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Book Chat > Professor Ronald Hutton

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message 1: by Ancestral (last edited Oct 27, 2010 07:49PM) (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Sarah said:

"Ancestral, you seem to be a fan of Ronald Hutton. I thought he was a bit of a skeptic when it comes to matters of paganism, though I know very little about him. Apparently his book on Shamanism is quite a counterpoint to traditional thinking in neo-paganism. It's on my to read list at present. What can you tell me about him? "

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My response:

I am creating a new thread for this topic, so as not to muddy the waters of the recommendation list for Wicca.

Ronald Hutton is a professor at Bristol University, who had gained the recognition and respect of the majority of British pagans for his work in the pagan arena; he is known for cutting through the BS and sticking to rigorous academic standards. Though there are some groups who take exception to his work, mostly those that would invent, or reinvent the truth ("Our tradition is unbroken from the time of the druids, etc.").

It has also been suggested, but never really confirmed, even in his own books, that he is a pagan. He has other areas of expertise, besides the pagan religions, and can occasionally be seen on documentaries/factual programmes in the UK sharing his knowledge in those particular fields.

I would not say I am a fan, but if I want a good starting point for any pagan topic, at least Professor Hutton provides his sources. I have not always agreed with everything he has said, but I certainly admire his approach to the study of the topics.


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara Thanks, Ancestral. That is helpful to me. He was recommended by some friends who lean toward the rigorous academic in paganism. I will be very interested to read what he has to say on shamanism. I do value sources, and prefer that to the fuzzy thinking that can sometimes predominate in discussions.


message 3: by Ancestral (last edited Sep 18, 2010 09:44AM) (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Hello Sara: I think that is why I, too, prefer academic books to others; sources allow the reader to see for themselves and make up their own mind. I find myself reading myths and books published by university presses.


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara Yes, I much prefer the academic Egyptian works for myself as well. There is too much Kemetic and Recon floating around that is not always accurate, yet some take it as valid.


message 5: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Pagan scholar Caroline Tully has just posted a rare interview with historian Ronald Hutton, author of “ The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft ”, in which he takes the time to answer a recent resurgence of criticism regarding his work from within the Pagan community.

The interview can be read here .


message 6: by Sara (new)

Sara I really enjoyed reading that interview. I just picked up his book on Shamanism, and it is slowly working its way to the top of my reading pile.


message 7: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Fascinating interview - I'll post a link on the 'Witch Word' thread.


message 8: by Angela (new)

Angela (bachini) The Centre for Pagan Studies in London is holding A Day with Ronald Hutton and friends on September 16. I would really love to go (I went to the Day for Doreen Valiente there where Professor Hutton was speaking and I'm afraid I behaved like a groupie and got him to sign my programme. The day itself was very interesting), but will have a 3 week old baby by then so it probably won't be practical.


message 10: by Nell (last edited Jun 20, 2012 08:14AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Ma, a three week old baby will almost certainly clear your head of Prof. Ronald Hutton and Pagan Studies very nicely - and probably everything else too... :)

Congratulations - and thanks for the link :)


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