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Comment: Publisher: Enfield Lock, Middlesex, UK : Hisarlik Press
Date of Publication: 1998
Binding: hardcover
Edition: First Edition
Condition: New
Description: Fine cloth copy in a near fine dw. Particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered. ; 252 pages; Description: viii, 252 p. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [230]-241) and index. Subjects: Druids and druidism in literature. Mythology and Religion - Celtic.
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Druid-Priest-Shaman: Metaphors of Celtic Paganism Hardcover – 1 Jul 1999

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This work examines the changing figure of the druid as a continuum from classical times to the present. It poses the question, if we know virtually nothing about the real Druids (who were nothing more or less than the priests of the pre-Christian Celts), why have people continued to find the image of the Druid so compelling for over 2000 years? The image of the druid has been constantly re-invented, as much by Caesar as by Stukeley, and these revisions say more about the people who create them than about any objective reality of Celtic religion. There are two main versions of "Druidism": the image of the Druid as a nascently Christian priest (the chief metaphor of the 18th-century writers) and the image of the Druid as a shaman, the view that increasingly prevails today. Both these images have their roots in the representations of Druids, saints, warriors and poets found in the medieval Celtic literatures. The book begins with a brief survey of the current understanding, through anthropology, folklore and archaeology, of Celtic society in the Iron Age, and what little is known about Druids of that time.

It then looks at the image of druids found in medieval Welsh and Irish texts, comparing the role of "priestly" Druids in the lives of early saints, such as Patrick and David, with the "shamanic" mysticism that prevails amongst warriors and poets such as Uchulainn, Owein ap Urien and Taliesin. The third section assesses the religious and political agendas underlying the resurgence of interest in Druidism in 18th-century Britain, comparing the archaeological enthusiasms of English neo-Druids, such as William Stukeley, with the emerging linguistic nationalism of Welsh writers, such as Iolo Morganwg. The final section looks at the image of the Druid in late-20th-century Britain and America, as it appears in popular film and television, in the books published for New Age and neo-pagan markets, and as it is constructed by those who participate in the discussions of all brands of Druidism on the computer service, America Online.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light Shining in Darkness 1 Dec. 2001
By Bart Morris - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This witty yet scholarly study of Celtic religion sheds a bright, much-needed light into the confusing murk that surrounds the whole field of "Neo-Paganism." Anyone interested in the subject of Druids or the Celts would profit by reading this book. I only wish there were a paperback edition of it, since the British publisher's pricetag is denying "Druid Shaman Priest" its large and rightful readership. Ms. Jones is a terrific writer on this or any other subject (see her charming study of wedding lore, "Happy Is the Bride the Sun Shines On."
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now available inexpensive paperback edition ! 9 July 2003
By Bill King - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Published December 2002 from Open Road Publishing. I don't see it at but the sister site has it now in 2003. Scholarly, truthful, and fun to read. The Druids, as best we can now know what they were like, were probably feared at least as much as they were loved by their faithful followers. *****
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Druid shaman priest 15 Sept. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is the best you should get it it tells you what you should know about shamanism.
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