CE — Anthropology and Folklore

Nova bibliotheca astrologica: deutsch, English, español, français, italiano, latinus, nederlands [New Astrological Library: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Dutch]. Marion Röbkes. Tübingen: Astronova-Versand, 2006. xxii, 478 p. 25 cm. + revised index (14 p.) (Astronova-Sonderausgabe). ISBN 3-937077-2-0: EUR48 [06-1-101]

The Bonn astrologist Marion Röbkes, author of many esoteric works such as Handbuch der Karten-Legetechniken [Handbook of Card-Reading Techniques] (1998), Wahrsagen mit Skatkarten [Fortune Telling with Skat Cards] (1999), Weisheit aus einer anderen Welt— oui-ja, witchboards, talking boards [Wisdom from Other Worlds] (2000), and Hexen, Götter, Kulte—Orte der Magie [Witches, Gods, Cults—Magical Places] (2005), has compiled a bibliography of over 6,000 titles on astrology, horoscopes, and cosmopsychology, including works from 1460 to 2005 from all major European language groups, including both European and North and South American publications. Entries are arranged chronologically without further subdivision. An author index helps to bring together variant editions and translations, and a curious subject index, designed to accommodate the many languages represented, presents 176 word-root entries. For example, “alch” provides access to 27 titles on alchemy, Alchemie, etc.

Unfortunately the bibliography is not as complete or comprehensive as one would hope. Although helpful for 20th-century works, it is unreliable for earlier periods. Consideration of the chronological distribution of citations shows that 88 percent of the entries are for publications from 1900-2005 while only 12 percent come from all previous centuries. While this could reflect the growth of publishing and changes in the interest in the esoteric, comparison with online library catalogs and standard reference works demonstrates significant gaps in the coverage of pre-20th-century publications, suggesting a deficiency in the bibliography. Close examination of individual entries indicates unevenness in coverage, inappropriately included works, mis-transcription of early titles, failure to cite original editions, and gaps that are clearly due to lack of research. [wh/ab]

Grosses Lexikon der Astrologie [Comprehensive Lexicon of Astrology]. Special ed. Bonn: Lempertz, 2003. 640 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-933070-43-0: EUR 9.95 [06-1-103]

The imprint “Edition Lempertz” signaled the revival of the publishing activity of the Lempertz bookstore in 1997 with an emphasis on Catholic theology and regional publications; however the catalog on the firm’s website includes no theology, and only one anonymous work on Nostradamus as well as this likewise anonymous lexicon of astrology. Presented as an instrument of practical self-help, the lexicon opens with definitions of astronomical and astrological terminology before turning to the main section, an over-simplified and all too general explanation of the zodiac. It concludes with a section on the lunar horoscope, with New Age nutritional, health, and garden tips based on phases of the moon. This is a shoddily assembled book for amateur astrologists and fans of the Age of Aquarius. [wh/ab]

Lexikon des Satanismus und des Hexenwesens [Lexicon of Satanism and Witchcraft]. Marc-Roberts-Team. Graz: V. F. Sammler, 2004. 312 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-85365-205-0: EUR 29.90 [06-1-104]

The team responsible for this volume is, according to its own statement, a group of esoteric practitioners and internationally known scientists (astrologers, non-medical practitioners, psychologists, and scholars of religion). The same team is responsible for Das neue Lexikon der Esoterik [The New Lexicon of the Esoteric] (see RREA 12:177). Aside from a few fundamental articles such as Satanismus [Satanism], Teufel [Devil], Hexe [Witches], and Hexenprozesse [Witch Trials], the volume is a reference work for names of demons. The user’s expectations raised by the appearance in the title of the words “Satanism” and “Witchcraft” will not be met.

A comparison of the article on Satanism in this lexicon with the corresponding article in the Handbuch religiöse Gemeinschaften und Weltanschauungen [Handbook of Religious Communities and Ideologies] (see RREA 10:60) makes clear the difference between the two. The Handbuch offers a comprehensive brief presentation encompassing manifestations of Satanism, an outline of Satanism’s world-view, practices of Satanism, and a bibliography. It also evaluates Satanism as an underappreciated cultural and religious countercurrent to the Judeo-Christian tradition. There is no trace of a comparable level of research and evaluation in the Lexikon. Works aimed at a general audience such as the Kleines Lexikon des Hexenwesens [Concise Lexicon of Witchcraft] (see RREA 7:206) are regarded as fundamental works of scholarship.

