A Southern Italian Perspective on Contemporary Paganism
Keywords:Contemporary Paganism, Italy, Historicity, tarantismo, Catholic Countries
In this article, the result of an ongoing ethnographic fieldwork among a contemporary Pagan group in the Salento area of Italy, I research the peculiar expression of contemporary Pagan spiritualities centered on the interpretation of a “traditional” local dance called pizzica. I focus on the specific way of understanding and living time and temporality among this group that happens through the performance of this dance. In particular, by presenting the particular historicity—i.e. the way in which time and temporality are understood and experienced—of the Salentine group I studied that I refer to as “expanded present” or “presence,” I argue for a re-articulation of the relationships between contemporary Paganism and “history,” “tradition,” and the “reconstructionist/eclectic” spectrum in understanding contemporary Paganisms.
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