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The Druidic Past and Present T6405

James Acken

Instructor: James Acken, PhD

Class meetings: Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30pm ET optional

Prerequisites: None; C5121 Contemporary Global Paganisms or T5940 Research and Writing for Pagan Scholarship recommended. Since the eighteenth century, druids and the heritage they represent have fascinated and inspired Western tradition, but this heritage is vexed by more than a thousand years of either absent or contradictory evidence.  This course reviews evidence from several disciplines and pertaining to the druids, analyzing the connections between what we believe we know of their reality to the extant evidence, but it will also look beyond the usual scholastic analyses to folk customs and traditional lore.

In the case of low enrollment (3 students or fewer), this class will run in a directed study format. Students should be able to confidently conduct independent research with instructor guidance. Weekly chats will be replaced with occasional one-on-one conferences with the instructor.  Contact the instructor for additional details.

Fulfills the Area I requirement for a course in Paganism and history.

Required Texts:

  • Cunliffe, Barry.  Druids: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 199539405

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