dunnettreader + gods-antiquity   9

Alan Jacobs - Fantasy and the Buffered Self - The New Atlantis - Winter 2014
If fantasy rose to centrality as a form of nostalgia for a day when the porous self was at least surrounded by other sentient beings rather than a dark and silent cosmos, it may now have become something else altogether, a kind of ultimate disenchantment where even our own selves are vacated in favor of a world prefabricated for us by others. This raises again that key question from American Gods: Is resistance futile? Is it simply the case that “all we’re facing here is a f — ing paradigm shift”? Or might there be forces of resistance capable of waging a “mighty battle” on behalf of human freedom?(..) we might take comfort from what seems to me the authentic core of the fantastic as a genre, as we see it from the standpoint of late modernity: fantasy may best be taken as an acknowledgment that the great problem of the pagan world — how to navigate as safely as possible through an ever-shifting landscape of independent and unpredictable powers who are indifferent to human needs — is our problem once more. (..) American Gods is an especially important text for this moment, because it rightly identifies technologies as gods and simultaneously sides with the older gods as being intrinsically closer to the proper human lifeworld. Imaginatively, if not in substantive belief, we are pagans once more. (..) We may choose to believe that we can buffer ourselves, protect ourselves against unknown powers. But that’s a kind of wager: if the powers are real, our disbelief won’t deter them. And it may be that certain powers profit from being disregarded or treated as mere fancies. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
article  SFF  religious_belief  religious_culture  gods-antiquity  technology  self  teleology  cosmology  modernity  disenchantment  sublime  humanism  Taylor_Charles  philosophical_anthropology  cultural_change  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Elaine Fantham - Ovid's Metamorphoses (2004) | Oxford University Press
Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature (Series Editors: Kathleen Coleman and Richard Rutherford) introduces individual works of Greek and Latin literature to readers who are approaching them for the first time. Each volume sets the work in its literary and historical context, and aims to offer a balanced and engaging assessment of its content, artistry, and purpose. A brief survey of the influence of the work upon subsequent generations is included to demonstrate its enduring relevance and power. All quotations from the original are translated into English. Ovid's Metamorphoses have been seen as both the culmination of and a revolution in the classical epic tradition, transferring narrative interest from war to love and fantasy. This introduction considers how Ovid found and shaped his narrative from the creation of the world to his own sophisticated times, illustrating the cruelty of jealous gods, the pathos of human love, and the imaginative fantasy of flight, monsters, magic, and illusion. Elaine Fantham introduces the reader not only to this marvelous and complex narrative poem, but to the Greek and Roman traditions behind Ovid's tales of transformation and a selection of the images and texts that it inspired.
books  kindle-available  Latin_lit  literary_history  Ovid  ancient_Rome  epic  poetry  ancient_Greece  Greek_lit  ancient_religions  gods-antiquity  imitation  influence-literary 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Peter Enns - Jesus’s crucifixion: not exactly a selling point in the ancient world - June 2015
If you’re living in the Mediterranean world of the 1st century and you want to promote your religion, a “crucified god” is not your headline. Yet that is…
Instapaper  Early_Christian  Christianity  theology  religious_culture  religious_belief  gods-antiquity  Roman_Empire  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Corrado Bologna - Le retour des dieux anciens : Giulio Camillo et Fontainebleau | Italique, V, 2002, p109-138.
