Lothene, or as it is called now Lothian).
I think the author meant "Cumbrian" who are indeed partially a Celtic people (truly Anglo-Celtic as they were settled and influenced by Northumbria in the past) but again their language "Cumbric" was a Brythonic language not a Gaelic one.
All of this would have been easy to find out with proper research, and though I support heathen/pagan religion and knowledge of old cultures it should actually be researched rather than "new age" bunk as most of these books usually are.



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About the author (2007)

Barbara Jane Davy holds a Ph.D. in religion from Concordia University, Montreal. She has been engaged in the academic study of Paganism for ten years, and has written articles on Paganism, shamanism, and nature religion ritual studies, environmental ethics, and the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas in journals and encyclopedias. She currently serves as President of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada and has been an active member of the Nature Religion Scholars Network within the American Academy of Religion since 1997.

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