Popular Spiritualities : The Politics of Contemporary Enchantment book cover
1st Edition

Popular Spiritualities
The Politics of Contemporary Enchantment

ISBN 9781032243566
Published December 13, 2021 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

In our contemporary post-modern world, popular forms of spirituality are increasingly engaging with notions of re-enchantment - of self and community. Not only are narratives of re-enchantment appearing in popular culture at the personal and spiritual level, but also they are often accompanied by a pragmatic approach that calls for political activism and the desire to change the world to incorporate these new ideas. Drawing on case studies of particular groups, including pagans, witches, radical faeries, post-modern tourists, and queer and goddess groups, contributors from Australia, the UK and North America discuss various forms of spirituality and how they contribute to self-knowledge, identity, and community life. The book documents an emerging engagement between new quasi-religious groups and political action, eco-paganism, post-colonial youth culture and alternative health movements to explore how social change emerges.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Lynne Hume and Kathleen McPhillips. Part 1 Re-enchantment Tropes in Popular Culture: Liminal beings and the undead: vampires in the 21st century, Lynne Hume; The quest for identity: spiritual feminist ritual as an enactment of medieval romance, Patricia Rose; The Goddess Tour: spiritual tourism/postmodern pilgrimage in search of Atlantis, Bob Hodge; Discworld and otherworld: the imaginative use of fantasy literature among pagans, Graham Harvey; Superheroes and the development of latent abilities: a hyper-real re-enchantment?, Adam Possamai; Memorialization and immortality: religion, community and the internet, Margaret Gibson. Part 2 Queer Enchantment and Religious Borderlands: Enchanting camp: a case study of queer politics through the medium of ritual performance, Michael Carden; Entheogens, elves and other entities: encountering the spirits of shamanic plants and substances, Des Tramacchi; Enchanting women: priestessing in America, Wendy Griffin; Becoming Radical Faerie: queering the spirit of the circle, Bill Rodgers; Drumming and re-enchantment: creating spiritual community, Tanice G. Foltz. Part 3 Disrupting the Rational: Enchantment as Political Response: Believing in post-modernity: technologies of enchantment in contemporary Marian devotion, Kathleen McPhillips; Practising New Age soteriologies in the rational order, Steven J. Sutcliffe; 'There's bulldozers in the fairy garden': re-enchantment narratives within British eco-paganism, Andy Letcher; Reclaiming the future at Goolengook: going feral and becoming native in Australia, Graham St John. Index.

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Lynne Hume is Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland, Australia. Kathleen McPhillips is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.


’The aim of the book is a commendable one - to show how emerging new forms of religious/spiritual practice are vibrant and often embedded in significant social, political and popular contexts... worth reading for anyone wishing to engage seriously with spirituality matters in the contemporary Western world.’ Theological Book Review ’... there is more than enough evidence marshaled here to convince that popular spiritualities are legitimate, innovative, and socially engaged forms of religiosity that deserve to be taken seriously. Recommended for undergraduates and graduate students.’ Religious Studies Review ’The volume certainly adds a new dimension to the study of contemporary spirituality.’ Scientific and Medical Network