Italique [En ligne], V | 2002, mis en ligne le 06 octobre 2009, DOI : 10.4000/italique.152 **--** En ce début de XVIème, après des siècles d’absence, les dieux anciens “sont de retour” à Fontainebleau. Ils tapissent les murs, remplissent les bibliothèques, les salons royaux, les salles sévères des écoles universitaires. Leur présence inaugure une nouvelle mythographie et presque une nouvelle théologie païenne. Ce sont des dieux et des héros élégants, sophistiqués, très différents de ceux que, au milieu des années vingt, un grand élève de Raphaël, Giulio Romano, s’inspirant aux modèles antiques, inscrit de leur naturel de chair toute rosée et déjà flasque, où tant de maniéristes et de baroques trouveront leur inspiration, sur les murs de Palazzo Te à Mantoue. .La censure ecclésiastique et aussi politique déchaînent immédiatement une forte polémique (dont, à la fin du siècle et au terme du Concile de Trente, l’ouvrage de Gabriele Paleotti sanctionnera victorieusement la fin) à l’encontre de ce très heureux moment de paganisme potentiellement absolu, subversif, qui me semble proposer non pas tant un “retour à l’Esprit Classique”, qu’un “retour de l’Esprit Classique”. En songeant davantage et d’abord à la “cour païenne” du roi très chrétien à Fontainebleau plutôt qu’à la Rome “ville sacrée” du grand baroque de Bernin, je parlerais donc d’une « Présence réelle » de la mythologie paganisante que certains grands Italiens entent en France. -- gobs of footnotes and references - downloaded pdf to Note
article  revues.org  art_history  literary_history  cultural_history  religious_history  16thC  France  Renaissance  pagans  gods-antiquity  cosmology  hermeticism  Neoplatonism  François_I  Henri_II  elite_culture  court_culture  Italian_influence  Counter-Reformation  baroque  myth  bibliography  artists  exiles  patronage  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE FALL OF MAN | Pandaemonium July 2014
Transcript of talk for Institute of Ideas -- The moral vision of modernity may have been, in other words, nourished by the crumbling of the God-ordained order. It was – it had to be – however, also rooted in faith, but a faith of a different kind – faith that humans were capable of acting rationally and morally without guidance from beyond. It was through the 19thC that religious faith truly began to crumble. But it was also in the 19thC that faith in the human capacity to act without God began also to erode. The optimism that had once suffused the humanist impulse began to ebb away and there began to develop a much darker view of what it meant to be human. By the late 19thC European societies came to experience both a crisis of faith and a ‘crisis of reason’, the beginnings of a set of trends that were to become highly significant in the 20thC – the erosion of Enlightenment optimism, a disenchantment with ideas of progress, a disbelief in concepts of truth, the growth of a much darker view of human nature. -- The death of God, in other words, went hand in hand with what we might call, if we were to continue to use religious symbolism, the Fall of Man. And the Fall of Man transformed the meaning of the Death of God. God is a metaphor for the desire for an authority beyond ourselves to frame our existence and guide our lives, the death of God for the insistence on acting without guidance from beyond. There are two aspects to the death of God. The decline of religious belief and the growth of a new faith in the capacity of humans to act without guidance from beyond. The first has always been overstated. The second has always been undervalued. - frames talk around Anscombe and MacIntyre
intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  morality-Christian  religious_belief  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  pagans  gods-antiquity  monotheism  teleology  human_nature  morality-conventional  morality-objective  progress  Enlightenment  Fin-de-Siècle  humanism  anti-humanism  Counter-Enlightenment  political_philosophy  reason  Anscombe  MacIntyre  tradition  identity  autonomy  individualism  community  communitarian  social_order  change-social  historical_change  historicism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Clifford Ando, review - James B Rives, . Religion in the Roman Empire | JSTOR: The Journal of Religion, Vol. 88, No. 4 (October 2008), pp. 552-554
Reviewed work(s): James B Rives, . Religion in the Roman Empire. Blackwell Ancient Religions. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007. xiv+237 pp. $81.95 (cloth); $32.95 (paper). -- Clifford Ando - University of Chicago. -- review helpful re what it does and doesn't do and recommends complementary sources
books  reviews  jstor  religious_history  Roman_Empire  pagans  ritual  gods-antiquity 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Robert Parker, review - Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, Redefining Ancient Orphism: A Study in Greek Religion (2013) | Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.07.13
