Saturday, 18 June 2011

On The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles


Five Star Book Review;
Ronald Hutton's
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles.


Remarkable amount of research has gone into this tome.
At times the book seems an almost random and endless list of unrelated items linked only by the authors suppositions that we cannot draw any meaningful connections between the varied aspects and artifacts of antiquity, which whilst perhaps literally true, I found to be a perspective that neglected the implied spirit of the ancient religion(s) and that's his point, that he finds nothing is specifically implied by the evidence and that all subsequent conjecture is only deduced from incontrovertible evidence.

At other times the author seemed to hold an almost ambivalent attitude against the new Pagan's uptake and intermingling of the 'Old Religion(s)' but he does this with such good humor and charming acknowledgement of their own beautiful or innovative if not actually historically true basis that it would be hard to object to his observations.

For myself I would underline that the very evidence referred to does specifically portray that ancient religious traditions in the British Isles did draw from earlier traditions and by necessity did incorporate, or become subsumed by newer traditions that arrived on these shores, that something of the former always informed the latter across the ages and that this practice is still (or once again)flourishing in the modern uptake and reinvention of the Pagan sacred miscellany..

Certainly not a page turner unless you are an avid archaeologist, but still highly recommended as a wonderful source of the progression of evidence over the centuries and how this may have some bearing on the current Pagan 'Renaissance'.

No comments:

Post a Comment