BOOK REVIEW SECTION Roy Willis & Patrick Curry, Astrology, Science and Culture: Pulling Down the Moon , Berg: Oxford & New York 2004. 170 pp. ISBN 1-85973-682-3 (cloth) and 1-85973-687-4 (paper). Astrology occupies a liminal space in contemporary Western society. Polls suggest a wide-spread popular sympathy for stellar divination, with a quar- ter of the population typically professing belief. At the same time, astrology is in a sense thoroughly marginalized, having been ousted from areas such as politics, higher education and medicine where it once reigned supreme. Indeed, whereas many other religious (or religiously tinged) practices are generally granted at least a minimum of respect by the cultural elite, astrology provokes outright hostility among many non-believers and is routinely branded as an irrational pseudo-science. The present slender volume, comprised of five chapters authored by anthropologist Roy Willis and six by historian of astrol- ogy Patrick Curry, revolves around this peculiar state of affairs. Their very sensible point of departure is that the nature of astrology has been thoroughly misunderstood by its critics. The post-Enlightenment cul- ture in which we live has fostered the illusion that astrology must be either a failed science or a valid one, tertium non
Aries – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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