Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
387 pages
6 x 9 inches
October 2006
Print ISBN: 9781551303147


Neopaganism is the fastest growing new religion in the West. Between the World: Readings in Contemporary Neopaganism provides an engaging and well-rounded introduction to this often misunderstood spiritual tradition.

This provocative new volume breaks away from the negative doomsday cult focus of existing books on new religious movements and provides a clear focus on feminist spirituality, women and religion, and goddess worship. It offers a spiritual context for paganism and introduces the "language" of paganism and earth religions. This book examines contemporary paganism — not just the "streams" from the 1970s and 1980s, but also the increasingly important "streams" of Druidry and Heathenry.

For the first time ever, this book unites essential readings by leading academics and well-known practitioners from all over the world, including Canada. It features the work of Starhawk, Ronald Hutton, Michael York, Graham Harvey, Helen A. Berger, and Wendy Griffith, alongside contemporary Canadian scholars including Lucie Marie-Mai DuFresne, Lori G. Beaman, and Barbara Jane Davy.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Part I: The Voices That Inspired
Chapter 1: Charge of the Goddess – Doreen Valiente
Chapter 2: Sacred Narratives – Starhawk
Chapter 3: I Am a Pagan – Selena Fox
Chapter 4: A Religion without Converts – Margot Adler
Chapter 5: Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Political Reflections – Carol P. Christ

Part II: Introduction to Nature or Earth Religions
Chapter 6: We Cast Our Circles Where the Earth Mother Meets the Sky Father – Sarah Pike
Chapter 7: Definitions and Expressions of Nature Religion in Shamanic Traditions and Contemporary Paganism – Barbara Jane Davy
Chapter 8: Paganism as a World Religion – Michael York

Part III: Contemporary Neopaganism and Witchcraft
Chapter 9: Druidry – Graham Harvey
Chapter 10: To the Tribe Let There Be Children Born – Helen A. Berger
Chapter 11: Wicked Witches of the West: Exploring Court Treatments of Wicca as a Religion – Lori G. Beaman
Chapter 12: In Defence of Magic: Philosophical and Theological Rationalization – Tanya Luhrmann
Chapter 13: Witch Wars: Factors Contributing to Conflict in Canadian Witchcraft Communities – Sian Ried
Chapter 14: Constructing Identity and Divinity: Creating Community in an Elder Religion within a Postmodern World – Jenny Blain
Chapter 15: Weaving a Tangled Web? Pagan Ethics and Issues of History, "Race," and Ethnicity in Pagan Identity – Ann-Marie Gallagher

Part IV: Feminist Spirituality and Goddess Worship
Chapter 16: Mother and Goddess: The Ideological Force of Symbols – Lucie Marie-Mai DuFresne
Chapter 17: The Embodied Goddess: Feminist Witchcraft and Female Divinity – Wendy Griffin
Chapter 18: Finding a Goddess – Ronald Hutton
Chapter 19: The Roots of Feminist Spirituality – Cynthia Eller
Chapter 20: The Colonial Mythology of Feminist Witchcraft – Chris Klassen

Sian Reid

Dr. Sian Ried is a lecturer in the Sociology and Anthropology department at Carleton University. She is currently the lead researcher with the Canadian Pagan Survey Project.


"This is an exciting new book that unites both classic and new work on the growing Neopagan movement. I would use this book. The editor is clearly knowledgeable of the field."
- Helen A. Berger, author of Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States

"There is a need for such a publication. This book will be useful as a complement to a conventional sociology of religion textbook."
- Saroj Chawla, York University

"The collection highlights some of the leading voices in Pagan studies. It also includes some previously unpublished work on comtemporary Paganism in Canada, which has been under surveyed."
- Chas S. Clifton, editor of The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies

"This is a very important anthology to publish. No other anthology addresses Canadian Paganism to this extent. This volume certainly reflects the need to address the growing popularity of Paganism as a new religious movement in Canada."
- Chris Klassen, Wilfrid Laurier University

"This is a very important anthology to publish. No other anthology addresses Canadian Paganism to this extent. This volume certainly reflects the need to address the growing popularity of Paganism as a new religious movement in Canada."
—  Chris Klassen, Wilfrid Laurier University

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