Publication details

Homecoming Experience: Retroactive Interpretation or Valid Analytical Category?



Year of publication 2012
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Margot Adler stated that contemporary Paganism is “a religion without converts”. More recently, Graham Harvey wrote that “people do not convert to Paganism”. So called “Homecoming Experience” or “Coming Home Experience” narrative – a subject of great discussion in the field of Pagan Studies – is very common among the Contemporary Pagans; many of them describe that they have “always been Pagans, they just didn’t know it had a name”, and the acceptance of Pagan identity and finding a community of like-minded people often feels like “coming home”. But how to grasp such narratives? Is it acceptable for the academic Study of Religions to consider such narratives as accurate descriptions of the process of one’s affiliation to Paganism? Or should we see it as constructed personal mythology of Pagan affiliates? Aren’t contemporary Pagans affected by Margot Adler and other authors and scholars in their claims about the process of their affiliation?

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