Date of Award
Master of Arts
This research explores the relationships between religious experience and gender identity among contemporary Pagans in America. Personal experience, specifically spiritual experience, is fundamental in how Pagans described not only their spirituality but also their identities. In a social context where the mind is viewed as sacred and the body as profane, contemporary Pagans are challenging hegemonic beliefs. Through linguistic adaptation and linguistic appropriation, men and women in the Pagan community outline new identities for themselves. In the same way that Pagans understand their spirituality through bodily experience, gender and sexuality are also understood through personal experience. Because of the primacy of experience contemporary Pagans have created new frames for understanding, discussing and validating forms of gender and sexuality that are often framed as "alternative."
Holly R. Raabe
Raabe, Holly R., "Witches, heathens and shamans: Religious experience and gender identity among contemporary Pagans in the United States." (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10129.