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Title: The Re-creation of Ancient Classical Religions on the World Wide Web: Neopaganism as Contemporary Mythopoesis
Author(s): Bittarello, Maria Beatrice
Supervisor(s): Hass, Andrew
Keywords: Neopaganism
religion and popular culture
Gaia Theory
religion and science
religion and culture
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The thesis argues that Neopaganism on the Web is an example of mythopoesis and aims at showing both the novelty and the limits of such mythopoesis. I use the term "mythopoesis" in its original Greek meaning, i.e. "the creation (the making/crafting) of a myth or myths", thus stressing the dynamic way in which the process of creation (of myths, rituals, divinities, identities—all implicitly or explicitly played out, connected, and organised as "stories", which can be told, written or performed, as well as represented as images) unfolds in Neopaganism. Neopagan mythopoesis on the Web is new, original, and structurally different from other previous and contemporary examples of mythopoesis, either religious or not, since it does not refuse, put aside, or implicitly contradict, the rational framework elaborated by Western culture. The research involves exploring the contemporary cultural and historical context that allows for mythopoesis to take place and the technology that allows for it to develop. It analyses the key features of Neopaganism on the Web as they emerge from the mythopoeic recreation of two ancient goddesses (Gaia, and Artemis/Diana) and an ancient ritual (the Eleusinian mysteries). In covering several different fields (from ancient religions, to the Internet, to myth and ritual theory), and in examining a range of heterogeneous materials (from ancient texts, Neopagan hymns and art, to hypertexts), the analysis adopts an interdisciplinary approach.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Literature and Languages

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