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Paganism And The New Age

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses upon discourse on Paganism and the New Age, reviewing important studies, and discussing critical views on the relationship between these two spiritualities. The birth of modern Paganism can be located in the mid-twentieth century, when Druidry and Wicca came into the public eye. The academic study of Paganism is in its infancy. The first notable work was published by Tanya Luhrmann in 1989, an anthropological study of a magical community in London, in which she asked how ‘normal’, middle class people could come to believe in magic, and its efficacy. One of the earliest academic discussions of Witchcraft and Esotericism is Tiryakian’s anthology of papers On the Margin of the Visible (1974). The chapter focuses on areas where caution should be taken if including Paganism in studies of the New Age, and discussion of some of the criticism thereof.

Keywords: Esotericism; London; New Age; Paganism; Tanya Luhrmann; Wicca; Witchcraft



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