Book Review: The Occult Tradition

A reasonably interesting book that got me thinking about my own prejudices, The Occult Tradition by David S. Katz sets out a history of the occult as we know it today. Having approached the book skeptically, knowing Katz as an occult sympathiser, I was met in the first few pages by the objection that no one minds Christian scholars writing about Christianity, so why should we mind occultists writing about the occult? I could think of no reply to this, beyond the obvious point that allowing one’s own beliefs to run away with one’s mind often leads to a lack of academic rigor.

This book, however, displayed none of that: whilst not being the best thing I’ve ever read on the subject, it treated the occult with respect, but steered clear of being fantastical or fawning.

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