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Contemporary Paganism: Listening People, Speaking Earth Paperback – 30 Jul 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: New York University Press (30 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814736203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814736203
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,112,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This text presents a broad-based introduction to the main branches and trends of contemporary Paganism, revealing the character, concerns and practical aspects of druidry, witchcraft, heathenism and geomancy among others.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
What a fabulous piece of work! In this deceptively slender volume from New York University Press, Graham Harvey (Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at King Alfred's Colege in Winchester, UK) writes eloquently about modern Paganism. His writing is clear, fluid, & often witty, making this a real pleasure to read.
As a Pagan, I cannot think of a book I would recommend more highly to "Baby Pagans" or those simply interested in the religious traditions under the umbrella of Paganism - followed swiftly by Ronald Hutton's 'Stations of the Sun' & 'Triumph of the Moon'. Margot Adler's 'Drawing Down The Moon' deals more extensively with many (then) extant groups, but Harvey's spare but lovely prose gives a far clearer insight into what Paganism really is.
Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating read - challenging both in terms of the way it is written and the ideas it contains. Most thought provoking. Needs to be read very slowly - and I wonder if anything has been written since. All his sources are pre the millenium.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent insights into modern Paganism 22 Jun. 2000
By Christine C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book both for Pagans and people researching Paganism. The author examines the practices and beliefs of various different Pagan groups (Druids, Wicca, etc) and what beliefs can be said to define Paganism. It's scattered with quotes from Pagans (and Terry Pratchett novels), and gives a great look into the worldview of neo-Pagans in the UK and around the world.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic! 1 May 2002
By Sheherazahde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not since Starhawk's "Spiral Dance" have I read a book that so accurately represented my beliefs.
Graham Harvey has produced a master work of honest and gentle exploration. When I flip to any page I find clear unbiased expression of the Pagan philosophy and practice. He respectfully documents the primary controversies in and outside of the pagan movement without taking sides. And with plenty of disclaimers about the variety and diversity of the Pagan experience.
I treasured this book from the first time I opened it. It makes me want to be a better person.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Read This Book FIRST! 24 Mar. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best book on modern paganism for those with more than an academic interest in the subject. He presents an amazing amount of comparative information while remaining respectful of all the various tendancies he covers (a welcome departure from most American writers).
Especially for those just beginning their exploration of Paganism as a spritual path, this book is an absolute must. So much confusion I had in the beginning would have been thwarted by having read this book before ANY other!
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Biased and Superficial 24 Feb. 2002
By Francine Nicholson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Graham Harvey has attempted to write an academically sound yet sympathetic assessment of the current neopagan scene. This is in itself commendable. Harvey could have written a book that broke out of the stereotypes of his earlier works (such as those written and edited with Charlotte Hardiman). Unfortunately, his effort is marred by several forms of bias. For one, this book ends up being an apology for some groups, while ignoring the existence of others. For example, those new to the topic will conclude that the only neopagan religion with a "Celtic" flavor is "druidry" as practiced by the British OBOD group, a modern construction built on eighteenth-century views of ancient traditions. This does not reflect reality. In the sections of the book he attempts to present an overivew of contemporary pagan theology where he draws conclusions and generalizations about Celtic belief, practice, and folklore that are superficial and stereotypical. Moreover, Harvey does not escape his UK bias, except with regard to Wiccans where he has drawn heavily on his contacts with US Wiccan groups. Those seeking a thorough overview of contemporary pagan groups should look elsewhere. This book does not live up to its purpose.
Five Stars 26 Aug. 2014
By je'hau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good pagan book.
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