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Displaying: 1-10 of 19 documents


articles
1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Per Faxneld, Bleed for the Devil: Self-injury as Transgressive Practice in Contemporary Satanism, and the Re-enchantment of Late Modernity
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Using ethnographic method combined with analysis of primary sources like mass media appearances, song lyrics and websites, the article examines ritualized self-injury in the Black Metal milieu. It is shown that this type of ascetic mortification is no aberration in the history of religions, but diverges from older forms of Satanism. Self-injury functions in Black Metal Satanism as a symbol of transgression and virile bravado, and as a means to display allegiance to the Satanic cause by permanently marking the body. It is typically described by practitioners as a blood sacrifice to Satan. This ritualization of self-injury, where it is explicitly framed as a practice completely different from anything occurring in a secular context, is part of a broader endeavor in the milieu, which seeks to re-enchant a late modernity perceived to be devoid of spiritual values. Increasing mass media attention to self-injury, there postulated as a (secular) mental health problem among adolescent girls, has therefore lessened its usefulness as a sacralized and masculine transgressive symbol. This, it is argued, explains the declining emphasis on it in the Satanic milieu in recent years.
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Ronald Hutton, Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective: The Case of Modern Paganism
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This article explores the relationship between mainstream and orthodox historical scholarship, and the appearance and nature of the modern religion of Pagan witchcraft or Wicca. It suggests that such scholarship was directly responsible both for the appearance of Wicca and the form which it has taken, producing a complex interaction between the religion and more recent academic history-writing, by turns mutually supportive and adversarial. It also, however, examines the relationship between historians of Wicca itself and wider contemporary society, arguing that this is frequently fraught in itself, as an uninformed public hostility to Pagan witchcraft can be applied to those who study it. The result is a series of loops of reference and understanding or misunderstanding, with scholarly history, past and present, connecting all.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Kaarina Aitamurto, The Liaison of Nationalism, Conservatism, and Leftist Ideology within Rodnoverie
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Previous studies of contemporary Slavic Paganism in Russia—Rodnoverie—agree that nationalism is one of the central features of the movement. While in the West nationalism and conservatism are often assumed to be predominantly linked to right-wing politics, in Russia they also manifest themselves in in the framework of leftist political thinking. This article introduces several case studies of Rodnoverie groups and thinkers that illustrate the myriad ways in which conservative nationalism and leftist ideology are amalgamated into the movement. Some Rodnovers identify as leftist, but promote flagrantly nationalist and ultra-conservative ideas. Others—who draw sharp divisions between “us” and “them” on a national or ethnic basis, subscribe to conservative and pro-authoritarian ideas, and distinguish themselves from the political left—may still resort to such traditional leftist themes as social justice and economic equality. The analysis demonstrates that Rodnoverie societal thinking reflects the Soviet legacy, but also resembles contemporary European populism.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Bina Nir, From “In the Beginning God Created” to “Time is Money”: The Nostalgia for Mystic Time in Western Culture
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The aim of this article is to delineate fundamental conceptions of the meaning of time in Western culture, from the beginning of monotheism until the present time, from an understanding of the construction of Western time. This understanding will enable us to consider the perception of time characteristic of the New Age culture as nostalgia for mystic time. The Hebrew Bible, which is the ideological basis of Christianity, is the source of the concept of linear time. Two different types of time exist in the Bible: eternal, mystic time belonging to God, and mundane, linear, historical time. Finally, the conception of time became connected to the process of secularization, described in this article as the disappearance of mystic time. The “New Age” culture reverses the trend of secularism and individualism. One of the common characteristics of elements of this culture is the change in the perception of time.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
James R. Lewis, Sverre Andreas Fekjan, New Religions, Contemporary Paganism, and Paranormal Beliefs
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Using data generated from questionnaires containing select items from the Baylor Religion Survey, the current study proposes to examine the paranormal interests and beliefs of participants in two specific alternative spiritual movements, contemporary Paganism and the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA). The analysis will be framed by a discussion of the larger alternative spiritual milieu in which these movements are rooted, and how belief in the paranormal is correlated more with this milieu than with involvement in these NRMs.
review essay
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Norman Simms, Religio Duplex: How The Enlightenment Reinvented Egyptian Religion. By Jan Assmann, translated by Robert Savage
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book reviews
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack, Understanding Chinese Religions. By Joachim Gentz
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8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack, Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power. By John L. Sullivan
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Xudong Ning, The Cultural Economy of Falun Gong in China: A Rhetorical Perspective. By Xiao Ming
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10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Introduction
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