The purpose of this study is to introduce and explain in detail my concept of “points of convergence” between and within emic and etic perspectives as applied to contemporary Heathenry and neoshamanism(s). The majority of the study analyzes sources related to these communities and practices. Here, dominant issues include how these communities generate and maintain authority/legitimacy, the effects of academic discourse on religious communities, and the influence of racialized and gendered perspectives on the creation of religious meaning and boundaries. I define the concept of “points of convergence,” apply it to Heathenry and neoshamanism(s), and consider the issues of the Heathen (neo)shamanic practice of seidr and the unique position of scholar-practitioners as embodiments of my primary concept. My exploration of the existence and influence of points of convergence within Heathenry and neoshamanism(s) also allows me to reframe/reconsider narratives shaping the theories and methods applied in the general study of religions. This thesis thus has the goal of advancing the claim that contemporary Heathenry/neoshamanism(s) and “mainstream” cultures interact much more closely with one another than is commonly acknowledged, and that an understanding of this process as it applies to the above communities may be extended to the study of religions in general.


Rapport, Jeremy

Second Advisor

Graham, Mark


Religious Studies


Arts and Humanities


Heathenry, Norse Heathenry, Asatru, neoshamanism, shamanism, religion and culture, theories and methods in the study of religion

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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