This in-depth investigation discovers how the ideas we have about witchcraft took shape thousands of years ago in the myths and religions of the ancient world. It also looks at why these ideas were expressed so violently during the era of the witch trials. Finally, it reveals how witchcraft has been transformed into one of the most radical and fastest growing religions of our age - a religion of equality and compassion that still has the power to unsettle even the bravest amongst us. With new analyses, fresh insights and groundbreaking material drawn from the author's doctoral research into the mysticism, magic and social meaning of Wicca, this is the first book to bring witchcraft fully out of the shadows. This is new and updated 15th anniversary edition of Witchcraft Out of the Shadows.
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About the Author
Dr Leo Ruickbie, PhD (Lond), MA, BA (Hons), Associate of King's College, is a professional writer, editor, social scientist and historian, specialising in the border areas of human belief and experience. His PhD is from King's College, London, for his thesis on contemporary witchcraft and magic use, building on research that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University. He is the author of several books, all based on rigorous research, Witchcraft Out of the Shadows (2004 and 2011), Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (2009), A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (2012), A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (2013) and The Impossible Zoo (2016), as well as numerous articles and chapters in scholarly publications. He is also the co-editor with Dr Simon Bacon of Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2016), and with Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie of The Material Culture of Magic (forthcoming). As well as publishing, he is an academic peer reviewer, exhibition curator, public speaker and editor. He is the editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, an international education charity established in 1882 for the scientific study of what we now call the 'paranormal'. He is an elected member of the Royal Historical Society, a Council member of the Society for Psychical Research, a committee member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik and a member of the Parapsychological Association, Societas Magica, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism and the Royal Photographic Society. His work has been mentioned in the media from The Guardian to Radio Jamaica, and his expertise has been sought by film companies, museums and charities, as well as being cited in the current student book for A-Level Sociology in the UK.