Witchcraft Out of the Shadows: A Complete History (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/4
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This history of witchcraft traces its origins from ancient Greece to the present day and its development into the modern religion of Wicca. The author explores the ideas we have about witchcraft and how today it has been transformed into one of the most radical and fastest growing religions.
Leo Ruickbie is an historian and sociologist of magic, witchcraft, and Wicca; and the author of "Faustus."
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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 The author incorporates a lot of material from his unpublished doctoral research--work that justly earned him the degree of PhD and here you can see why.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.