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Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society (Vitality of Indigenous Religions) Hardcover – 28 Jan 2010


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Review

'The book gives a clear and vivid account of the activities of the Pagans who were central to the author's research, describing their rituals, their views, and their backgrounds. ... an intriguing account and leaves one with a desire to know more about these young people living a secret life and their participation in the very different society in which they have been brought up.' Journal of Contemporary Religion '... well-written, original, intelligent, and a very valuable contribution to the empirical literature on modern Paganism. It is highly recommended.' Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review '...this book is not just about how contemporary pagan identities are crafted in Malta. Keeping the long, historical relationship between Christianity and Europe in mind, the major contribution of Rountree's work is that it takes us a step further towards the reconsideration of this closely knit relationship; it helps us reconceptualise (what is meant by) religion and spirituality, Christianity and paganism, Neopaganism and 'New Age', materiality, embodiment and the spiritual; it shows that religious boundaries are not so difficult to dissolve, while emphasising on the creativity and fluidity with which religious identities are crafted in the contemporary, globalised world.' Culture and Religion 'I have never visited Malta but after having read this book it feels as if I know the place... . I recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary Malta and to scholars of Neo-Paganism who are interested in local varieties of this religion.' Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 'This book is well-written, original, intelligent, and a very valuable contribution to the empirical literature on modern Paganism. It is highly recommended.' Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 'Rountree's careful and detailed study of this small number of Pagans illuminates a number of important issues. The first is about the construction of identity in a monochrome spiritual setting. ... Rountree also helpfully investigates the presence of Christian folk religion on the island and opens up a new level of spiritual encounter in which both Christians and Pagans have crossover - a level of superstitious behaviour which is designed to keep evil at bay and stay on the side of the good. ... Extracts from Rountree's field study are particularly interesting, as she records her experience of the Pagan rituals that she attended.' Modern Believing '... this book makes a significant contribution to the expanding literature on this group of new religious movements and their practitioners. It will be of interest to scholars of religion as well as Mediterraneanists, and is accessible enough to use as an undergraduate text.' Anthropos 'Rountree's work is interesting not only because it is original, but also because it provides data that can be compared to the study of Paganism in other countries, and also because it links Paganism to the cultural and historical setting in which it emerges and thrives. I consider Rountree's work as a good model of ethnographic research in a controlled setting, a research that can be emulated with profit. This book is very readable and suitable for scholars, students, and the general public alike. I think it should be on the bookshelves of anyone interested in contemporary Paganism and its variations, and in its relationship to Christianity.' Nova Religio

About the Author

Kathryn Rountree is Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Social and Cultural Studies, Massey University, New Zealand

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