Modern Paganism as a Legitimating Framework for Post-Materialist Values


  • Mika Lassander The Open University



post-materialist value change, human values, modern paganism, new religions


In this article I argue that the emergence of new religious movements may be a result of an adaptation of world-views to the changing needs of individuals in post-industrial societies. I explore the relation of the emergence of new religious movements and changes in social values. I compare value priorities of people who identify themselves as Pagans and those of a sample of the Open University students, who represent the United Kingdom's mainstream population. The Pagans were found to emphasise post-materialist values significantly more than the OU students. Individuals’ values were also found to be related to their view of interpersonal relations. People who have egalitarian view of others endorse post-materialist values with emphasis on universalism, while people with a competitive view of interpersonal relations endorse post-materialist values with emphasis on achievement. Furthermore, while the majority of Pagans have similar value priorities, minority sub-groups were found with significantly different priorities.

Author Biography

Mika Lassander, The Open University

Mika Lassander received a M.A. in comparative religion from the University of Helsinki. He is a Ph.D. candidate in religious studies at the Open University, UK, and his thesis explores the links between values and religious change. He has contributed to two book chapters on Pagan world-views and one on the use of metaphors and rhetoric in religion (published in Finnish).


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How to Cite

Lassander, M. (2009). Modern Paganism as a Legitimating Framework for Post-Materialist Values. Pomegranate, 11(1), 74–96.