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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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Don’t Eat the Incense

Don’t Eat the Incense

Children in Ritual

(p.89) 4 Don’t Eat the Incense
Pagan Family Values

S. Zohreh Kermani

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the tensions and ambivalences between the different religious, interpersonal, and social dynamics of Pagan adults and children. These interactions between Pagan adults and children and between Pagan children and other institutions are influenced by specific understandings of the role and nature of the category of the “child.” Pagan adults and children interact with many institutions—scouting organizations, public schools, and other religious traditions—based on specific understandings of what it means to be a “Pagan child” or a “Pagan adult.” The chapter also talks about Pagan parents' methods to include children in public and private religious rituals and Pagan children's improvisations of their own rituals based on their early religious experiences. These examples suggest that understandings of a ritual can be expanded to include informal, ordinary experiences within the family as well as formal ceremonial practices.

Keywords:   Pagan adults, Pagan children, Pagan child, religious rituals, Pagan rituals, religious experiences, ceremonial practices

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