This learned and intelligent work [seeks] to give us an Orphism without original sin, without, that is, the myth that mankind carries a burden of inherited guilt because they were born from the Titans who devoured the baby Dionysus, son of Persephone. -- His Orphism has no fixed traditions, no central myths, nor could it have them, given the unstable channels through which religious traditions were diffused in the ancient world. --The label ‘Orphic’, he writes, is as vague as ‘New Age’, ‘a set of ideas loosely defined by their distance from mainstream religious activity’. -- Yet he does not jettison ‘Orphism’ completely. If one thinks in terms not of an essence but of Wittgenstein’s family resemblances, the family of Orphic rituals and ideas is marked for Edmonds by (claims to) ‘extraordinary purity, sanctity, antiquity, and strangeness’. -- Suppose one follows Edmonds in removing mankind’s descent from the slayers of Dionysus from our picture of Orphism: what then? We are still left with the extraordinary wild Orphic variants on theogonic myth to try to understand; in particular, the point of the Titans’ crime against the baby Dionysus has become obscure. We are still left with Orphic doctrines of the soul that imply a drastic rejection of accepted Greek views about life in the body. There is still an association with vegetarianism. There is still a descent from Titans which may have left us polluted. -- Orphism surely is exceptional within Greek religion — or perhaps one should rather say ‘early Orphism’, with M.P. Nilsson. The link between books and rites so marked in the early testimonia fades away in the hellenistic period, and Orphism virtually disappears as a distinct and dynamic force in lived religion , until it re-emerges in late antiquity in a quite new form. I cling — habit or obstinacy perhaps — to several aspects of a pre-Edmonds vision of Orphism. But let me stress that this is a lucid, powerful and thoroughly instructive work, a major contribution.
books  reviews  religious_history  religious_culture  ancient_Greece  Hellenism  late_antiquity  Orphism  ritual  sacred_texts  soul  immortality  underworld  ancient_religions  gods-antiquity  purification  original_sin 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Advisors - Charles H. Kahn and Susan Sauvé Meyer, Paul Guyer -- When Plato discusses the World-soul, cosmic intellect (nous), and the Demiurge, he approaches them theologically, i.e. as being the subjects of an account of the nature of the gods, but few works in the last half-century or more have addressed the ‘players’ in Plato’s theology as such. -- I analyze Plato’s various accounts of those divine things that are immanent in the world of change (e.g. the World-soul) and those that are said to be transcendent intelligibles (e.g. the Forms and the Demiurge) in order to determine what Plato’s gods are, and what roles they play in his system. -- The invention of the World-soul is revealed to be Plato’s way of instantiating intellect in the cosmos in order to suit the demands of his natural and moral philosophy, while his esoteric account of the Demiurge resolves any tensions between his immanent theology and his metaphysics, and suggests, semi-literally, the role that timeless, intelligible goodness plays in organizing the sensible world of change. -- Rheins, Jason G., "THE INTELLIGIBLE CREATOR-GOD AND THE INTELLIGENT SOUL OF THE COSMOS IN PLATO’S THEOLOGY AND METAPHYSICS" (2010). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. Paper 184. -- downloaded pdf to Note
intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  religious_history  theology  metaphysics  moral_philosophy  creation  gods-antiquity  God-attributes  God-existence  immanence  transcendence  forms  ideas-theories  Plato  change-metaphysics  cosmology  good  time  timeless  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Richard Marshall - Stewart Home’s po-mo homer » 3:AM Magazine
As much an essay on post Kantian (and post Hegelian) German philosophy -- Marxism, materialism, phenomenology hermeneutics, post Kantian, structuralist, poststructuralist, especially Nietzsche and Heidegger -- as on an album of readings of his work by Home. And a further riff on epistemology and varieties of scepticism, including a sort of take on Pyrrhonism as not an extreme version of scepticism. Heidegger's misreading of Nietzsche is of a piece with his embrace of the fascist side of Plato, which was part of Nietzsche's rejection of even the non Socratic Plato. Further long riff on Beiser rejection of Kantian aesthetics in Diotima's Children and the lack of aesthetic criteria after the avant_guard. Home attacks the shallow art world from another direction - mostly as a bourgeois status game.
books  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  fate  free_will  gods-antiquity  ancient_religions  myth  tragedy  Nietzsche  Heidegger  epistemology  moral_philosophy  ancient_philosophy  Plato  Homer  pre-Socratics  aesthetics  Kant-aesthetics  avant_guard  materialism  Marxist  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader

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