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August 12th, 2004


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09:20 am - Epiphany. . .
I think we made a mistake allowing Triumph of the Moon onto the Dedicant reading list, but I'm not completely certain yet.

I suspect that once I finish it, my recommendation is going to be to remove it as soon as we find something better.

I'm so not using the word "moon" in the title of any book I write on Paganism.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)
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Are there any comparable books on recon religions? Every book I see on Neopaganism seems to focus on Wicca, which isn't recon. Unfortunately, the only book I've seen which focuses on a recon religion is a book about racism and Heathenism, and it wasn't a very good book at all--very biased against any sort of Paganism.
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From:zylch
Date:August 12th, 2004 07:19 am (UTC)
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::fondling my copy::

Yes, OSNT is primarily a how-to. But it ain't the Bible, by any means, and it has some serious shortcomings. There's essentially no history in it.

Triumph does have some useful bits in it for Hellenists, especially when it's talking about the Romantics and the like in the early chapters. Perhaps I should either finish the damn thing and find out whether there's anything else useful, or just give it back to y'all.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)
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We added it primaily due to popular response. We used to get lots of requests from people, "Can I read Triumph? Why not?" Because of that, I asked about it to the Scholars' list as a potential title. Unfortunately, I hadn't read it, and went with the (enthusiastic) recommendation of those who had. I think that I did not clearly state what the point of the requirement actually was, and that's where the trouble began.

As for what I would replace it with? Geez, I don't know. The frightening thing is, it might be the best book at the moment, even with its limited scope. . .
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 08:22 am (UTC)
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*grins* You haven't been there long, have you?

Welcome to my journal. I always like new people :)

Time to go check those links out. . .
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 09:57 am (UTC)
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That explains why I recognized your name vaguely.

Interesting. I will have to read that, as in general, the scholarly trends tend to be about how you cannot understand Paganism in a modern context, and how you have to go beyond that (i.e. into Post-Modernism) to understand these religions at all.

Now I have to read it :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC)
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Both postmodernism and modernism reject boundaries and rigid genre distinctions, emphasizing irony, parody, and playfulness. Postmodern art (and thought) favors reflexivity, fragmentation, ambiguity, and an emphasis on the destructured, dehumanized subject.

But postmodernism differs from modernism in its attitude toward a lot of these trends. Modernists uphold the idea that works of art can provide the unity, coherence, and meaning which has been lost in most of modern life; art will do what other human institutions fail to do. Postmodernism, on the other hand, doesn't lament the idea of fragmentation or incoherence, but rather celebrates that. "The world is meaningless? Let's not pretend that art can make meaning then, let's just play with nonsense."

(see http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html for a bit more info along those lines)

In short, it embraces itself for what it is, not for some strange external validation. Nonsense as salvation is an excellent maxim for it. The problem is, though, that Postmodernismn (like many Pagans) never offers answers. It's a very annoying way to look at the world, in my opinion.

However, Pagans have constantly challenged scholars of religion, who like to look the other way because (in the words of one professor I querried), "It's dumb." (No, I'm not going to say who, to protect the identity).

Paganism doesn't fit in the neat boxes we religious studies people have created, so it makes us uncomfortable. That leads to us ignoring it, and assuming that it's a "dumb" thing that must not require any study classes it squarely in "postmodern".

Kinda roundabout, but that's how I see it :)
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From:kallisti
Date:August 12th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
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Personally, I think the heart of Postmodernism is the concept that there is no boundary between the observer and the observed. In many ways, it is a holistic movement. And it's not just in art that it is used. In current day anthropology, Postmodernism is a major touchstone as it demands the observer acknowledge that they affect the culture they observe, and furthermore, it affects them too. Objectivity is a path, not a destination, as no one can truly achieve it.

