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A Razor for a Goat: Problems in the History of Witchcraft & Diabolism (Scholarly Reprint)
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A Razor for a Goat: Problems in the History of Witchcraft & Diabolism (Scholarly Reprint)

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews
First published in 1962, Elliot Rose's A Razor for a Goat is a study of witchcraft as a religion, whether the religion was a form of pagan survival or a depraved Christian or anti-Christian heresy. Rose surveyed witch-scares, fairy folklore, 'ritual' deaths, the Canon Episcopi & goliards for evidence for witchcraft, & to make some suggestions about the reality ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by University of Toronto Press (first published January 28th 1962)
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g026r
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
Richard Kieckhefer, in his foreward to the edition I read, makes a decent point regarding A Razor for a Goat: at the time, given the information available, Razor could be seen as a revolutionary, overturning-the-old-order work. With time, and the appearance (and, in one important case, disappearance) of more evidence shedding further light on events, it's less revolutionary, more revisionary — a step away from the earlier theories, but only just a step.

Rose is at his best when he's attacking
...more
Brian
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Writing in the early 1960s, Elliot Rose sought to demonstrate that then-current hypotheses, proposed most notably by Margaret Murray, delineating a historically real witch-cult behind the accusations, trials, and mass hysteria of the 16th-17th centuries had mistaken the interpretations and interpolations of folklore – often pertaining to material only thematically related to witchcraft per se - and trial evidence by educated Christians for a reliable description of a covertly surviving ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: witchcraft fans
Recommended to Erik by: Tom Kosinski
Shelves: religion
Back when Tom lived in the neighborhood the two of us would often get together weekends for Scrabble, he being the one person around here who would give me a real run for the money. On one such occasion, in fear of losing and desperate, I asked him if Til Eulenspeigel was "ungoated" much as a knight may have been said to have been "unhorsed". He, in some fugue state perhaps, or simply hoping I'd be equally liberal when he asked a similar question, concurred. I got the fifty points for using all ...more
DoctorM
The Goat here is Master Leonard, the giant black goat of the Witches' Sabbath. The razor belongs to William of Ockham.

"A Razor for a Goat" first appeared in 1962--- almost half a century now. Bur Elliot Rose is still very useful for wielding that razor. He neatly (and wth great wit) cuts through a huge amount of vapouring about medieval witchcraft--- utterly savaging Murray's "Witch-Cult in Western Europe" and and all the Wiccan nonsense developed since British occultists discovered dancing
...more
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