Witchcraft Out Of The Shadows: A Complete History (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/8/30
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This complete history of witchcraft from Ancient Greece to the present day charts the rise and development of witchcraft and the modern witchcraft religion of Wicca. Today witchcraft is on everyone's lips, on television, film and in literature, but few know, or are even able to guess at, its shadowy history. This in-depth investigation discovers how the ideas we have about witchcraft took shape thousands of years ago in the myths and religions of the ancient world. It looks at why these ideas were expressed so violently during the era of the witch trials. Finally, it reveals how witchcraft has been transformed into one of the most radical and fastest growing religions of our age - a religion of equality and compassion that still has the power to unsettle even the bravest amongst us. With new analyses, fresh insights and previously unpublished material drawn from the author's doctoral research into the mysticism, magic and social meaning of Wicca, this is the first book to bring witchcraft fully out of the shadows.
Leo Ruickbie is the founder and director of WICA, the Witchcraft Information Centre & Archive (www.WitchcraftInfo.info), an educational and research-orientated website specializing in witchcraft and Wicca. He has been actively engaged in research into witchcraft and Wicca since 1994. His MA dissertation on 'The Re-Enchantment of the World' earned him a distinction from one of the UK's top-rated research departments at Lancaster University. He is currently working on a doctorate at King's College, London, in the sociology of modern witchcraft with a special emphasis on the theory of re-enchantment.
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Great book for anyone wanting a very indepth detailed history of witchcraft,from the very start to current times.
The author treats the many fascinating characters in this history with fairness and sympathy without becoming an apologist for them. For example, of Aleister Crowley he says: "A poet, a mountaineer, a chess master, an explorer, a drug-fiend, a pervert, a mystic and a magician, the myriad facets of Crowley's personality cannot quite be captured in the dull lustre of the printed word." That's just about the best and most concise description I've ever read of Crowley. He also makes a clear argument for Doreen Valiente's recognition as the "Mother of Modern Witchcraft"--a position she has long been denied.
The book is well structured, leading the reader from ancient times right up to the present day in a logical and coherent way. Throughout strict academic conventions are used with useful footnoting, an impressive bibliography and a detailed index that make this a highly usable research tool, whilst maintaining an elegant readability that is rare for such a rigorously academic work.
Witchcraft Out of the Shadows goes further than any other book I have read on the subject to peer directly into the workings of modern witchcraft. There are simply amazing chapters on ritual, mysticism and magic using firsthand accounts and statistics to give a balanced and valid perspective. The author incorporates a lot of material from his unpublished doctoral research--work that justly earned him the degree of PhD and here you can see why. The book ends on a positive and optimistic note, seeing in modern religious forms of witchcraft a new way of being in the world that could just save us from the mess we're in--a vision that has drawn a lot of criticism from Christian fundamentalists.
From the first page to the last you can tell that a lot of original work has gone into this book. In my opinion it deserves six stars. Well worth the money.