1st Edition

Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Central and Eastern Europe

By Kaarina Aitamurto, Scott Simpson Copyright 2013

    The resurgence of religiosity in post-communist Europe has been widely noted, but the full spectrum of religious practice in the diverse countries of Central and Eastern Europe has been effectively hidden behind the region's range of languages and cultures. This volume presents an overview of one of the most notable developments in the region, the rise of Pagan and "Native Faith" movements. Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Central and Eastern Europe brings together scholars from across the region to present both systematic country overviews - of Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, and Ukraine - as well as essays exploring specific themes such as racism and the internet. The volume will be of interest to scholars of new religious movements especially those looking for a more comprehensive picture of contemporary paganism beyond the English-speaking world.

    Introduction: Native Faith and Neo-Pagan Movements in Central and Eastern Europe, Scott Simpson & Kaarina Aitamurto PART I: OVERVIEWS 1. A Postcolonial Key to Understanding CEE Neopaganisms, Piotr Wiench 2. Selected Words for Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Central & Eastern Europe, Scott Simpson & Mariusz Filip 3. Romanticism and the Rise of Neo-Paganism in Central and Eastern Europe: the Polish Case, Agnieszka Gajda 4. Russian Neo-Paganism: from Ethnic Religion to Racial Violence, Victor Shnirelman PART II: COUNTRY STUDIES 5. Contemporary Paganism in Lithuanian Context: Principal Beliefs and Practices of Romuva, Rasa Pranskeviciute 6. The Dievturi Movement in Latvia as Invention of Tradition, Gatis Ozolins 7. Polish Rodzimowierstwo: Strategies for (Re)Constructing a Movement, Scott Simpson 8. Ukrainian Paganism and Syncretism: 'This Is Indeed Ours!" Mariya Lesiv 9. Russian Rodnoverie: Six Portraits of a Movement, Alexey Gaidukov & Kaarina Aitamurto 10. Czech Neo-Pagan Movementsand Leaders, Anna-Marie Dostalova 11. Neo-Paganism in Slovenia, Ales Crnic 12. Bulgarian Society and the Diversity of Pagan and Neo-Pagan Themes, Vladimir Dulov 13. Romanian Ethno-Paganism: Discourses of Nationalistic Religion, Laszlo-Attila Hubbes 14. Neopaganism in Hungary: Under the Spells of Roots, Reka Szilardi 15. Neopaganism in the Mari El Republic, Boris Knorre 16. A Neopagan Movement in Armenia: The Children of Ara, Konrad Siekierski & Yulia Antonyan PART III: THEMATIC STUDIES 17. The Ideology of Jan Stachniukand the Power of Creation, Maciej Strutynski 18. "Imported" Paganisms in Poland in the 21st Century: A Sketch of the Developing Landscape, Maciej Witulski 19. Russian-language Internet and Rodnoverie, Alexey Gaidukov Notes Bibliography Index


    Kaarina Aitamurto is Research Fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Scott Simpson is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of European Studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and author of Native Faith: Polish Neo-Paganism at the Brink of the 21st Century (Nomos, 2000)

    "This volume is a thorough and valuable contribution to the study of modern pagan and Native Faith movements in Central and Eastern Europe. The collection provides both a broad reflection on the topic as well as specific challenges to its myths and paradigms. Aitamurto and Simpson offer the reader an exquisite opportunity to journey to an area of scholarly research which still, to some extent, remains terra incognita."

    - Ruta Skriptaite, Slavonic and East European Review