In view of the numerous flaws and the cursory treatment, this title is dispensable. [wh/rc]

Das neue Lexikon der Esoterik [The New Lexicon of the Esoteric]. Marc Roberts. Expanded ed. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2005. 639 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 3-89602-537-6: EUR 14.90 [06-1-106]

This title is an edition expanded by about 200 pages from its original 1993 publication. There are 2,006 entries including cross-references, although the back cover promises more than 3,000 entries. “Marc Roberts” is a pseudonym identified in the preface as representing a team of esoteric practitioners and internationally known scientists (astrologers, non-medical practitioners, Orientalists, psychologists, and scholars of religion; the same team is responsible for the Lexikon des Satanismus und des Hexenwesens [Lexicon of Satanism and Witchcraft] (see RREA 12:176). The individual entries treat briefly and without critical assessment a multitude of esoteric and occult themes, with special attention given to alternative medicine (e.g., aroma therapy, chromotherapy, crystal therapy, etc.).

In spite of the cursory treatment, occasional misspelled names, and misleading or incorrect headwords, the text is as a rule useful and informative. However, there is no index or bibliography, and the quality of the large number of illustrations suffers from the poor quality of the paper used.

Because of the broad subject coverage, the volume is appropriate for an initial orientation into the realm of the esoteric and occult and, for that purpose, sufficiently reliable. A more reliable source for coverage of folkloric matters is the Wörterbuch der deutschen Volkskunde [Dictionary of German Folklore] edited by Richard Beitl (Stuttgart, 1974). [wh/rc]

Tattoo-& Piercing-Lexikon: Kult und Kultur der Körperkunst [Tattoo and Piercing Lexicon: Cult and Culture of Body Art]. Marcel Feige and Bianca Krause. 2d expanded ed. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2004. 16, 335 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-89602-541-4: EUR 19.90 [05-1-195]

That a new revision of this title, which first appeared in 2000, exists is due not only to the fact that tattoos and piercing are very fashionable, but also to the circumstance that there is much new material to be considered (as evidenced by the list of sources included, particularly in the piercing section). The articles, which treat individuals, organizations, countries, magazine titles, tools, tattoo/piercing styles, etc., only occasionally have bibliographies, although where relevant one does find URLs and physical addresses. The black-and-white illustrations are of mediocre quality, while there are only 16 color plates, all of tattoos. In the service section, there are lists of tattoo and piercing shops in the German-speaking nations, arranged by postal code. [sh/dsa]

Psychoanalyse und Ethnologie: biographisches Lexikon der psychoanalytischen Ethnologie, Ethnopsychoanalyse und interkulturellen psychoanalytischen Therapie [Psychoanalysis and Ethnology: Biographical Dictionary of Psychoanalytic Ethnology, Ethnopsychoanalysis, and Intercultural Psychoanalytical Therapy]. Johannes Reichmayr, Ursula Wagner, Caroline Ouederrou, and Binja Pletzer. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2003. 597 p. 22 cm. ISBN 3-89806-244-9: EUR 49.90 [06-1-109]

The present biographical dictionary provides information about 113 individuals who have made important contributions to the development of the disciplines mentioned in the title. A third of the individuals profiled are deceased. The printed text is complemented by a website that includes the contents of the book and provides for updates and additions.

After an introduction, the dictionary section provides the biographical profiles in alphabetical order. The average length of the profiles is five pages, including the personal bibliography. Generally, the individual profiles begin with a two to three sentence introduction to the character of the person, followed by a sketch of that person’s life and work. A bibliography lists the most important works by and about the individual profiled. The parallel online bibliography is more extensive and should be consulted in addition the print version.

A bibliographical appendix offers a two to three page review of 22 selected journals and series in German, French, or English. Information about these periodicals includes publisher’s address or the names of members of an editorial board, as well as a short history of the publications. Information about the series focuses on important individual or new titles, including secondary and online access. The table of contents of these journals is given on the website, but no location or holdings information is provided.

Psychoanalyse und Ethnologie also contains indexes to the biographical articles, the periodicals treated, and to persons and subjects covered in the work. The 799-item index to persons contains all the names of persons mentioned in the biographical articles, including literary characters, such as Robinson Crusoe. The subject index contains main entries and extensive subheadings.

Half of the individuals profiled work in the field of psychoanalytic ethnology, with two-thirds of these coming from ethnology or social or cultural anthropology to psychoanalysis. Ethnopsychoanalysis is represented by a fourth of the profiles, twothirds of which come from psychoanalysis and one third from ethnology. A fifth of the profiles are of individuals engaged in cultural psychoanalytic therapy. Today, this field of study and practice is represented by a diversity of terms: transcultural psychiatry and psychotherapy, ethnomedicine, medical anthropology, intercultural psychoanalytic psychotherapy, clinical ethnopsychology, etc. Libraries must come to terms with the complex proliferation of schools, methods, and practice groups by building collections that detail the interconnections between diverse concepts and to document the evolution of what was once a tightly circumscribed location of practice and research into a multifaceted, multibranched discipline represented by a lengthening series of designations for the increasing set of discrete areas of study and research in the psychological aspects of ethnology.

