This blog entry is an effort to externalize my thinking on a possible relationship between the search for authenticity among contemporary Pagans and the problem of racism in contemporary Paganism. I include under the Pagan banner all people practicing a reconstructed or revitalized polytheistic animism, such as Wiccans, Druids, and Heathens. My own practice is a gnostic, hybridized Druidic Heathenry, and I'm a PhD candidate in the Folklore Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, so my perspective and approach are rooted in these spiritual and intellectual traditions.
To begin, I want to problematize authenticity via the work of Regina Bendix, whose book In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies has influenced my thinking. She writes that:
The notion of authenticity implies the existence of its opposite, the fake, and this dichotomous construct is at the heart of what makes authenticity problematic. In religious...