The study of paganism is moving from an offbeat specialty involving new religious movements to a full-fledged academic field in itself, reportsReligion Bookline (Dec. 21).
The change is most evident in the upcoming publication of “Introduction to Pagan Studies,” the first textbook in the field. The volume, edited by Barbara Davy and Wendy Griffin and published by AltaMira Press, is the first textbook to look at paganism from the religious studies perspective. It is significant because it is an introduction to the study of paganism as a world religion, as “opposed to an artifact of history,” writes Kimberly Winston.
The text is coming at a time when paganism is finding increasing scholarly attention, often from leading academic presses. Such books as Researching Paganisms by Jenny Ezzy and Graham Harvey and Contemporary Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America by Carol Barner-Barry, are also finding crossover appeal, as they are very well received by pagan community.