Pagan Leaders and Clergy: A Quantitative Exploration
Keywords:Paganism, Neo-Paganism, Contemporary Paganism, Witches, Pagans, Heathens, Clergy, Leaders, Quantitative analysis, statistics, demographics, leadership
AbstractThis quantitative study, based on data from a large-scale national survey of Pagans, Witches and Heathens in the United States (N=3318), compares Pagan leaders and clergy to those who do not hold a formal leadership position in a group. This statistical snapshot includes demographics, characteristics of leaders as Pagans,religious practices, and participation in the larger Pagan communities. Pagan leaders are older, more educated, and have higher household incomes than non-leaders. Although there are more female than male leaders, males are statistically overrepresented in leadership. Leadership is almost all voluntary, and leaders are more likely to make lifestyle choices that emphasize commitment to Paganism. Leaders are more likely to have been formally initiated, have more years of experience in Paganism, and rank themselves as more advanced than non-leaders. They exhibit expertise typically associated with clergy in mainstream religions, and they participate in specialized magickal practices at higher rates than non-leaders. Leaders and clergy are not only more involved in their groups in which they have formal leadership, but also participate in activities as part of the larger “Pagan community” at a higher degree of frequency and take advantage of opportunities and resources in the broader Pagan community more than non-leaders.
Atkinson, Rowland, and John Flint.”Sampling, Snowball: Accessing Hidden and Hard-to-Reach Populations.” In The A-Z of Social Research, edited by Robert L. Miller and John D. Brewer, 274–81. London: SAGE, 2003.
Barner-Barry, Carol. Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781403973382.
Berger, Helen A. ”Are Solitaries the Future of Paganism?” Patheos. August 23, 2010. http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Solitaries-The-Future-Of-Paganism.html.
——. A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.
——. “Solitary Practitioners in the United States.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, November 26, 2013.
——. ”Witchcraft and NeoPaganism.” In Witchcraft and Magic: Contemporary North America, edited by Helen A. Berger, 28–54. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.
Berger, Helen A., Evan A. Leach, and Leigh S. Shaffer. Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2003.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Earnings and Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment, 2015.” Accessed August 4, 2016, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_001.htm.
Carpenter, Dennis D. ”Emergent Nature Spirituality: An Examination of the Major Spiritual Contours of the Contemporary Pagan Worldview.” In Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, edited by James R. Lewis, 35–71. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Davy, Barbara Jane. Introduction to Pagan Studies. Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press, 2007.
Greenwood, Susan. The Nature of Magic: An Anthropology of Consciousness. New York: Berg, 2005.
Griffin, Wendy.”Webs of Women: Feminist Spiritualities.” In Witchcraft and Magic: Contemporary North America, edited by Helen A. Berger, 55–80. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812201253.55.
Magliocco, Sabina. Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812202700.
Pike, Sarah M. New Age and Neopagan Religions in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
Reece, Gwendolyn. “Contemporary Pagans and Stigmatized Identity,” The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 18, no. 1 (2016): 60–95. https://doi.org/10.1558/10.1558/pome/v18i1.27917.
——. “Impediments to Practice in Contemporary Paganism,” The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 16, no. 2 (2014): 150–77. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v16i2.27020.
——. “Prevalence and Importance of Contemporary Pagan Practices,” The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 16, no. 1 (2014): 35–54. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v16i1.20231.
Reid, Síân Lee, and Shelley Tsivia Rabinovitch.”Witches, Wiccans, and Neo-Pagans.” In The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, edited by James R. Lewis, 514–33. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Waldron, David. The Sign of the Witch: Modernity and the Pagan Revival. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2008.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.