Psychoanalyse und Ethnologie helps readers make the connections and piece together the history of a complicated and evolving field. As such, it belongs in the ready reference collections of libraries. [wh/jb]

Dtv-Atlas Ethnologie [Dtv Ethnology Atlas]. Dieter Haller; illustrations Bernd Rodekohr. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2005. 307 p. ill. 24 cm. (dtv, 3259). ISBN 3-423-03259-6: EUR 19.50 [06-2-310]

The work is an introduction to and systematic overview of the field of ethnology, which the author describes as “the study of humans as cultural beings.” The main focus is the discipline that in Germany is called Völkerkunde or Ethnologie and in English-speaking countries social or cultural anthropology. However the author also refers to other disciplines in the wide field of human cultural studies (such as ethnosociology, folklore, linguistic and historical anthropology, behavioral studies) that are not directly addressed in the present work but include ethnological elements. The introduction contains a history of the discipline, basic definitions, and a discussion of the key concept of “culture.” Chapters on theory include classical approaches, selected national approaches, and new research directions. Other chapters cover basics themes of ethnology and its methodology, and there are separate chapters devoted to six broad areas of ethnological research: economics, society, politics and law, kinship, religion, communication and expression. This work is part of the Dtv “atlas” series, in which text is restricted to the right-hand page with related illustrations in color on the left. In general the illustrations serve to complement the text and facilitate understanding. However the more abstract aspects of ethnological research do not easily lend themselves to graphic representation, and some of the illustrations lean toward the banal. The book is well designed for quick reference, and for the neophyte it can be read through as an introduction to cultural studies. [wh/jc]

Einführung in die europäische Ethnologie [Introduction to European Ethnology]. Wolfgang Kaschuba. 2d, updated ed. München: Beck, 2003. 248 p. 22 cm. (C.H. Beck Studium). ISBN 3-406-50462-0: EUR 19.90 [06-2-311]

Wolfgang Kaschuba (b. 1950) is Professor for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University in Berlin and Director of the eponymous Institute. The Institute investigates “daily life and Culture in European modernity, national and ethnic identities, and urban life.” A list of his many publications and an overview of research projects is available at (http://www2.hu-berlin.de/ethno/seiten/institut/mitarbeiter/kaschuba.htm).

This second edition of the Introduction is in fact a line-by-line reprint of the 1999 edition. The “updating” refers merely to an expansion of the bibliography by approximately 30 titles that are more sociological or cultural-anthropological than they are ethnological.

The volume is intended to serve as an orientation to Kaschuba’s Institute and its approach to the field of ethnic studies. It also serves an aid for students and researchers. It is divided into three sections: History of Learning and Investigation in the Field (96 p.); Concepts and Theories (82 p.) and Methods and Sub-topics (61 p.). Each section comprises five chapters. An appendix includes indexes of abbreviations, persons and topics as well as a less than carefully compiled bibliography. [wh/kst]

Einführung in die Volkskunde/Europäische Ethnologie: eine Wissenschaftsgeschichte [Introduction to Folklore Studies/European Ethnology: A History of the Discipline]. Ingeborg Weber-Kellermann, Andreas C. Bimmer, and Siegfried Becker. 3d completely rev. ed. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2003. x, 219 p. 19 cm. (Sammlung Metzler, 79). ISBN 3-476-13079-7: EUR 12.95 [06-2-312]

This broad introduction to the field of folklore and European ethnology aims at nothing less than to help the reader self-identify with the object of the often very diverse and abstruse theories and methodologies of the field, and thereby to fulfill Weber-Kellermann’s dictum that closes the text: “To study folklore is to get more out of life!” (p. 200).

Approximately 17 introductory works on folklore and European ethnology were published between 1977 and 2002, for example, Rolf Brednich’s Grundriß der Volkskunde: Einführung in die Forschungsfelder der Europäischen Ethnologie [Outline of Folklore Studies: Introduction to the Research Areas of European Ethnology] (Berlin, 2001— see RREA 8:201). Of all these, Weber-Kellerman’s is one of the oldest and in its third edition contains four times as many (1,000) bibliographical references as in the 1969 first edition. Her original title for the first edition was Deutsche Volkskunde zwischen Germanistik und Sozialwissenschaften [German Folklore between Germanic Studies and the Social Sciences] and was intended to address the new orientation of the field in the direction of sociology. It received positive reviews from abroad, as well as some very negative ones from within Germany. The much-enlarged second edition with Andreas C. Bimmer as a co-author, dropped the “German” and added the designation “European Ethnology”. Weber-Kellermann died in 1993, but much of the text of this third edition, while revised and updated by Bimmer and Siegfried Becker, remains essentially hers.

