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Wicca's Charm | Reviews | Praise | Excerpt


First Things

Wicca's Charm: Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft and Pagan Spirituality

Book Review by Mary Angelita Ruiz

Catherine Edwards Sanders argues that modern women turn to witchcraft and Goddess—worship because they find Christianity dissatisfying—or rather, because they often encounter dissatisfying Christians.

Sanders, who first investigated modern witchcraft as an assignment for a magazine, writes: "I was surprised to discover that even if I didn't ask any questions about the church, Wiccans always mentioned it." The women Sanders interviews in her engaging Wicca's Charm cite any number of reasons for their interest in witchcraft, but again and again they say that it satisfies a craving for spirituality and ritual that many Christian communities do not.

Given the state of contemporary catechesis, this flight from the churches is not surprising. Most of these women have never been taught that creedal Christianity is not simply a cultural fairy tale. Much less have they been exposed to authentic devotion or formed spiritually themselves.

Many such women seek help with the longings and doubts natural to any Christian, but are left without informed, devout explanations of Christian scripture, theology, history, practice, moral teaching, ritual, and liturgy.

If a practicing pagan can offer them some kind of answer, how are they to understand just how wrong-headed and dangerous that answer is?

Wicca's Charm is worth noting, not because modern witchcraft offers any serious threat to Christianity, but because attraction to witchcraft is yet another manifestation of modern desires that might be satisfied by Christianity—if modern Christians would only show the way.

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