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Below you'll find more information on some of the topics touched on in Bill Moyers' conversation with Margaret Atwood. You can also find more information on religion in the news in our main Resources section. Plus you can explore myths and sacred texts and belief and doubt and other matters in our Perspectives section.

Salem Witchcraft Trials
Margaret Atwood refers to the Salem Witchcraft Trials as "one of the foundational events" of American history. Interpretations of the Salem, Massachusetts witchcraft hysteria of 1689 vary from generation to generation. Read the original court documents and learn about the use of "spectral evidence."

Influential Puritan cleric Cotton Mather published this defense of belief in witchcraft and the Salem trials in 1693.

"Half-hanged Mary"
Margaret Atwood wrote this poem about her ancestor, Mary Webster, who, after being accused, and acquitted of witchcraft, was lynched. She survived the attack and thus earned her name, and her freedom.

According to THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, antinomianism is "The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace. Also defined as the belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application as opposed to fixed or universal. "

Margaret Atwood refers to the poem by 18th century artist and poet William Blake. To Nobodaddy

Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye

Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause

William Blake

Many generations of children have first encountered Greek and Roman myths through the books of 19th-century historian and author Charles Kingsley.

This resource provides a short and long version of THE ODYSSEY, as well as a detailed index with information on various elements of the story.

Goddess myths
Scholars of religion and culture have documented many tales of female divinity. Learn more about the golden age of the goddess from JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE POWER OF MYTH.

"The Penelopiad" on stage in England
Margaret Atwood and director Phyllida Lloyd discuss their staging of Atwood's novel.

Watch and Listen
  • Watch a sneak preview

    listenMargaret Atwood in conversation with author Orhan Pamuk at the PEN Festival (38:51 mp3)

    listenMore from the PEN World Voices Festival Archive

  • Find out more
  • About myths & sacred tales

  • About belief & doubt

  • FAITH & REASON booklist

  • Resources
  • OWTOAD: Margaret Atwood's Web Site

  • The Margaret Atwood Society: Scholarly resources

  • Read an excerpt from ORYX AND CRAKE

  • Margaret Atwood talks about her life with the CBC

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