Contemporary Germanic/Norse Paganism and Recent Survey Data
Issue: Vol 19 No. 1 (2017)
Subject Areas: Religious Studies
In order to address the lack of quantitative studies pertaining specifically to contemporary Germanic/Norse Pagans, the following article relates the data and conclusions of a recently conducted research survey on those adhering to the various traditions dedicated to the pre-Christian Germanic/Norse deities. The survey, which garnered just under three thousand respondents, was distributed globally in order to gain a broader perspective of the demographics and beliefs of those identifying as "Heathen". The research served as part of graduate studies anthropological fieldwork conducted at the University of Amsterdam, and includes a diverse range of demographic data as well as philosophical analysis. The approach of the article utilizes a comparative reference format, with the goal of highlighting macro-trends and challenging existing stereotypes. The conclusions drawn from the data dismiss any attempts to simplify or relegate contemporary Germanic/Norse Pagans to ideologies of bigotry or exclusion. Additionally, the demographic portrait of "Heathenry" proves to be anything other than marginal. Instead, the survey results display an eclectic range of backgrounds and beliefs that shape the complexity of Heathen discourse and organization. These results call for a critical re-analysis of those identifying as contemporary Germanic/Norse Pagans, what they believe, and how those beliefs are being presented.
Author: Joshua Marcus Cragle
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