New Religious Movement: Modern Paganism

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Modern Paganisms such as Wicca serve primarily to fulfil the spiritual needs of believers in a manner supporting their pre-existing ideological convictions; as is shown by the diversity of opinion regarding the sacred within this spectrum of New Religious Movements. There are a multitude of sects within Modern Paganism, all claiming roots in the primordial past. In reaction to the growth of secularism throughout the 20th Century, various groups self-organized based upon a revived ‘natural spirituality’. The ‘natural’ element therein emphasizes the organic community, typically with ecological and cultural overtones, and usually in contrast to ‘mainstream’ societal attitudes. A common resource utilized by these widely divergent movements is the …show more content…
As such, aspects of heritage including language and folklore are commonly adopted as articles of faith. These practices in many cases lead to a strong correlation between Paganism and nationalism; conversely many other Pagans emphasise progressive thoughts of equality and fraternity at a global scale, focusing an accepting ethos towards topics of sexuality and multiculturalism. Finally, the beliefs and practises of New Religious Movements have faced various responses from the established traditions. In the case of Modern Paganism, such responses have ranged from avowed hostility to government sponsorship. Such disparities are best explained through an examination of the broad scope of Modern Paganism, which includes several major denominations. In conclusion; comparing Wicca, the related Druidry movement and other reconstructed faiths, Esoteric Mysticism and Neo-Shamanism will elucidate the contrasting ideas of the sacred held across the Neopagan spectrum of New Religious …show more content…
While all streams are universal in holding that each individual has an innate, divine link with Creation, and shares a responsibility for its nurture, some movements hold that different cultures rightly express this link in different ways. As such, some Neopagans decry what they see as cultural appropriation, for instance of Native American traditions by Westerners, and advocate that each nation strive to retain their own traditions. While such concerns may be reasonable, exclusive Neopagan movements, many of which define themselves as ‘tribal’ or ‘folkish’, are in many cases hostile to other faith traditions. Chiefly, many forms of revived European polytheism are overtly hostile to both Judaism and Christianity. This disdain often includes conspiratorial canards, often recycling those historically held by Christians against Jews, Protestants against Catholics, etc. In at least one case such hostility has led to acts of domestic terrorism; in … Norwegian black-metal musician and convicted murderer Varg Vikarnes bombed a historic Cathedral in the name of Odin.

For the non-folkish forms of Modern Paganism, questions of ethnicity are less important than those of morality. Many forms of Modern Neopaganism have an earthy focus on open sexual expression, and indeed quite a libertine worldview. While it is rare to find a Neopagan opposed to sexual expression outside marriage,

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