Hutton Ronald - The pagan religions of the ancient British Isles

Author : Hutton Ronald
Title : The pagan religions of the ancient British Isles Their nature and legacy
Year : 1991

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Preface. The purpose of this book is to set out what is at present known about the religious beliefs and practices of the inhabitants of the British Isles before their conversion to Christianity. The term 'pagan' is used as a convenient shorthand for those beliefs and practices, and is employed in the title merely to absolve the book from any need to discuss early Christianity itself. Throughout, I have used the same word, and others such as 'faith', 'cult' and 'religion' itself, in a manner which may seem unsatisfactory to theologians and philosophers who prefer stricter definition and more precise application of these terms. I hope nevertheless that my looser usage will be deemed sufficient for a work of history (and prehistory) such as this. My principal intention is to bring to a wider public the very large amount of new evidence and ideas relating to the subject that has been published in the past two decades, much of which seems to be known only to experts within narrow areas of study. Although some more general surveys (often of superb quality) have appeared covering particular periods and places - for example, celebrated prehistoric monuments, the Roman province, the 'Celts' and the Anglo-Saxons - there exists no more general treatment. Furthermore, some of these existing surveys are already out of date or seem to me to be overconfident in certain of their judgements. ...

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