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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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Building Fairy Houses

(p.181) Conclusion
Pagan Family Values

S. Zohreh Kermani

NYU Press

This concluding chapter argues that the study of Pagan parenting and childhood illuminates important features of American parenting and childhood as well as religious communities and imaginations in the twenty-first century. French sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger suggests that religion can be understood not only as a chain of memory, but also as a process of undoing certain kinds of religious, historical, and personal memory. As American parents reformulate conceptions of idealized childhood, they pave the way for experiences that recall Romantic ideals of childhood innocence and wonder. At the same time, they emphasize the mature wisdom and spiritual gravity of these expectations of children. Pagans are not representative of all Americans, but both their specificity and their similarity can illuminate aspects of the American religious imagination.

Keywords:   Paganism, Pagan parenting, Pagan childhood, American parenting, American childhood, Danièle Hervieu-Léger, childhood innocence

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