chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 17

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book demonstrates that contemporary Paganism was one of the fastest growing new religions in the Western hemisphere. Western post-industrial societies, despite some contradicting impulses, traditional religious institutions have lost both members and influence on social and political matters. The book presents the history of Rodnoverie and gives a short summary of its theology and rituals. It analyses three main ways or narratives in which Rodnovers understand their religion and why they see it as needed in contemporary Russian society. The narrative provides a new version of the old Slavophile idea, according to which imitation of the West has misguided Russia and, therefore, Russians should turn to their own tradition. Rodnoverie presents as a nature religion that features tolerance and pluralistic values. The analysis shows that these different narratives are often mixed.