Posts Tagged ‘American religion’

CFP: 2017 AAR Contemporary Pagan Studies Group

All the calls for the 2017 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion are now online. The meeting itself will be held 18–21 November in Boston. The Pagan studies theme is “Witch Hunts: Rhetorical, Historical and Contemporary.” The term “witch hunt” is used as a rhetorical strategy in contemporary political discourses, and yet there […]

Thoughts on Pagan Studies after the 2016 AAR Meeting (2)

1. A Colorado Springs hotel banquet hall, early 1980s. A young business reporter at the Colorado Springs Sun, I am attending a big luncheon meeting of the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) because the speaker is someone whom I want to cover. Before we eat, a Protestant Christian minister delivers an invocation in the name […]

“American Gods” as a Challenge to the Study of Religion

I am still waiting to see American Gods on the screen; meanwhile, scholars of religion are turning to the book and upcoming TV series to see how they challenge conventional views of what “religion” is, particulary in the classroom. In the first of a series at the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog — […]

North America’s Four-Footed God

When I was new to Paganism, I thought about pantheons. Should I be signing with Team Celtic, Team Roman, Team Germanic, or whom? Now I don’t really care. Sometimes you don’t come to the pantheon, the pantheon comes to you — and it may be a motley crew at that. My own pantheon includes Hermes, […]

Kicked Back in Time

I was contacted a couple of months ago by family members of  the two defendants in a Wicca-related murder case. It was big news in the American Craft network1)I prefer that word to “community”—especially for that era. circa 1977–80. If you remember it, fine. If not, I am not going to summarize it now because […]

Why Pagans Aren’t at Home in “Interfaith” Groups

In 2009, the CESNUR organization for the study of new religions held its annual international conference in Salt Lake City. The panels, papers, and speaker events ended with a dinner at the historic Alta Club, which is drippingly gorgeous in a sort of late Victorian/Arts & Crafts style. I would have skipped the roast beef […]

“Witches of America”: Sitting at the Cool Kids’ Table

I finally read Alex Mar’s Witches of America, and it is better than I thought, based on some of the reviews that I had seen, like this piece of negativity, for example: “[a] sordidly pornographic and self-aggrandising narrative” or this one: “extremely judgmental,” or the Complete Hurt Feelings Wrap-up here. First, this is not a […]

Still Enchanted After All These Years

The Guardian, a British newspaper, profiles Enchantments in Manhattan,  which “after 34 years in business in the East Village, with the recession and the rising rents of gentrification claiming so many small businesses . . . might make anyone believe in magic.” Read the whole thing. (Thanks to Mama Fauna.)

Spirits, Photography, and the Burned-Over District

Why was the Eastman Kodak Company founded in Rochester, New York, not far from the town of Hydesville (now part of Arcadia Township), where the Fox sisters birthed the American Spiritualist movement? Is there a connection between photography and spirits? Esoteric photographer Rik Garret tof Chicago says yes, and he has launched a YouTube video […]

Thoughts after a Funeral

A member of my little rural volunteer fire department died last week at the age of 47.1)It was not a line-of-duty death; other causes So the chief, the treasurer, and I put on our rarely worn dress uniforms for the funeral — M. came too — and we went off to a little rectangular funeral […]