It’s Not Easy Being Apolitical: Reconstruction and Eclecticism in Danish Asatro
Chapter Summary: This article looks contemporary Norse neo-paganism (Asatro) in Denmark, and how this movement has engaged with concerns about the political implications of their religion. In contrast to other parts of Europe, where reconstructionist forms of paganism are sometimes associated with nationalistic movements, in Denmark there is widespread concern among contemporary pagans of avoiding conflating religion and politics, leading to some tense group dynamics as well as ritual innovations that are the main focus of this article.
Book Summary: Pagan and Native Faith movements have sprung up across Europe in recent decades, yet little has been published about them compared with their British and American counterparts. Though all such movements valorize human relationships with nature and embrace polytheistic cosmologies, practitioners’ beliefs, practices, goals, and agendas are diverse. Often side by side are groups trying to reconstruct ancient religions motivated by ethnonationalism—especially in post-Soviet societies—and others attracted by imported traditions, such as Wicca, Druidry, Goddess Spirituality, and Core Shamanism. Drawing on ethnographic cases, contributors explore the interplay of neo-nationalistic and neo-colonialist impulses in contemporary Paganism, showing how these impulses play out, intersect, collide, and transform.
Amster, Matthew H., "It’s Not Easy Being Apolitical: Reconstruction and Eclecticism in Danish Asatro." Contemporary Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Europe: Colonialist and Nationalistic Impulses. Ed. Kathryn Rountree. (New York, NY: Berghahn, 2015), 43-63.
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