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Pagan Family ValuesChildhood and the Religious Imagination in Contemporary American Paganism$
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S. Zohreh Kermani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814769744

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814769744.001.0001

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Parenting in Neverland

Parenting in Neverland

(p.70) 3 Parenting in Neverland
Pagan Family Values

S. Zohreh Kermani

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the many ways Pagan adults present themselves as “childlike” in an attempt to both usurp and invert traditional understandings of power, responsibility, privilege, and spirituality. Adult Pagans also frequently suggest that children may be unable to participate appropriately in religious ritual. The chapter questions whether the religion's emphasis on childlike wonder encourages a disingenuous rejection of adulthood among Pagan adults, and probes into how these adults position themselves as eternal children in the process of raising children of their own. A fundamental tension in the study of Pagan families involves dissonant messages from adults to children regarding explicit and implicit moral codes, as well as dissonance between these adults' ideals and behaviors.

Keywords:   Pagan adults, childlike adults, power, responsibility, privilege, spirituality, moral codes, Pagan families

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