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Druids. Who They? What do? And why?

Ron Hutton's new book, Blood and Mistletoe: a history of the Druids in Britain, is reviewed by the Independent here.

They say it 'is a tour de force: surely the definitive work on our perception of the Druids. The only thing missing from this exhaustive account is an overview, however brief, of today's colourful Druid groups – an odd omission by the acknowledged historian of neo-Paganism. For that, you need his earlier book [The Druids: A History].'

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
unquietsoul5
May. 15th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Could I ask who acknowledges him as such? I've been a neo-pagan since the 80s and never heard of him. A look at his bio on Wikipedia shows him as being an expert on Paganism in the British Isles and later (much later) neo-paganism therein.

I don't see him as 'The acknowledged historian of neo-paganism' since he seems to center on Celtic British neo-paganism and Siberian Shamanism.

Neo-paganism is a lot bigger than that... and involves a lot more diverse set of religions.... for that matter, when I came into paganism folks primarily would point at Margot Adler's book (Drawing Down the Moon) as the book on neo-paganism.

I also remember there being in the 80s some rather good scholars on ancient Celtic beliefs and religious practics teaching courses at Harvard and Brandeis.

I may be a little out of touch with the community in the past decade or so....

gbsteve
May. 15th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Ron is rent-a-pagan-historian for TV and radio in the UK and turns up at many Pagan bashes from vanilla (such as Witchfest) to the academic such as Treadwells. So I know of him and I'm an atheist.

His Triumph of the Moon is supposedly a classic on modern paganism. I've not read it though.

Edited at 2009-05-15 09:46 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )