Encountering the wilderness, encountering the mist: Nature, romanticism, and contemporary paganism

Anthropology of Consciousness 20 (1):27-52 (2009)
This article asks how ideas about nature in the 18th and 19th century Romantic movement have traveled in and been translated by the various religious groups that constitute contemporary Paganism. Drawing on the work of poets, philosophers, historians, social scientists, and contemporary Pagans themselves, the article argues that contemporary Paganism borrows freely from Romantic notions of inspiration and imagination to craft a vision of nature, that, for them, responds to the emotional and political needs of their own time and place. At the center of this vision is what I describe as the Romantic hero, a figure in search of a more authentic existence in a broadly conceived "natural world.".
Keywords romanticism  nature  paganism  heroism  spirituality
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DOI 10.1111/j.1556-3537.2009.01009.x
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