Friday, June 11, 2010

The Top Eleven Books On Paganism Most Pagans Have Never Heard Of

A few suggestions for light summer reading, submitted for your approval. In truth, many of these will be familiar to any regular visitors to egregores.

1. Hellenic Religion & Christianization, c. 370-529
by Frank Trombley
What happened to ancient Paganism? This.

2. The Morality of Happiness
by Julia Annas
Don't be unethical. Be happy. Be Pagan.

3. Hellenism in Byzantium
by Anthony Kaldellis
In late antiquity Hellenism became a distinctly religious identity, and this Pagan religious identity survived as a continuous tradition in Byzantium, the very heart of Christendom.

4. George Gemistos Plethon: Last of the Hellenes
by C.M. Woodhouse
When he died in 1453, Plethon left behind secret writings proving that he was a polytheistic Pagan. These posthumously discovered writings begin with the declaration: "The Gods really do exist."

5. Christian Persecution, Martyrdom, and Orthodoxy
by Geoffrey Ernest Maurice De Ste. Croix
It turns out early Christians wanted to be martyrs and intentionally sought their own deaths by committing criminal acts of violence, including murder. I guess Christians are just funny that way.

6. History and Silence: The Purge and Rehabilitation of Memory in Late Antiquity
by Charles W. Hedrick Jr.
The Pagans of the late 4th century were revolting. Some people, like Alan Cameron, claim they weren't. But they really were.

7. Buddhist Goddesses of India
by Miranda Shaw
Goddess worship before Goddess worship was cool. (And the Buddha was a Pagan.)

8. Vergil in the Middle Ages
by Domenico Comparetti
The cult of Vergil is a continuous Pagan tradition. So there.

9. Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets
by Sarah Iles Johnston and Fritz Graf
"I am a child of Earth and the starry Sky. My race is heavenly."

10. Babylon Memphis Persepolis
by Walter Burkert
That's funny, these Pagans don't look European.

11. Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomble
by Paul Christopher Johnson
"Secrets are to religion what lingerie is to the body."

Mark Rutte "will explore an alliance" with Geert Wilders

After officially informing the Dutch monarch, Queen Beatrix, "that his party was ready to take on the task of negotiating a majority coalition," Mark Rutte, head of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy announced that "he was obliged to turn first to the Freedom Party [the VVD, led by Geert Wilders], since it had scored the largest gains."

The above is according to Arthur Max's latest AP article on Wednesday's elections in the Netherlands.

Rutte even went so far as to declare that Wilders' VVD was "the biggest winner" in the election, because they had so dramatically increased their share of the overall vote.