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Magical children and meddling elders: Paradoxical patterns in contemporary pagan cultural transmission

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a contrast to Helen Berger's prediction based on observation and data collected from ethnographic fieldwork done among the Pagan community in Minnesota's Twin Cities, otherwise known by members as &t;Paganistan&t;. The focus on the transmission of values and culture from one generation to the next in contemporary Paganism is an issue that the author has been documenting carefully. The advising, mentoring, establishing of roles, and transmission of shared Pagan values and Pagan culture are actually part of a cyclical process of community building in Paganistan. Bergers description of the influence of children on contemporary Paganism evokes the image of a new growth in the garden that eventually takes over and chokes the rest of the greenery; homogeneity appears to be inevitable, and the community is preparing itself to be awash in a more mainstream expression.

Keywords: contemporary Paganism; Helen Berger



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