Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Druidry: Official religion in UK, and new historical and ethnographic study

One of the interesting news items out of the world of Paganism came recently with the announcement that Druidry had been officially recognized as a religion in the UK. The Telegraph reported on this event:

"The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.

It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations. This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.

Supporters say the Charity Commission’s move could also pave the way for other minority faiths to gain charitable status."

In connection with this event I am pleased to recommend the new ebook by Michael Cooper, Contemporary Druidry: A Historical and Ethnographic Study (Sacred Tribes Press, 2010).

ISBN: 978-1-4524-7132-7
Download Sample Chapter: Chapter One
Price: $10.99

Dr. Michael York, professor (retired) of sociology of religion at Bath Spa University College and author of Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion (New York University Press, 2003).

"Michael T. Cooper’s Contemporary Druidry: A Historical and Ethnographic Study is a profoundly sensitive account of a pagan identity from an Evangelical Christian researcher. The work amounts to an interfaith breakthrough. Not only a sympathetic and enlightening understanding of Druidry itself, but Cooper also manages to open the possibilities of intellectual and empathetic exchange between a pagan position and a Christian one. Comfortably grounded with a balance of sociological tools and understandings, Cooper’s remarkably human and informative narrative holds appeal to the insider as well as outsider, to the generally curious as well as those with specific interest. . . . In all, this intelligently and well-written study of the Celtic Druid faith is one to be highly recommended."

The book can be purchased and downloaded in a variety of formats here.

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