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Publisher's Summary

Anthropologist Susan Johnston turns a scholarly eye on one of humankind's primary interests throughout history: the spiritual belief system. Beginning her lectures with an attempt to define religion, Professor Johnston continues this intriguing study with an examination of mythology and symbols, rituals and witchcraft, gender, politics, and religion's place in the many customs surrounding death. A continuing and often contentious presence in the world today, religion, from its origins to the present, is a key component for understanding communities and cultures all over the globe.
©2009 Susan A. Johnson; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall
  • Howard
  • 02-19-12

Factual - but lackluster

This highly academic approach to a potentially lively and fascinating subject, didn't work for me. Each point was labored, the same few examples referenced over and over. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the exhilarating work of Joseph Campbell and his followers, but this felt bone dry.

As a UK listener, constant references to (specifically) America as "us" and "we" grew wearing, while the delivery was flat and humorless and the dense, rather harsh tone of the lecturer's voice and accent grated from the outset.

Professor Johnston's lectures are full of information - strong on case studies, name-checking countless anthropologists and their research etc. - so I can imagine how useful this could be for those researching and writing around the subject. However, for a casual listener such as myself, this lacked any spark of vitality - or indeed, Magic.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful