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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The neopagan movement ran from roughly 1870 to 1920 and, in its time, was most often regarded negatively as an aspect of British decadence. It was, however, the product of diverse interests including archaeological discoveries, modernist philosophy, new spiritualities often rooted in hermeticism and theosophy, and debates in nationalist and socialist politics. Neopaganism was sustained primarily by individuals who felt a deep, personal investment in these ecological faiths and their seemingly uninhibited philosophies and respect for diversity. Authors such as A. E. Benson, Edward Carpenter, Aleistor Crowley, and Michael Field explored the place of the humanist individual in a nature-centred belief system that stands in opposition not only to scientific materialism, but also to the industrialism and consumerism of the age. In so doing, they offered an early queer formulation of what today might be recognized as a post-human eco-spirituality.

Keywords: paganism, ecology, sexuality, decadence, occultism, species, Benson, Carpenter, Crowley, Field

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