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Man, Myth and Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown
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Volume 1 contains a list of original contributors with expertise and works mentioned, tables of contents for each volume, and 21 thematic bibliographies with classified subject guides to articles. New works published since 1983 have been added to these bibliographies and to the "Further Reading" lists found at the end of some essays. The encyclopedia is well illustrated, with relevant color and black-and-white photographs and drawings, many of which are full page. The only illustrations new to this edition accompany new articles. Major articles range in length up to 10,000 words and may include cross-references and sidebars with additional information or quoted material.
New entries include Multiple Personality, Afro-American Lore, Rastafarians, Urban Myths, and Hare Krishna. Some of the revised articles contain new information, but others are only editorial overhauls. The index volume contains a traditional A^-Z index and a classified index that lists all the entries under one of 21 headings (Rites of Passage, Eastern Religions, Foretelling the Future, etc.).
High-school and public libraries that field requests for anthropological research of any type will find this encyclopedia valuable. Browsers will also enjoy looking at this set. Institutions owning earlier editions will find the update worth purchasing. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Man, Myth and Magic explores the realms of religion, spirituality, psychology and the occult. Articles within the 24 volume set range from the obscure (Wandering Bishops and various manifestations of witchcraft hysterias) to the very well known (articles on major world religions). The authors tend to be experts in their respective fields of research and are, by and large, objective in the treatment of their subjects. There are, however, some writers who have a vested interest what they write about - the article on Druidism contains two articles, one written by an historian which focuses on the known history of druids through contemporary writers (such as Julius Caesar) and archaeology, the other written by a "modern" druid who speaks of the modern incarnation of druidism. In most cases this is appropriate and as the credulous is contrasted with the objective skeptic I'm okay with this treatment. Unfortunately in a few cases there is no counterbalance. For example, in the section entitled "The Frontiers of Belief" is an article written about H.P. Lovecraft. The author surmises that Lovecraft's short stories and poems must have been inspired by real, other worldly creatures, a claim that Lovecraft himself would scoff at.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully put together. Just a totallyy awesome encyclopedia for the unknown and more!Published on September 1, 1998