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    Fairies & Witches: The Witch Trials and Pagan Beliefs
    Interview

    Fairies & Witches: The Witch Trials and Pagan Beliefs

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      Archaeologist, folklorist, and historian Margaret Murray’s old thesis was that the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries were really an attack on fairy beliefs in an attempt to extinguish a surviving pre-Christian, pagan religion. Although later academically discredited, her theory gained widespread attention and was an influence on the emerging religious movement of Wicca.

      Author and researcher Richard Firth Green joins AO Premium for an intriguing Talk to an Expert Chat, and argues that while Margaret Murry overstated her case, there is a degree of truth in it and that much modern scholarship, in its concern to avoid blaming the victim, has generally missed an obvious connection between fairies and witches.

      Richard Firth Green is Humanities Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at The Ohio State University and acted as Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies from 2006 to 2013. He is the author of Elf Queens and Holy Friars: Fairy Beliefs and the Medieval Church (2016), among other titles.

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