Postmodernism is certainly a central part of the current Neo-Pagan movement today. Much as us recons try and strive to rebuild the religions of our ancestors, ultimately, we are parthenogenic, giving birth to religions without any direct connection with the past. As such, we create religions that are a reflection of what is in us, as much as we strive to model what little we know of the religions of our ancestors. Recons are not assembling a puzzle, we are the puzzle, with pieces that are shaped by our past religious experience, our peers, our society, our history, our hopes & fears, our fantasies, and hope to make something better than what we have had before.

ttyl
Farrell
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
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Heh. The funny thing for me is that Berger teaches at West Chester, my old school. Nice lady. Unfortunately, I never got to take her classes on Wicca. I should've been an anthropology minor.
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 10:48 am (UTC)
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And that's why I went to a moderately-sized state-funded liberal arts school. It was relatively cheap, and offered a wide variety of courses. God, I loved it.

By the way, funny to see you here!
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
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Really? I thought it was a great overview of the Pagan revival, though admittedly from a more British perspective. I've actually been using it for my Grail book. What do you think makes it wrong for the Dedican't list?
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
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After reading the first two paragraphs of the introduction, I felt we'd done a serious disservice to our Dedicants. In there he says, basically, that Triumph is specifically about British Witchcraft, and that it generally ignores the rest of the Neo-Pagan movement. It also completely ignores America, "and only considers other nations or regions where they have made a significant subsequent impact upon its further development in that homeland."

The point of the books in that section is to give a broad description of Neo-Paganism, where it came from, where it's going, who the major players are/were, and hopefully to mention Neo-Pagan Druidism. This book, in the first two paragraphs, has stated that the scope of the book does not include the things we wished a book in that category to include.

I think it's going to be far too limited to have the same benefit a book like DDM has.
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 10:48 am (UTC)
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Hm. I hadn't thought about it that way, but you're right.
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From:garan_du
Date:August 12th, 2004 11:45 am (UTC)
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Actually, Hutton doesn't completely ignore America. Rather, he is only concerned with those aspects of American Witchcraft that have found their way back to England to influence the progress of British Witchcraft (e.g., the role played by the American feminist and environmental movements).
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 11:50 am (UTC)
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Interesting. This is why I want to read the entire book before I finally make a case for or against it to romandruid. I don't want to make the same mistake twice and make assumptions off the introduction :)

His mention of Geertz has me a bit concerned, though. I expect that this study is going to be very Geertzian.
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC)
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This just makes me wish even more that someone would write a history of Druidism that focuses specifically on the revival, from 1717 onward.

Or maybe I should stop comlaining and start writing?
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC)
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Or maybe I should stop comlaining and start writing?

funny, I was thinking something similar. . .
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 12th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)
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Heh. I'm already formulating an outline.
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From:rhiannon76
Date:August 12th, 2004 09:21 am (UTC)
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there is one, but it's in french (some guy's dissertation, revised and published as a book, then republished. the newer edition has a tiny tiny little blurb about adf, which i thought was neat.)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 12th, 2004 09:59 am (UTC)
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If only I could read French!

But it did look damn nifty!
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From:sparkliedragon
Date:August 12th, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
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I dunno, a book about Loki might have "moon" in the title. As a verb.
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From:romandruid
Date:August 12th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
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I've been arguing against it for some time now as an inappropriate book for the DP purpose. It's an excellent book on what it *does* cover, but there's SO much it doesn't cover that I really think DP students need to learn about. The purpose of this particular reading requirement is a general overview of the modern neopagan movement. Sorry, but I still don't think anything's as good as The Idiot's Guide to Paganism for that purpose. [shrug]
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From:garan_du
Date:August 12th, 2004 12:20 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if any of these will help, but I've selected them as the most likely from my own library:

Carr-Gomm, Philip. "The Druid Renaissance." Thorsons. 1996
Hansen, Daniel. "American Druidism: A Guide to American Druid Groups." Peanut Butter Publishing. 1995
Hutton, Ronald. "Witches, Druids, and King Arthur." Hambledon and London. 2003
Nichols, Ross. "The Book of Druidry." Thorsons. 1996
From:fred_smith
Date:August 12th, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
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No, even buying a book with "moon" in the name is a bad move, writing one would be even worse.

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