How’s that whole Enlightenment thing going? Not so well, it seems: click here for Saturday’s New York Times story on the rise of paganism. Predictable, uncritical pap for the most part, although I noted this section with, well, I don’t know what:
…of course, the popular culture of the Harry Potter books, the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the current zombie vogue have defanged Pagan religion for a mass teenage audience.
Frankly. I’m not at all convinced that the ‘mass teenage audience’ had hitherto given much thought to paganism one way or the other, but it’s strange to see a writer for the New York Times signing up for the idea-more usually associated with some of the nuttier notches on the Bible Belt-that Harry Potter has been acting as some kind of propagandist for paganism. And while we’re on this topic, I’m not at all sure that the ‘current zombie vogue’ (which has lurched and stumbled far, very far, from its roots in voodoo mythology) has anything to do with the supernatural whatsoever, unless you count the rather good fight in a church, which (if I recall correctly) took place in one of the Resident Evil movies.
To be fair, however, I should concede that Buffy did feature at least two explicitly Wiccan characters, and there is indeed some evidence that the show may indeed have encouraged some people in a covenwards direction. That said, I suspect that Buffy’s Wiccans reflected a trend as much as they made it, but that wider trend is a discussion for another time.