Ronald Hutton is Professor of History, Fellow of the British Academy and Head of School of Humanities at the University of Bristol. 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, he is also the leading historian of the ritual year in Britain. He is a member of the 'Medieval and Early Modern Cluster' at Bristol. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (OUP, 1999), his work on the development of Wicca, has been a highly influential work in the study of contemporary religions, and a sometimes contentious one among practitioners. Other notable works include Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (London: Yale University Press, 2009) and The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (OUP, 1996).
"History can be of tremendous value for a society that is looking for roots... and can sometimes be a bit uncritical in its search for roots. People want an identity and may be clutching at something that can be a bit confrontational, for example, Muslims looking for an identity rooted in current conflicts in the Middle East, rather than reflecting on what is quite a long-standing presence in British society and culture."