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The Paganism Reader 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415303538
ISBN-10: 0415303532
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Editorial Reviews

Review

""The Paganism Reader is the first to bring together some of the formative writings that have given birth to the Pagan revival and gives readers a fascinating insight into influences on contemporary Pagan thought."
-Vivianne Crowley
""The Paganism Reader is easy to read and utterly fascinating--I think it should be on every Witch's bookshelf."
-"Witchcraft, May-June 2005

About the Author

GRAHAM HARVEY is Reader in Religious Studies at The Open University, UK.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415303532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415303538
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Routledge Press has a strong reputation for putting out fine scholarship and helpful editions for students, scholars, and other interested readers, as this book on Paganism, edited by Chas S. Clifton and Graham Harvey, is no exception to that tradition. This is a reader; it is not a single narrative-strand history nor is it simply a collection of works under the guise of scholarship but really saddled with an agenda. There are three primary sections, largely based on historical division - Part One introduces classical texts from the ancient world, Part Two looks at what are called `proto-revival' texts, and Part Three looks at the revival and diversification of paganism over the past century or so.
The Classical Texts draw on literature from many different cultures (British Isles, Nordic/Icelandic culture, and ancient Egypt as well as the more well-known Israel, Greece, and Rome). There was no one systematic religious framework called `paganism', as these texts indicate, but rather Paganism is a term used to cover a wide range of religious and spiritual ideas. These texts include a diversity of literary forms - autobiography, poems, narrative stories, histories, and even an epistle/letter.
The proto-revival texts include texts that reawaken to a celebration of the natural world and the spirituality inherent in it during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Again, the motivations are diverse (Romantic views of nature, a disillusionment with progress and urbanism, etc.) as well as the types of literature - included here pieces from Rudyard Kipling, Robert Graves, Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grahame, among others.
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Format: Paperback
If you are interested in the historical, philisophical, and cultural dimensions of Paganism, Clifton's book is the best on the market. Relevant to Wiccans, Reconstructionists, Hermetics, and everything in between, this book will add real depth and color to your spiritual practice. The Paganism Reader is a lovely alternative to academic works about paganism written 'from the outside.' Chas Clifton is Pagan himself and is sensitive to our issues and experiences. An excellent book!
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Format: Paperback
While an ambitious compilation of pagan writings, I feel this book would be most useful if you were conducting a pagan book club or survey class. Otherwise, I would suggest looking for more specific sources of information on whatever your neo-pagan path happens to be. It is heavy on the Wiccan side of things too, so if that isn't your orientation, you will likely find yourself skipping a great deal of what is within this reader.
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