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In Search of Deeper Identities Neopaganism and "Native Faith" in Contemporary Ukraine

Adrian Ivakhiv
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
Vol. 8, No. 3 (March 2005), pp. 7-38
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2005.8.3.7
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2005.8.3.7
Page Count: 32
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Abstract

This article examines the growth of Neopaganism and Native Faith in post-Soviet Ukraine. It traces the historical development of Neopagan ideas and contextualizes their emergence within the cultic milieus of alternative religion and ethnic nationalism. It surveys the main contemporary Ukrainian Neopagan and Native Faith groups and movements, assessing their future growth possibilities and comparing them with more familiar forms of Western Neopaganism. The author argues that these Ukrainian movements have become caught up within a set of ideas which are ideologically right-wing and scientifically insupportable, but that this represents a phase of development comparable to an earlier phase of Anglo-American Neopaganism, at least in its reliance on "alternative" scholarship and on a strong form of "identity politics." Like those Western movements, Ukrainian Native Faith might overcome its present-day limitations, but this will be difficult as long as the country continues to face the economic and political struggles within which it has recently been mired.

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