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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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A Room Full of FireFlies

A Room Full of FireFlies

(p.114) 5 A Room Full of FireFlies
Pagan Family Values

S. Zohreh Kermani

NYU Press

This chapter delves into some of the debates surrounding the inclusion of children in Pagan rituals and the appropriate level of religious instruction for younger generations. Some Pagan parents respond to the religion's tendency toward the exclusion of children by developing innovative ways to include children in religious ritual and daily practice. The chapter claims that rituals involving Pagan children can challenge scholars and practitioners to rethink understandings of what constitutes religious ritual. Rituals such as blessings and coming-of-age rites are intended to welcome infants and teenagers into Paganism, yet, they are still contested within the religion. The importance of religious choice for Pagan children is a core value within the religion and is one of the few principles that receives nearly unanimous support from adult Pagans.

Keywords:   Pagan rituals, Pagan children, Pagan parents, religious ritual, coming-of-age rites, Paganism, religious choice

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