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Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft

Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft

Ritual Magic in Contemporary England

T. M. Luhrmann

ISBN 9780674663244

Publication date: 03/01/1991

To find out why reasonable people are drawn to the seemingly bizarre practices of magic and witchcraft, Tanya Luhrmann immersed herself in the secret lives of Londoners who call themselves magicians. She came to know them as friends and equals and was initiated into various covens and magical groups. She explains the process through which once-skeptical individuals—educated, middle-class people, frequently of high intelligence—become committed to the ideas behind witchcraft and find magical ritual so compellingly persuasive. This intriguing book draws some disturbing conclusions about the ambivalence of belief within modern urban society.


  • A groundbreaking study that nimbly interweaves Ms. Luhrmann’s own magical adventures with anthropological shoptalk, offering a systematic classification and analysis of modern magic, as well as judicious observations on the nature of belief… A formidable challenge that T. M. Luhrmann’s book implicitly poses [is] a rigorous examination of the tenets of our own faith, ideas, dearest intellectual castles, to find just where the foundations lie. To accomplish that would be magic enough for anyone.

    —Philip Zaleski, New York Times Book Review


  • Tanya M. Luhrmann is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego.

Book Details

  • 396 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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