a recording of this lecture will be available to ticket holders for two weeks after the event

Since 1990, Druidry has emerged as one of the main components of contemporary spirituality, especially but not exclusively as part of the contemporary Pagan revival. This process is, however, but the latest aspect of a long series of interactions between the ancient figure of the Druid and modern culture, particularly in Britain. This talk is designed to consider those interactions, and the representations since 1700 of Druids as patriotic heroes, sages and scholars, exemplars of ecological self-awareness and mystics, and (alternatively) as bloodthirsty and bigoted priests who epitomised ignorance and oppression. It will show how Druid societies emerged in modern Britain, and spread across the Western world, and how eventually Druidry came to take its place as an important contemporary religious tradition, and why.

Speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is a leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.