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Old April 3rd, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Default The Beast Within: Anthrozoomorphic Identity... - Nova Religio - 02.2013

New academic paper pertaining to therianthropy...

The Beast Within: Anthrozoomorphic Identity and Alternative Spirituality in the Online Therianthropy Movement
By Venetia Laura Delano Robertson

Nova Religio - The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
February 2013, Vol. 16, No. 3, Pages 7-30
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2013.16.3.7
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2013.16.3.7

Abstract:



See Also:

OTHERKIN:

We Are Spirits of Another Sort: Ontological Rebellion and Religious Dimensions of the Otherkin Community
By Joseph P. Laycock, PhD

Nova Religio - The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
February 2012, Vol. 15, No. 3, Pages 65-90
http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1525/nr.2012.15.3.65

VAMPIRES:

Real Vampires as an Identity Group: Analyzing Causes and Effects of an Introspective Survey by the Vampire Community
By Joseph Laycock, PhD, Author of 'Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism'

Nova Religio - The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
August 2010, Vol. 14, No. 1, Pages 423
http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1525/nr.2010.14.1.4
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 04:27 PM
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Excellent paper, though I strongly disagree that it constitutes a 'spiritual movement' in any possible sense of the term. There are many therians who interpret their experience through a spiritual or religious cultural lens, but the lens is not the experience.

Fundamentally we're talking about a group of otherwise unrelated people who share a similar experience and discussions on how they cope with it constructively. Whether someone chooses to interpret their experience as spiritual, religious, strictly personal or clinical/neurobiological is entirely up to them and is not a factor in their participation. There are many participants in the therian community who are atheists or agnostics, holding no spiritual or supernatural beliefs at all, and consider their experience to be entirely personal, psychological or neurobiological.

While I think it is important to acknowledge and respect the participation of people who do hold spiritual or religious beliefs about their therianthropic experience, disregarding our significant atheist/agnostic/science minded population does not produce an accurate demographic picture of who we are as a whole.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage View Post
Excellent paper, though I strongly disagree that it constitutes a 'spiritual movement' in any possible sense of the term. There are many therians who interpret their experience through a spiritual or religious cultural lens, but the lens is not the experience.

Fundamentally we're talking about a group of otherwise unrelated people who share a similar experience and discussions on how they cope with it constructively. Whether someone chooses to interpret their experience as spiritual, religious, strictly personal or clinical/neurobiological is entirely up to them and is not a factor in their participation. There are many participants in the therian community who are atheists or agnostics, holding no spiritual or supernatural beliefs at all, and consider their experience to be entirely personal, psychological or neurobiological.

While I think it is important to acknowledge and respect the participation of people who do hold spiritual or religious beliefs about their therianthropic experience, disregarding our significant atheist/agnostic/science minded population does not produce an accurate demographic picture of who we are as a whole.
Yes.

This was my biggest issue with Lockhart's paper (yes, I know it was about otherkin, but still relevant). The non-spiritual worldview got about a sentence dedicated to it, and just mentioning it--nothing else.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 08:07 PM
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I did like The Beast Within - even if focusing on the spiritual, which, I agree, is rather less than an all-encompassing representation, it did talk about some aspects in ways that I very much liked. For yet another piece focusing on the type of therianthropy that does not cover my experiences, it was still a very pleasant read, and I found myself nodding along at several places. In general I didn't feel slighted by the spiritual focus since it is coming from the perspective of religion.

I wonder when the paper will come that puts the focus on non-spiritual therians?
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 08:18 PM
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http://www.academia.edu/1851789/The_...gio_16_3_2013_ For reference, this is a readable link to the paper.

It is a very good paper. Focusing on the spiritual end of the community is not a bad thing by any means, but I would caution the author to be careful about not representing this as the sole demographic, as the community is extremely diverse in how people choose to view their experiences. We also tend to be conscious of this diversity and the fact that while there may be different lenses to look through to interpret our experience of being internally animal identified (Christian, Wiccan, shamanic, atheist/agnostic, pantheist, Buddhist, etc), the experience itself is the only constant and none of these lenses can represent a single or universal truth for everyone in our community.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage View Post
Excellent paper, though I strongly disagree that it constitutes a 'spiritual movement' in any possible sense of the term. There are many therians who interpret their experience through a spiritual or religious cultural lens, but the lens is not the experience.
Excellent point, Savage.

Also, given that I do not attribute my therianthropy to something other than clinical (which I recently called psychological, however I have since understood the differences between unintentional and unconscious/semi-conscious experience since returning to this community), it does not appear to cover all aspects.

Nonetheless, as a scientist, I am pleased to find anything pertaining to this field. Additionally, I do recognize that therianthropy is a spiritual for many. Basically, it is a thoughtful viewpoint to acknowledge that our experiences are similar despite a different "lens" of understanding and causality.
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