Book Excerpt: <i>The Mists of Cyberhenge: Mapping the Modern Pagan Internet</i>

Authors

  • Douglas E. Cowan University of Missouri-- Kansas City

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v7i1.59

Keywords:

paganism, e-religion, web-based religion, cyberworlds,

Abstract

Since its popular inception in the mid-1990s, the World Wide Web has been subject to a set of interrelated mythologies about its potential as a social technology. Virtual reality has been confused with online activity, the question of computer-mediated community has been debated, and researchers have begun to explore the Internet’s impact on religious belief and practice. This excerpt addresses some of these concerns in terms of the Internet more generally and modern Paganism on the Internet more specifically. While some Pagans regard the Net as the next leap in magickal evolution, others consider it little more than a global notice board for the privileged classes. This is an extract from Douglas E. Cowan, Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet (New York: Routledge, 2005), 224 pp. Reprinted with kind permission.

Author Biography

Douglas E. Cowan, University of Missouri-- Kansas City

Douglas E. Cowan is associate professor of religious studies and sociology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is the author of the Remnant Spirit: Conservative Reform in Mainline Protestantism and Bearing False Witness? An Introduction to the Christian Countercult. He is co-editor, with Lorne L. Dawson, of Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet, also published by Routledge.

References

Abbate, Janet. Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1999.

Aycock, Alan. “‘Technologies of the Self’: Foucault and Internet Discourse.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 1.2 (1996).

Benthov, Itzhak. Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977.

Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Penguin Books, 1967.

Berland, Judy. “Cultural Technologies and the ‘Evolution’ of Technological Cultures.” In The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory, edited by A. Herman and T. Swiss, 235-58. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Bohm, David. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge, 1980.

Bonewits, P. E. I. Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1989.

Brasher, Brenda. Give me that Online Religion. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Cabot, Laurie, and Tom Cowan. Power of the Witch. New York: Delta, 1989.

Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. New York: Random House, 1975.

Carr-Gomm, Philip, ed. The Druid Renaissance: The Voice of Druidry Today. London: Thorsons, 1996.

Castells, Manuel. The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Clarke, Arthur C. Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible. New York: Popular Library, 1977.

Collins, Andrew. Gods of Eden: Egypt’s Lost Legacy and the Genesis of Civilization. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2002.

Cowan, Douglas, and Jeffrey K. Hadden. “Virtually Religious: New Religious Movements and the World Wide Web.” In The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, edited by James R. Lewis, 119-40. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St Paul: Llewellyn, 1988.

Danet, Brenda, Lucia Ruedenberg-Wright, and Yehudit Rosenbaum-Tamari. “‘Hmmm… Where’s that Smoke Coming from?’: Writing, Play and Performance on Internet Relay Chat.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 2.4 (1997).

Davis, Erik. Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998.

Dawson, Lorne. “Religion and the Quest for Virtual Community.” In Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet, edited by Lorne Dawson and Douglas Cowan, 75-89. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Dewdney, Christopher. “Advanced Thinking.” Advanced Manufacturing (1999) [cited 11 November 2003]. Available from www.advancedmanufacturing.com /june99 /advanced.htm.

Donath, Judith S. “Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community.” In Communities in Cyberspace, edited by M. A. Smith and P. Kollock, 29-59. London: Routledge, 1999.

Donath, Judith S., Karrie Karahalios, and Fernanda Viégas. “Visualizing Conversation.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 4.4 (1999).

Elder, J. “A Midsummer’s Pagan Internet Dream.” Circle Network News (Winter 1996): 14.

Farrar, Janet, and Stewart Farrar. The Witches’ Way: Principles, Rituals and Beliefs of Modern Witchcraft. Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, 1984.

Fisher, Amber Laine. Philosophy of Wicca. Toronto: ECW Press, 2002.

Gardner, Gerald. High Magic’s Aid. Hinton, WV: Godolphin House, 1996 [1949].

Gould, Stephen Jay. “Nonoverlapping Magisteria.” Natural History (March 1997): 16- 22.

Greene, Brian. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and Quest for the Ultimate Theory. New York: Norton, 1999.

Hadden, Jeffrey K., and Douglas Cowan. “The Promised Land or Electronic Chaos? Toward Understanding Religion on the Internet.” In Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises, edited by J.K. Hadden and Douglas Cowan, 3-21. Amsterdam: JAI/Elsevier Science, 2000.

Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon. Where Wizards Stay up Late: The Origins of the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Harrold, Frances, and Raymond Eve. Cult Archaeology and Creationism: Understanding Pseudoscientific Beliefs about the Past. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995.

Heim, Michael. The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Krassnova, Galina. “Care and Feeding of Your (Magical) Computer.” newWitch (Spring 2003): 15-16.

Liu, Geoffrey Z. “Virtual Community Presence in Internet Relay Chatting.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (1999) [cited 1 January 2004]. Available from http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol5/issue1/liu.htm.

Lockard, Joseph. “Progressive Politics, Electronic Individualism and the Myth of Virtual Community.” In Internet Culture, edited by D. Porter, 219-31. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Luhrmann, Tanya. Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Lurking Bear, Ian. “Ritual Reality?” (1994) [cited 26 August 2003]. Available from www.feri.com/lurkingbear/antiweb/reality.html.

McCutcheon, Russel T. Critics not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001.

