Home Annual Meeting Call for Papers Groups Contemporary Pagan Studies
January 2013

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Call for Proposals

This Group invites individual papers, papers session, and roundtable proposals related to all aspects of Pagan studies (including historic) from different parts of the globe. We are particularly interested in the following questions:

  • Recent scholarship has critiqued the field of Pagan studies for being overly oriented towards supporting uncritical, insider perspectives rather than applying scientific-naturalist interpretations and methodologies. (One such critique was Markus Davidsen’s essay, “What’s Wrong with Pagan Studies,” published in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion in 2012.) We invite papers that critically reflect on the ways that various methodologies and approaches produce different information and implicit assumptions. Papers should engage with prevalent methodological and theoretical dialogues, such as those about insider/outsider, caretaker/critic, theological/naturalist, and descriptive/analytical perspectives, and discuss their effects on the study of contemporary Paganism and the growth of this field within the larger discipline of religious studies

  • Pagan religion or religiosity intersects with popular culture in various ways. What can we say about the definition of “Paganism” or indeed of “religion” when considering such phenomena as fairy festivals, the Goth scene and its successors, or civic events such as those produced by the Beltane Fire Society in Edinburgh? This session seeks to explore those areas where religion and/or Paganism extend beyond the institutional and traditionally recognizable forms and the way in which these phenomena have (or haven’t) influenced developments within larger Pagan community. Proposals might consider issues of mutual influence, demographics, and themes. Do these events reflect, supplement, or become incorporated within contemporary Pagan practice?

  • For a possible cosponsored session with the New Religious Movements Group, the reconstruction of a real or imagined past as a religious impulse


This Group provides a place for scholars interested in pursuing studies in this newly developing and interdisciplinary field and puts them in direct communication with one another in the context of a professional meeting. New scholars are welcomed and supported while existing scholars are challenged to improve their work and deepen the level of conversation. By liaising with other AAR Program Units, the Group creates opportunities to examine the place of Pagan religions within a hypermodern society and to examine how other religions may intersect with the dynamic and mutable religious communities that make up Paganism today.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are anonymous to Chairs and Steering Committee members during review, but visible to Chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection.


Chas Clifton
Colorado State University, Pueblo
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Jone Salomonsen
University of Oslo
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Method of Submission


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