"Competent, persuasive, and succinct, this book is effective both in questioning ritual studies theoretical standard and in presenting a balanced case study of a Wiccan ritual. Highly recommended." --Choice
"In this fascinating study of membership in a Wiccan community, Bado-Fralick combines first-hand records of religious experience with analysis on insider-outsider problems in the study of religion. An excellent resource for undergraduate teaching that students will want to read and discuss."-- Amanda Porterfield, author of Healing in the History of Christianity
"Coming to the Edge of the Circle
is an account of the Wiccan religion as it is practiced and lived in modern America, but the book offers much more than a simple description of faith and practice. Throughout, the author has much worthwhile to say about the dilemmas of being an academic observing and participating in religious ritual, and in the process, she raises many good questions about how religion and ritual can be taught in the contemporary academic world. A real contribution to the scholarly study of ritual." -- Philip Jenkins, author of Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native Spirituality
"For all the generalized talk about ritual, there are few sustained studies of actually performed rites. In Coming to the Edge of the Circle
Nikki Bado-Fralick offers a lively narrative account of Wiccan initiation into the Merry Circle. Her stories become occasions for reflection on crucial topics -- bodiliness, intimacy, ritual learning, group formation, and group dissolution. Too many studies of ritual activity are either conducted awkwardly by outsiders peering in at the dancers or written desperately by insiders courting the approval of doubting critics. Bado-Fralick's interpretive dance is of another ilk. She crisscrosses the circumference of ritual and academic circles with remarkable alacrity, performing candidly and playfully." -- Ronald L. Grimes, author of Deeply into the Bone: Reinventing Rites of Passage
About the Author
is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at Iowa State University. She is also a High Priestess within the Merry Circle coven.