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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ronald Hutton
Church, Inquisition Actually Protected 'Witches,' Says Hutton

Goddess bless Ronald Hutton.

We all know the stereotypes: the Catholic Church, with its enforcer the Inquisition, burned witches, right?

Turns out that the Inquisition actually protected many people accused of witchcraft.

For some 300 years, between the 15th and 17th centuries, Christian Europe, both North and South, went wild with a massive witch-panic. One puzzling aspect of the Great European Witch-Hunt, however, has always been the huge disproportion between northern and southern Europe when it comes to executions.

The vast majority of people executed as witches in Europe during this period were executed in Northern—Protestant—Europe. Far, far fewer people were put to death as witches in the Catholic South.

In 1588, a teenaged girl brought before the Spanish Inquisition confessed to having had sex with the Devil. The previous year, a Sicilian woman confessed to having flown through the air on a billy-goat to a sabbat at which (interestingly) she worshiped a King and Queen who presided over a feast and an orgy (Hutton 200-1).

In England, such confessions would likely have merited the noose; in Germany, the stake. But the girl from Valencia, after receiving a beating, was sentenced to undergo religious instruction, and the goat-riding Siciliana was acquitted.


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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When it comes to the distinction between mythic history and historic history--surely we need both--I'm strictly a Weatherwaxite:
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Well said!! (And a fantastic metaphor). And to think there are still folks in our community who believe he "destroyed" Paganism..
Video shared by on in Studies Blogs

Ok everyone, with the help of my lovely and talented boyfriend, I made ... something. I thought it would be fun to start a vlog on pagan subjects. By doing this, Im probably (ultimately) going to invite internet trolls and fiery internet pagans into my life to either ridicule or inform me what Im saying is wrong, but as my mormon mother would say, "to hell with it!" 

I wanted to make something informative, but funny and edgy. I figured I would start out simple, a book review/report. I went with Ronald Huttons Triumph of The Moon because its (somewhat) a respected authority on the topic of contemporary paganism/wicca/witchcraft. Its been up for one day and Iv allready been so graciously informed that my book choice was less than stellar and that I should have chosen a different book. The winds of change and opportunity are swift. 

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  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    My Mormon mother would blush at your Mormon mother, but I thought that was funny! I wish you luck with your vlogging, and protecti
Pagan News Beagle July 14

It's Airy Monday, and we've got stories on Ronald Hutton, Paganism in fiction, and how religious scholars are starting to grapple with the growing number of people not affiliated with any "recognized" religion.

An academic review of by Ethan Doyle White of Hutton's recent (May 2014) book "Pagan Britainn"

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_CrescentMoon2crop.jpg“Oh, look, there’s the moon, and it looks like a boat over the city,” said our guest keynote speaker, Ronald Hutton, as we left the restaurant Friday night.  “It never looks like that in England because of our latitude,” he added.  I missed the sighting at the time, but as I drove home, crossing over the wide Broad River bridge, there it was, peeping out from behind the mist.  Just as quickly the thin crescent-sliver slipped back behind the moving clouds and the sky was dark again.

It so happens that the Egyptian glyph which looks like that boat-shaped moon is called “ia” and is often found on the head of Thoth (Djehuti).  This seemed particularly appropriate to me as we began a day of talks at the Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes symposium.  Thoth is, after all, the inventor of hieroglyphs, god of wisdom and learning, his guidance present from before history. 

The subjects at hand were similarly lunar; one could almost feel the mental waxing and waning, shifting and changing, throughout the day.  Some of our presentations were sharply analytical, and others bore out the highly-experiential nature of Pagan theology.  As Wendy Griffin, our Academic Dean, noted in her remarks, Cherry Hill Seminary is a seminary, so we address not just the scholarship of Pagan studies, but also the very human life paths involved in ministerial service.  I observe that, as with the mists and the moon on Friday night, those goals are inseparable but not always sharply-defined. 

Like a moon-drawn tide, about 75 people swelled the symposium for less than 48 hours.  Looking around the room on Saturday, I was elated at the diversity represented: 18 states and one country overseas, multiple ages and ethnicities, and a range of spiritual backgrounds.  Sacred Lands was attended by a national CUUPS officer (John Beckett, who blogs on  The Henge of Keltria, the founder of Mother Grove (Byron Ballard from Asheville, NC), ADF (Archdruid and CHS trustee Kirk Thomas), OTO, Covenant of the Goddess, and a great many other traditions.  Two Christians were among our participants, as well as others who do not identify with any particular religious tradition.  While we were pleased to host many guests who are prominent, equally important were the many names and faces new to us.  Naturally, we have a special fondness for the several Cherry Hill Seminary students who made the trek.

b2ap3_thumbnail_sc_fi.gifAll of us came because we prize learning and discourse.  In the process of scholarship, we strengthened the bonds of community, too.  Such is the mystery that is Cherry Hill Seminary, for it has always been a challenge for me to adequately articulate in just how many ways it has changed my life.  Learning, personal growth and leadership are mutually-beneficial traveling companions.  So may they continue to be as we continue navigating through a sometimes cloudy, always stellar, journey of learning.

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