The Asatru Alliance (AA) is a US Ásatrú group, succeeding Stephen McNallen's Asatru Free Assembly (The old AFA) in 1987, founded by Michael J. Murray (a.k.a. Valgard Murray) of Arizona, who is a former vice-president of Else Christensen's Odinist Fellowship. The AFA seceded into two groups, the other one being The Troth. The Ásatrú Alliance was for the most part a reconstituted AFA, dominated by prior AFA members, and acting as a distributor of, previously, AFA publications.
McNallen formed a new group (as Asatru Folk Assembly, (The new AFA)) in 1994, and the two organizations have existed in parallel since, temporarily united within the International Asatru-Odinic Alliance (1997–2002). Gardell (2003) classifies the AA as folkish. The AA defines Ásatrú as "the ethnic religion of the Northern European peoples".
The Ásatrú Alliance is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization, or church. The AA was formed on June 19, 1988 by seven kindreds, which were members of the disbanded Ásatrú Free Assembly, who ratified on this day a set of by-laws to preserve and promote the beliefs of Ásatrú in the United States of America.
The Ásatrú Alliance promotes the native culture of the Northern European peoples. The organization denounces racism.
The AA is currently headed by a board of directors composed of representatives appointed by their kindreds, to speak on their behalf for any AA business.
The AA held its 32nd annual Althing gathering in September 2012. Kaplan (1996) estimates the AA has between 500 and 1,000 members.
As a definition of Asatru, AA cites a 1995 essay by McNallen on "what is Asatru", which concludes by summarizing the main goals as the practice of "courage, honor, the importance of the family and ancestral bonds, strength, freedom, the preservation of our kind, and joyful, vigorous life."
World Tree Publications is the Asatru Alliance's publishing house.
Valgard Murray (Michael J. Murray), born in 1950 in Iowa, is the Allsherjargoði of the Ásatrú Alliance of Independent Kindreds, Inc.
He moved to Arizona.
In 1972 Murray worked with Else Christensen to found the Odinist Fellowship, and served as vice president. He was a representative of the AA on the board of the International Ásatrú-Odinic Alliance and also served on the Board of Directors and as General Manager of the Ásatrú Folk Assembly (1984-1987). In 1987 he served as General Manager of the AFA, and in 1986 founded World Tree Publications. In 1987 co-founder the Ásatrú Alliance. In 1997 he was elected Allsherjargoði of the Ásatrú Alliance. In 2003 he was allegedly elected as Allsherjargoði of the International Ásatrú-Odinic Alliance. Although he was only the Allsherjargoði of the Asatru Alliance.
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