12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
One of the Best Works Out There,
By A Customer
This review is from: Hammer of the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism in Modern Times (Paperback)
It is pretty apparent that American Reiver has not read this book, or if so, did not pay much attention to the details of it. It is true, Mr. Wodening draws on Paul Bauchatz's work, but then Professor Bauchatz is a recognized academic whose research has not been greatly questioned. Indeed, it is now the accepted work on Wyrd by not just the modern Heathen community, but much of the academic community as well. There are its detractors, but there is with nearly every academic study.
As for drawing on Garman Lord, one only need to look at how Mr. Wodening views sacral kingship as opposed to how Mr. Lord does, and they will quickly realize that the views held by these two men on this topic are quite different. Mr. Lord tried to take the comitatus structure and run amok with it by addiing in divine right. Mr. Wodening's idea seems more family based with the sacral king being a much weaker figure, and secondary to the folk themselves. But then Mr. Wodening hardly even touches on the topic of sacral kingship, indeed his focus seems to be on worship of the Gods and the rites that accompany being Heathen. And his information on the Gods and the rites seems drawn directly from the lore, and if not that from existing scholarly opinion.
Another point, American Reiver seems to miss though is Mr. Wodening in his book does draw on surviving folklore. Much of the information on the holy tides seems to have been drawn from surviving practices. Anyone that has done any folklore studies can spot where Mr. Wodening got his ideas on the holy tides (not to mention in other parts of his book). Such things as Mummer's Plays come directly from surviving custom.
What Mr. Wodening did not base on modern folklore has been drawn from the elder sources themselves. Mr. Wodening makes extensive use of quoting passages of the lore. Unless one believes Mr. Wodening wrote some of the sagas or Eddas, one certainly cannot accuse him of making things up. There are few books out there with as many quotes. Indeed, it would seem American Reiver in his review is the only one here guilty of poor scholarship. One should at least read a book before reviewing it.
(15 customer reviews)