FW: Something that might interest some Heathens
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From: Christopher Blackwell [mailto:myrddin@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2013 10:12 PM
Subject: Something that might interest some Heathens
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and emergent Religions,
Vol.16, Februaray 2013, pp. 52-76
The Construction of an Ethnic Folkway as Religio-ethnic Identity
This article is the result of ethnographic fieldwork among American
practitioners of Heathenry, a reconstructionist religious movement
whose practitioners align themselves with ancient Germanic and Norse
cosmology. In this article, I respond to previous representations of
Heathenry as racist by exploring the intricacies and nuances of members'
co-construction of their own ethnic folkway. I show that Heathens
construct group boundaries by distinguishing between categories of
folkish and universalist, while mostly living between racial exclusivity
and complete inclusivity. In other words, Heathens self-consciously
establish symbolically meaningful categories to distinguish between
practitioners' understandings of who gets to be Heathen, of racial/ethnic
exclusivity, and complete inclusivity. While some American Heathens find
race or ancestry irrelevant, most do not and all must participate in the
conversations that seek to define Heathenry as an indigenous tradition,
purely a system of faith, or a complex folkway struggling to be ethnic while
resisting racist labels.
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