An Unreal Estate

An Unreal Estate : Sustainability and Freedom in an Evolving Community

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In An Unreal Estate, Lucinda Carspecken takes an in-depth look at Lothlorien, a Southern Indiana nature sanctuary, sustainable camping ground, festival site, collective residence, and experiment in ecological building, stewardship, and organization. Carspecken notes the way fiction and reality intertwine on this piece of land and argues that examples such as Lothlorien have the power to be a force for social change. Lothlorien's organization and social norms are in sharp contrast with its surrounding communities. As a unique enclave within a larger society, it offers to the latter both an implicit critique and a cluster of alternative values and lifestyles. In addition, it has created a niche where some participants change, grow, and find empowerment in an environment that is accepting of difference-particularly in areas of religion and sexual more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 20mm | 408.23g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 25 b&w illus.
  • 0253223490
  • 9780253223494

Review quote

"This is the only study to date of a specifically neo-pagan community and therefore is a pioneering work." -Sabina Magliocco, author of Neo-Pagan Art and Altars "A significant contribution to the study of intentional communities." -Sarah M. Pike, author of New Age and Neopagan Religions in America "This book advances knowledge... in various areas of current critical and popular debate and will be of interest to scholars... as well as to a diverse popular readership." -Graham Harvey, author of Contemporary Paganism "Anthropologist Carspecken... offers an extraordinarily captivating and challenging book based on a year and a half of reflective research in the 109-acre intentional community of Lothlorien.... Essential." -Choice "So much attention is paid today to national affairs that we are losing an understanding of the nature of small-scale governance. Readers of An Unreal Estate will benefit greatly from the insights of community participants in their revealing interviews about opportunities, struggles, surprises, and the wide range of meaningful events that can occur in a small intentional community. This is a book that is very worthwhile for scholars as well as citizens to buy, read, and think hard about." -Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Anthropologist Carspecken (Indiana Univ.) offers an extraordinarily captivating and challenging book based on a year and a half of reflective research in the 109-acre intentional community of Lothlorien near Bloomington, Indiana. Integrating numerous revealing quotes from members and 26 photos, Carspecken thoroughly documents in vivid detail alternative worldviews, values, and behaviors associated with this dynamic experiment, ongoing since 1987. This book merits attention from general and academic audiences because Lothlorien contrasts dramatically with the mainstream US, thereby offering not only a penetrating critique but, far more importantly, serious alternatives forrethinking and reforming a society plagued by many problems resulting from the widespread alienation of people from nature and from each other. Most of the residents and visitors of Lothlorien are actively committed environmentalists pursuing sustainable and green lifestyles that revere land and life as sacred. This utopian residentialcommunity and ecumenical nonprofit organization is a sanctuary for individual freedom and creativity as well as an enchanting space for eclectic art, rituals, and festivals reflecting many religious influences, including Neo-Paganism. Collectively, members have imaginatively constructed a progressive, hopeful society based on sincerity, mutualrespect, tolerance, caring, affection, equality, and genuine democracy. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. --Choice L. E. Sponsel, emeritus, University of Hawaii, June 2012show more

About Lucinda Carspecken

Lucinda Carspecken is Adjunct Professor in Qualitative Research Methods and Anthropology at Indiana University more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsA Note on Names1. "That Dose of Unreality": An Introduction to Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary2. "Dream Flowers": Fiction and Utopian Imagination in Neo-Paganism and Alternative Communities3. Faerie and Avalon: Reimagining Nature4. "A Loose-Knit Anarchy": Reimagining Organization5. "The Land of Misfit Toys": Reimagining Community and Freedom6. "Something Mystical and Fine": Reimagining Ritual and Spiritual Experience7. "A Gypsy Community": Cycling, Learning, and Moving On8. "A Spontaneous Social Experiment"NotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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