Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Sociology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Jennifer S. Snook

Second Advisor

Kirsten Dellinger

Third Advisor

Ross Haenfler

Relational Format



Neo-Paganism, a nature-based new religious movement, provides a rich backdrop for the study of spiritual environmentalism. This ethnographic project analyzes the dynamic interconnectedness of neo-paganism and environmentalism, or "eco-paganism," and how Heathenry reframes the natural world using interpretations of Old Norse lore. A Heathen's connection to nature and how this connection is incorporated into his/her daily life supports the idea of environmentalism, yet their patriarchal and conservative political beliefs devalue environmentalism. My focus is on the feminization of the environment and vegetarianism to such a degree that Heathens view these movements as radicalized liberal tree hugging hobbies and how these political views have resulted in a cognitive dissonance with the lived experience of their religion. This study contributes to the literature on new religious movements, the Sociology of Religion and Pagan Studies, and adds to our understanding of religion, politics and gender, specifically where these intersect with the environmental movement.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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