Mudcat Café message #218911 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20699   Message #218911
Posted By: Peg
27-Apr-00 - 11:16 AM
Thread Name: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
just a few random thoughts:

kat; with all due respect, and I like Walker's book a lot, but it is far from being flawless in terms of its research or citation. It was the first book of its kind at the time and is a great starting point of reference to pursue various trajectories, but I am quite sure she is NOT seen as an historian...and certainly not a writer who sticks to the standard modes of footnoting or attribution (maybe that is a good thing, but it is dangerously close to the Llewellyn-style mode of non-researched, plagiarized books which have flooded the market in recent years)or an expert...that said, her book is intriguing and I believe a "must-have" on the shelf of any serious student of pagan religions...

other books I would HIGHLY recommend for those interested in the actual history (such as it is) of modern paganism (based in folklore, folk magic, etc. and pretty much debunking the myth of "The Burning Times"):
Keith Thomas' Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971-recently reprinted)
The Witch in History by Diane Purkiss
anything by Ronald Hutton, including Stations of the Sun, and his newest, The Triumph of the Moon
The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology by Hans Holzer (out of print; has an excellent section on the wise women and cunning men of antiquity, taken from the extensive literature of the mid-18th century)

re: J.G. Frazer, it is my understanding that, far from trying to discredit Christianity, he was actually attempting to cast the subjects of his research in a poor light! By exposing their animistic, primitive tendencies...I recently read a quotation to this effect and I will try to dig it up and post it...

re: Tony Barrands: he is very cool and actually has taught some interesting classes at BU on these subjects. I actually started to audit a class at one point a few years ago; it combined lectures on the history of Morris Dancing with classes _in_ Morris Dancing! Unfortunately I injured my foot after the second class and had to drop it...but he was extremely interesting...