Redlands Daily Facts from Redlands, California on January 31, 1973 · Page 20
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Redlands Daily Facts from Redlands, California · Page 20

Redlands, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 31, 1973
Page 20
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Important history book DAILY FACTS, Redlands, Calif., Wednesday, January 31,1973 - C2 UCR professor makes a study of early witchcraft RIVERSIDE - If Jeffrey Russell's new book, "Witchcraft in the Middle Ages," had been published a few decades ago, he probably would have been burned at the stake academically. As a scholarly topic, "the study of witchcraft has been ignored greatly" because scholars-themselves came to think of it as "rather weird," said Russell, a professor of history and chairman of the Program in Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. "The very weirdness of witchcraft has caused serious historians to skirt the subject with undue levity or undue skepticism in order to protect themselves from the importunities of thrill-seekers or the ridicule of their colleagues," Russell wrote in his book. "Much of the writing on the topic is incompetent—no other subject in history has elicited so much drivel—and marred by lack of seriousness in treating an idea that killed hundreds of thousands. "Books on witchcraft in the early 1900s were written in Europe, but people became too sympathetic to the occult, and the study of witchcraft became disreputable," he said. "Now the subjects being looked at from anthropological, sociological and psychological view-points and the idea of witchcraft is being, taken much more seriously." Cornell University Press, which just published Russell's book, took his study of witchcraft quite seriously, nominating it for both the National Book Award in history and the Pulitzer Prize in history. Following the nominations, study eighth century popes, because I, myself, felt studying witchcraft was a little too weird," Russell said. "But I finally decided witchcraft was much more interesting than eighth century popes." "The study of witchcraft is.. . of fundamental significance for the understanding of man," Russell states in his book. "It illuminates theology. It adds to the understanding of individual and social psychology. It is of particular significance in the history and sociology of ideas, in the study of folk religion,.in the history of social protest, in the history of the Church, and in that of religious suppression." The book, he added, is "an effort in the sociology of knowledge," inquiring about "how such a phenomenon (as witchcraft) came about, how it developed during the Middle Ages, and to what degree and by whom it was accepted." Russell hopes to "set the phenomenon of witchcraft in broader terms in the concept of evil," his current research project. "I'm now studying what people consider to be evil, why and how this concept was projected onto the witches, and why the witches gained general acceptance at that time." For witchcraft to develop,, there is a need for a certain social atmosphere, Russell said. "In western history, there have been two, and probably three such periods—the third and fourth centuries, the 15th century and possibly the 20th century—which have jn common a general social' upheaval and rapid changes in accepted moral and religious values. "Because of this, people are apt to go to extremes," he said. "People are left with what is called in philosophy an existential void, in which religious values are pulled out from under them." To believe in witchcraft, "people have to have some belief in a god. If there is not belief in a god, there's no need to believe in the devil. Witchcraft comes of chaos and the god of chaos is Satan." Is there .witchcraft in America? "Not much," said Russell, "and most of today's is artificial or folk magic, which is different. There's no tradition of American witchcraft. The colonial or Salem witch trials were an extension of European witchcraft. "I'm not interested in the practical aspects of witchcraft," he added. "All my witches have been dead 500 years, at least I hope." This summer, Russell will teach a course on the history of European witchcraft during UCR's Summer Session 1973, JEFFREY RUSSELL Roger How ley, director of Cornell University Press, said, "Jeffrey Burton Russell's book, 'Witchcraft in the Middle Ages' is among the most significant titles we have published in the field of history and we think it has an excellent chance of winning a major literary award." Russell's interest in witches began about 15 years ago as a result of a graduate course he took in'dissenting movements, religions and medieval heresy at UC Berkeley, where he earned a master's in history in 1957. He received a doctorate in history from Emory University in 1960. He began his study of