Carnation, Lily, Rose, John Singer Sargent
Image (c) Barnaby Thieme
Sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like in the past few weeks. I have a couple pieces in the works, but I’ve been awfully busy with my day job.
I’m currently thinking about writing an overview of tantra, something on entheogens and religious experience, a piece on the trickster figure, and another piece on the psychology of religion. I’m sure I’ll get to them all soon!
If there’s a topic you’d be interested in hearing about, please let me know in the comments section! Always wanted to know what’s up with Zen koans, or how the Greeks really practiced religion, or something else? Let me know about it!
In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently and have just finished a couple of truly outstanding books, and I’ve reviewed them on the Goodreads site. They are Birth of the Young God, Hank Heifetz’s translation of the first eight cantos of Kalidasa’s magnificent poem about Shiva and Paravati; Geoffrey Samuel’s The Origins of Yoga and Tantra, a wonderful social history of two complex religious movements; The Cult of the Saint by Peter Brown; and Peter Gay’s Weimar Culture.
Two books I didn’t find so thrilling were Walter Burkert’s The Orientalizing Revolution, about the influence of Mesopotamia and Egypt on Archaic Greek culture, and Michael Angold’s spotty history Byzantium.