Monday, May 14, 2007

New Books of Interest: Wicca, Christianity, and the Druids

Two of the Pagan blogs that I read, Chas Clifton's Letter from Hardscrabble Creek and The Wild Hunt Blog, recently mentioned a couple of books that look interesting.

Chas Clifton's post mentions Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual, Sex and Magic by Joanne Pearson (Routledge, 2007), with the following description from the publisher:

What is Wicca? Is it witchcraft, Paganism, occultism, esotericism, magic, spirituality, mysticism, nature religion, secrecy, gnosis, the exotic or 'other'? Wicca has been defined by and explored within all these contexts over the past thirty years by anthropologists, sociologists and historians, but there has been a tendency to sublimate and negate the role of Christianity in Wicca's historical and contemporary contexts.

Joanne Pearson 'prowls the borderlands of Christianity' to uncover the untold history of Wicca. Exploring the problematic nature of the Wiccan claim of marginality, it contains a groundbreaking analysis of themes in Christian traditions that are inherent in the development of contemporary Wicca. These focus on the accusations which have been levelled against Catholisicm, heterodoxy and witchcraft throughout history: ritual, deviant sexuality and magic.

Jason Pitzl-Watters's post at The Wild Hunt Blog mentions Druids: A History by historian Ronald Hutton (Hambledon & London, 2007). No description was provided, but Wild Hunt does include some interesting commentary on Hutton and how his work has been received by both academics and Neo-Pagans. These books appear to be worthy additions to the libraries of those involved in Pagan studies.

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