witchcraft in 1962 and it became his major research project in 1967.. "I originally intended to Desert ecology to be study for 20 years In the year 1993, sweeping changes will have altered the geographic face of Southern California. But at least Deep Canyon, located near Palm Desert in Riverside Cojnty, will be the same. Chosen by a team of University of California, Riverside, scientists as the site of a comprehensive study, of desert ecology so thorough it will take two decades to complete, Deep Canyon will remain unchanged for the period. The study, the first of its kind ever devoted to desert ecology, will examine the impacct and effect of time and weather on the plant and animal life of Deep Canyon, part of the Philip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, a 10,000 acre site which ranges from low desert below sea level to high desert at elevations reaching almost 9,000 feet. Dr. Irwin P. Ting, UC Riverside professor of biology and director of the Philip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert ' Research Center, announced initiation of the 20 -year study, and additional "short-term" research programs. "The Deep Canyon site offers a variety of advantages that are otherwise not available," Ting said. "Inasmuch as the Center is part of the University's Natural Land and Water Reserve System, we are able to maintain its perfectly natural state over a long period of time. We couldn't do this elsewhere." He said data from the 20-year study would be used by UC scientists to help determine how best to protect desert environments, how plant and animal life survives in extremely arid conditions, and the impact of man on desert ecological systems. "As our population increases, and as living centers spread away from the coast Riverside freeway to add four lanes and coastal valley, desert lands will be developed to provide not only housing, but food and fiber as well. It becomes vital then to understand how plants and animals adapt to desert environments, and how best to protect those creatures and plants that inhabit the desert region. "A study of this nature, where we can maintain the nautral condition of the site, will be of great use to us. Twenty years is a long time, and we can then extract an extremely accurate and total picture of the desert environment reacting to natural change." Initial steps in the program include a complete count of all pants, insects and animals that inhabit Deep Canyon. A weather station, already at the site, which measures air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, sou temperature, evaporation rates and total sunlight, will be supplemented' by three additional weather facilities built at different sites in Deep Canyon. Ting, and other UC Riverside scientists will continue animal and plant population studies and continually measure weather changes. Projects already underway at Deep Canyon will be included in the 20 -year study. These include studies of one of the nation's few herds of Desert Big Horn Sheep and how they survive, measurements of the Canyon's rodent population, how succulent plants survive ia the deeert environment, insect life in Deep Canyon, and a study of soil nematodes. Studies of desert mammals, ants and some amphibians have already been completed, and these data will be incorporated into the 20-year program. SACRAMENTO — A 1.7-mile section of the Riverside Freeway (Route 91) will be widened from four to eight lanes in and near Corona, according to bids being called today by the California Division of Highways. Limits of the project will begin at East Grand Boulevard undercrossing and continue to a point 0.8-mile west of McKinley Street un­ dercrossing. The additional FUNNY BUSINESS lanes will be added within the existing median. Two structures being widened as part of the project include the East Grand Boulevard undercrossing and the Temescal Wash bridge and overhead. Bids are to be opened March 22 in Los Angeles. A total of $2,500,000 is available for the widening, which is scheduled for completion in February of 1974. By Roger floffen I'M NOT SO S/RE- Wf?6 TO LAST WEEK'S / 1 i ALPHA BETH USDA INSPECTED FRESH FROZEN ARMOUR'S PEERLESS BRAND YOUNG HEN TURKEYS WE WELCOME FOOD STAMP SHOPPERS IN ANY LOS ANGELES, RIVERSIDE OR ORANGE COUNTY ALPHA IETA You'll like better at USDA INSPECTED FRESH FROZEN NEW ZEALAND gKT BONELESS LAMB SHOULDER ROAST 1 L6. PACKAGE DUBUQUE IOWA-MAID BACON 35 -OUNCE BOX T. S.O.S. DISHWASHER DETERGENT 56< 51 -OUNCE BOX WHITE KING (JT.'^Z,) WATER SOFTENER 112-OUNCE BOX 13c 49-OUNCE BOX WHITE KING 'D' DETERGENT 45« c 57< 'WHITE KING CMe SOAP WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SALES TO COMMERCIAL DEALERS • SALES TAX COLLECTED ON ALL TAXABLE ITEMS • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONET REFUNDED

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