McLoughlin, Margaret L., Kerry K. Osborne, and Christine B. Smith. “Standards of Conduct on Usenet.” In Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, edited by Stephen G. Jones, 90-111. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995.

McSherry, Lisa. “The Art of Ritual Class.” JaguarMoon Cyber Coven (2000) [cited 26 August 2003]. Available from www.jaguarmoon.org/AoRclass.htm.

???. The Virtual Pagan: Exploring Wicca and Paganism through the Internet. Boston: Weiser Books, 2002.

Morrison, Dorothy. “Magical Aids for Cyberspace Travel.” Circle Network News (Winter 1996): 21.

Myers, David. “Anonymity Is Part of the Magic: Individual Manipulation of Computer-Mediated Communication Contexts.” Qualitative Sociology 10.3 (1987): 251-66.

Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Nichols, Ross. In The Book of Druidry, edited by John Matthews and Philip CarrGomm. London: Aquarian, 1975.

Peat, F. David. Superstrings and the Search for a Theory of Everything. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1988.

???. Synchronicity: The Bridge between Matter and Mind. New York: Bantam Books, 1987.

Peat, F. David, and John P. Briggs. Looking Glass Universe: The Emerging Science of Wholeness. New York: Cornerstone Library, 1984.

Pew Internet & American Life Project. “Daily Internet Activities.” (2003) [cited 1 September 2003]. Available from www.pewinternet.org/reports.

Picknett, Lynn, and Clive Prince. The Stargate Conspiracy. New York: Berkley Books, 1999.

Raël. Let’s Welcome Our Fathers from Space: They Created Humanity in their Laboratories. Tokyo: AUM Corporation, 1986.

Rafaeli, Sheizaf, and Fay Sudweeks. “Networked Interactivity.” Journal of ComputerMediated Communication (1997) [cited 1 January 2994]. Available from www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol2/issue4/rafaeli.sudweeks.html.

Raymond, Eric Steven. The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly & Associates, 1999.

Rutter, Jason, and Greg Smith. “Presenting the Off-Line Self in an Everyday, Online Environment.” (1999) [cited 28 October 2003]. Available from http://les1.man .ac.uk/cric/JasonRutter/papers/Self.pdf.

Salomonsen, Jone. Enchanted Feminism: The Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco. London: Routledge, 2002.

Sant. “Paganism and the Net: Oil and Water?” Circle Network News (Winter 1996): 18.

Schroeder, Ralph. Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

Shields, Rob. “Hypertext Links: The Ethic of the Index and its Space-Time Effects.” In The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory, edited by A. Herman and T. Swiss, 145-60. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Simmel, Georg. “The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies.” American Journal of Sociology 11(4) (1906): 441-98.

Sitchin, Zecharia. The 12th Planet. New York: Avon Books, 1976.

???. Divine Encounters: A Guide to Visions, Angels, and Other Emissaries. New York: Avon Books, 1996.

???. Genesis Revisited: Is Modern Science Catching up with Ancient Knowledge? New York: Avon Books, 1990.

???. The Wars of Gods and Men. New York: Avon Books, 1985.

Skelton, Robin. The Practice of Witchcraft. Vancouver: Beache Holme, 1997.

Slouka, Mark. War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality. New York: Basic Books, 1995.

Starhawk. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.

Stark, Rodney. “Reconceptualizing Religion, Magic, and Science.” Review of Religious Research 43.2 (2001): 101-20.

Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

Telesco, Patricia. “Technological Magic.” Circle Network News (Winter 1996): 17.

Telesco, Patricia, and Sirona Knight. The Wiccan Web: Surfing the Magic on the Internet. New York: Citadel Press, 2001.

Temple, Robert. The Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence for Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago. London: Arrow, 1998.

Tillich, Paul. Dynamics of Faith. New York: Harper, 1957.

Tönnies, Ferdinand. Community and Association. Translated by C.P. Loomis. London: Routledge & Paul, 1955.

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Touchstone, 1995.

Von Däniken, Erich. Chariots of the Gods: Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. Translated by M. Heron. New York: Putnam, 1969.

???. Gods from Outer Space: Return to the Stars, or Evidence from the Impossible. Translated by M. Heron. New York: Bantam Books, 1970.

Watson, Nessim. “Why we Argue about Virtual Community.” In Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety, edited by Steven G. Jones, 102-32. London: Sage, 1997.

Wilbur, Shawn P. “An Archaeology of Cyberspaces: Virtuality, Community, Identity.” In Internet Culture, edited by David Porter, 5-22. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Willson, Michelle. “Community in the Abstract: A Political and Ethical Dilemma?” In The Cybercultures Reader, edited by David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy, 644-57. London: Routledge, 2000.

Wilson, M. K. “Magickal Computers.” Circle Network News (Winter 1996): 20.

Wolf, Fred Alan. Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Wynn, Eleanor, and James Katz. “Hyperbole over Cyberspace: Self-Presentation and Social Boundaries in Internet Homepages and Discourse.” The Information Society: An International Journal 13.4 (1997): 297-328.

Published

2007-03-08

How to Cite

Cowan, D. E. (2007). Book Excerpt: <i>The Mists of Cyberhenge: Mapping the Modern Pagan Internet</i>. Pomegranate, 7(1), 59–97. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v7i1.59

Issue

Section

Articles