This introductory chapter states the book's aim to examine the interactions between contemporary Pagan adults and children as they establish, inhabit, and negotiate understandings of childhood, adulthood, and the religious imagination. Although contemporary North American Pagan adults and children frequently emerge from a predominantly middle-class environment, Pagan adults' understandings of the religious and social worlds of childhood, relationships between parents and children, and memories of their own religious childhoods depart from those of mainstream Americans. The book indicates that contemporary American Pagans draw on rich, diverse, mythologized understandings of their religion's history to construct a theoretical understanding of childhood as a realm of wonder, fantasy, and religious wisdom that adults frequently attempt to re-inhabit. In many ways, Pagan adults displace Pagan children from the realm of childhood.
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