RLB510 Neopaganism

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Matouš Vencálek (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Šárka Londa Vondráčková
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
each even Monday 19:10–20:45 B2.43
RLA01 Introduction to Religion || RLKA01 Introduction to Religion
The students of the Study of Religions are required to be absolvents of the course Introduction to the Study of Religions. The capability of students from other fields will be assessed individually.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 2/50, only registered: 0/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/50
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course gives basic overview of the roots and historical development of Neo-Paganism (often called also Modern or Contemporary Paganism(s)) in the world as well as in the Czech and Slovak Republic, basic information on remarkable Neo-Pagan movements, as well as on the relation of Contemporary Paganism and Modern Society (institutionalization of Neo-Pagan movements, discrimination of Modern Pagans, Pagan radicalism, political and value orientation of Modern Pagans, etc.) and the development and trends in Pagan Studies, i.e. the academic study of Contemporary Paganism.

After finishing the course the student will:
  • Know basic facts about Contemporary Paganism
  • Know the roots, evolution and typology of Neo-Pagan movements
  • Be able to orientate himself in the relation of Contemporary Paganism and modern society
  • Know the evolution and trends in the study of Contemporary Paganism
  • Be able to analyze theoretical and methodological problems of the study of Contemporary Paganism and the causes of troubles that affect the construction of Contemporary Pagansim as a scientific category
  • Syllabus
    • Introduction, delimitation of Neo-paganism and the problems of definition
    • Roots and evolution of Contemporary Paganism in the world and in the Czech and Slovak Republic
    • Remarkable Neo-Pagan movements
    • Neopaganism and Society
    • Neopaganism and Radicalism
    • Shaping of Pagan Studies, problems of the academic study of Modern Paganism
    • Final test
      required literature
    • Modern pagan and native faith movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Edited by Kaarina Aitamurto - Scott Simpson. First published. Durham: Acumen, 2013. x, 358. ISBN 9781844656622. info
    • Modern paganism in world cultures : comparative perspectives. Edited by Michael F. Strmiska. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2005. ix, 382. ISBN 1851096132. info
    • ANCZYK, Adam and Matouš VENCÁLEK. Coming Home to Paganism: Theory of Religious Conversion or a Theological Principle? Studia Religiologica, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 2013, vol. 46, No 3, p. 161-171. ISSN 0137-2432. doi:10.4467/20844077SR.13.013.1601. info
    • DAVIDSEN, Markus Altena. What is Wrong with Pagan Studies. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion: Journal of the North American Association for the Study of Religion, Leiden-Boston-Koeln: NAASR, 2012, vol. 24, No 2, p. 183-199. ISSN 0943-3058. doi:10.1163/157006812X634881. info
      recommended literature
    • ADLER, MARGOT. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. New York: Penguin Group, 1996. info
    • HARVEY, Graham. Contemporary Paganism: Religion of the Earth from Druids and Witches to Heathems and Ecofeminists. New York, 2011. info
    • HUTTON, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-162241-9. info
    • LEWIS, James R. and Murphy PIZZA. Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Leiden: Brill, 2009. ISBN 978-90-04-16373-7. info
    • LEWIS, James. Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999. ISBN 1-57607-134-0. info
    • YORK, Michael. Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion. New York: New York University Press, 2003. info
    Teaching methods
    The course consists of lectures and discussions in classes. Part of home preparation is reading of the provided literature.
    Assessment methods
    To absolve this course the students are required to:

    1) Actively participate in classes.
    2) Pass the final test (at least 60 points out of 100).
    3) Submit an essay on chosen topic related to the course subject. The essay will have 2-3 pages (i.e. 3,600-5,400 characters), will be written in correct English (Czech/Slovak) without typos or grammatical errors. Essays are to be submitted into the appropriate folder in Study materials in the Information system. The maximum of points attributable for the essay is 100, minimal gain for passing is 60.
    The minimal gain from the test and essay is therefore 120/200 points together, whereas it is necessary to gain at least 60 points from each - i.e. it is not enough to get e.g. 100 points from the test and 20 points from the essay).
    Language of instruction
    Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
    Study Materials
    The course is taught annually.
    Information on course enrolment limitations: Zápis mimo religionistiku je podmíněn souhlasem vyučujícího.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2016.
    • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
    • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2017/RLB510