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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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My Dream Come True

My Dream Come True

(p.153) 6 My Dream Come True
Pagan Family Values

S. Zohreh Kermani

NYU Press

This chapter discusses Pagan life-cycle rituals and the ambivalence they elicit by considering the formal inclusion of children into contemporary Paganism through adult-led rituals such as Wiccanings and coming-of-age rites. As Pagan adults conduct these rituals, they simultaneously reject the compulsory transmission of religious belief or practice. This means that Pagan children are welcomed into their parents' religion but are neither expected nor particularly encouraged to accept and practice these traditions themselves. Contemporary Paganism prioritizes religious choice, tolerance, and independence over familial or cultural homogeneity, potentially complicating both the growth of the religion and religious dynamics within families and communities. In the process of constructing, and performing these life-stage rituals, Pagan adults express deep ambivalence about childhood, adulthood, religious choice, and the fundamental values of their religious worlds.

Keywords:   Pagan life-cycle rituals, contemporary Paganism, Wiccanings, coming-of-age rites, Pagan adults, Pagan children, cultural homogeneity

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