As with the original, this edition documents a renewed paradigm change in the field in the direction of cultural studies. True to its subtitle, the Einführung sketches out a history of the subject from earliest times to the present, including the growing influence of social psychology, linguistics and sociology in the early 20th century. There is also a discussion of the misuse of folklore during the era of National Socialism. Notably, whereas the original edition ended with a twelve page chapter on “German Folklore since the Second World War,” this has now been expanded to two sections on the evolution of folklore into European ethnology and the relationship of the latter to sociology and cultural studies, which that now comprise fully a third of the book. There is also a brief treatment of the study of folklore in the GDR. The volume closes with an overview of collections and institutions of research in the field, an enlarged and updated bibliography (supplementing references in the individual chapters) and an index of names. The subject index of the previous editions has unfortunately been dropped.

Although the concept of a European ethnology—especially in connection with the study of folklore—has found some adhesion as a unified subject (especially in comparison to the rubric of “cultural studies”), one has only to compare this work to Wolfgang Kaschuba’s Einführung in die Europäische Ethnologie (see RREA 12:181) in order to recognize that a comprehensive theoretical and methodological framework for the field is still lacking. This is not an assertion that the authors of this book would likely dispute. Scholarship is, after all, in a constant state of flux. [wh/kst]

Deutsche Rechtsregeln und Rechtssprichwörter: Ein Lexikon [German Legal Terminology and Legal Adages: A Bibliography]. Ed. Ruth Schmidt-Wiegand. München: Beck, 2002. 402 p. 19 cm. (Beck’sche Reihe, 1470). ISBN 3-406-47610-4: EUR 16.90 [06-2-314]

This dictionary of German legal terminology and legal sayings is a revised paperback edition of a book that was first published in 1996. “The legal saying is a special form of proverb,” the author writes. Legal saying are based on specific law and carries the power of authority and conformity. The author has consulted over 200 lexicographical sources (including the 2001 Deutsches Sprichwörterlexikon—see RREA 8:207) and has produced a very comprehensive guide to this vocabulary from the Middle Ages to the present, including terms and sayings not only in High German but also from other Germanic languages. [wh/ldl]

Bibliographie der alchemistischen Literatur [Bibliography of Alchemy Literature]. Volker Fritz Brüning. München: Saur. 30 cm. ISBN 978-3-598-11483-0; ISBN 3-598-11483-4 (set): EUR 744 [06-2-315]

Vol. 1. Die alchemistischen Druckwerke von der Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst bis zum Jahr 1690 [Alchemy Publications from the Invention of Printing to the Year 1690]. 2004. xii, 500 p. ill. ISBN 3-598-11603-9: EUR 248

Vol. 2. Die alchemistischen Druckwerke von 1691 bis 1783. 2006 [publ. 2005]. xiv, 500 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-598-11604-9; ISBN 3-598-11604-7: EUR 248

Vol. 3. Die alchemistischen Druckwerke von 1784 bis 2004, Register, Nachträge [… Index, Addenda]. 2007 [publ. 2006]. xxv, 490 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-598-11605-6; ISBN 3-598-11605-5: EUR 248

This bibliography covering 500 years worth of publications on the topic of alchemy in 7,274 numbered entries was completed in only three years and claims to be the first complete bibliography on this subject. Does it live up to expectations? Selection criteria and in fact the definition of alchemy remain vague, so that the reader is not sure how titles were selected for inclusion. Titles are listed in chronological order, which in this case is not a good choice, especially in light of the long span of coverage and the many editions of some classic titles over the centuries. To find all the works of one author, one must search for them laboriously using the author index in vol. 3. Another shortcoming is that Brüning used a variety of sources for his citations (e.g., libraries, “primary sources”—no further explanation, bibliographies, monographs, auction and antiquarian bookseller catalogs), but it is hard to discern which books he actually had in hand. In the cases in which a library copy was viewed, he includes the library’s numerical symbol. In addition to the frequent typographical errors and inaccurate bibliographical citations discovered by the present reviewer, an expert at Heidelberg University, Prof. Joachim Telle, found important titles lacking and the annotations amateurish in his review of vol. 1.

The annotations cover publishing history, contents, the author, and references to other editions. There are 70 pages of corrigenda and addenda followed by indexes: authors, translators, editors; anonymous titles; subjects (unreliable); persons (i.e. those mentioned in the annotations).

This bibliography cannot seem to decide whether it is a bibliophile listing or a subject bibliography; it fulfills the criteria for neither. Both antiquarian booksellers and libraries should use it only with caution, and the academic researcher will not be satisfied. [sh/hh]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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