Posted by: Nyxks | October 19, 2007

Towards an Academic Study of British Wicca

Towards an Academic Study of British Wicca
by Jo Harrington © 2006
Flying Witch Publications
ISBN 1-900433-31-1
xxx pages
Cardcover Booklet
$9.82 (U.S.) $11.21 (Canada)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

I know that a lot of people are not very fond of academic books on religious topics (or any other topics, for that matter). They feel they may be “too dry,” or “uninvolved,” or, simply “boring.” Unfortunately that is the nature of academic approaches to almost any topic. Academic books exist for the purposes of academics, not to become best sellers. Therefore this little monograph was a pleasant surprise. It was easy to read and to understand.

It is difficult for an active practitioner of any religion to investigate its origins and development with an unprejudiced eye. Ms. Harrington gives it her best effort and, even, if she is not completely successful, she presents an honest attempt at presenting the evolution of scholarly approaches to the religion of Wicca.

Does she produce any startling revelations? Does she present incontrovertible proof to settle the debates which have swirled about the religion for the past half century? No, she does not. She does, however, give all sides a fair hearing, with adequate documentation to allow any academician to find a starting point for their own researches. She also suggests some lines of inquiry which deserve to be pursued.

Is this a book which I feel belongs in every Witch’s library? Probably not. It should be in the library of every Gardnerian-derived coven, however. And it definitely needs to be read and discusse


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