Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, Vol 16, No 2 (2014)

Conversion as Colonization: Pagan Reconstructionism and Ethnopsychiatry

Anne Ferlat
Issued Date: 25 Aug 2015


The present study examines contemporary Pagan movements which, situated on a spectrum with native faiths (“reconstructionist movements”) and universalist groups, exemplify two philosophical and religious trends: universalism and indigenism. Through forms of crosscultural psychology, sometimes called “ethnopsychiatry,” I compare contemporary Paganism to the colonization of indigenous populations through the development of acculturation models and the analysis of the benefit of reclaiming one’s own culture. I analyze from a sociological perspective what their native faiths bring to members of Pagan reconstructionist movements in societies which have endured different waves of acculturation. I argue that after modernity, liquid modernity or postmodernity, transmodernity is at the core debate in our multicultural societies, in particular, in Europe where the discussions about identity are virulent and show a disorientation of a continent and political institutions, which oscillate between multiculturalism and federalist/separatist viewpoints. In such a context, native faiths might inspire political and cultural projects as Europe is seeking and searching for common denominators.

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DOI: 10.1558/pome.v16i2.21546


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