Navigating fullness and exile in the low countries : constructing contemporary Paganism in- and outside of a secular frame
What do the experiences of contemporary Pagans operating in a supposedly secular environment mean for our understanding of the lived experience of not only religion, but also secularity? How can processes of secularization be understood as tools for self-understanding and self-legitimatization, rather than top-down concepts that precludes the need for further study of religion in contexts that are considered as largely having moved past the transcendent? This article examines the narratives of practitioners who use various elements of secularization discourses to construct their beliefs and self-understanding. Rather than simply considering contemporary Paganism as a response to processes of secularization, this article approaches secularization from the perspective of practicing Pagans in a more inductive way. It utilizes semi-structured interviews carried out among Dutch Pagans to make inferences about the impact of broader processes of religious change on the self-understanding of these practitioners.
religious identity; secularization theory; contemporary Paganism; modernity and religion; The Netherlands
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