8 comments posted · 13 followers · following 0

9 years ago @ Kemetic Reconnaissance - Link: Faith & Hubris: ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well yeah, I'd say there's ample evidence of the Olympians cheering mortals on, urging them to excel, to push the envelope. I get rather annoyed at people applying the adulterated notion of hubris to the Olympians. It shows their complete lack of understanding of the essence of Hellenic civilization. There's a concept in Greek, megalopsychê, which is literally "having a big soul". It's like having all the virtues at once, excelling at everything, including justice, including generosity. That's the idea, that's Hellenism.

9 years ago @ Kemetic Reconnaissance - Link: Faith & Hubris: ... · 2 replies · +1 points

I really don't find anything answering to the modern concept, which seems to have built into it the Christian valorization of humility for its own sake. The Hellenic concept of virtue, aretê, which is essentially excellence of every kind, was thus considered by Christians to be in itself arrogant and excessively individualistic. Hence the whole Hellenic manner of thinking about virtue fell out of favor during the era of Christian hegemony. The notion that a person would be doing something evil by aiming to be too excellent would be perfectly incomprehensible to a classical Greek. Where a person becomes "hubristic" in Greek thought is in thinking that they are above the law, that no rules apply to them, and that they have no reciprocal obligations to other people. I know of no instance in which this applies specifically to one's relationship to the Gods. I know of no instance in tragedy, for instance, in which someone is punished by the Gods just for thinking too highly of themselves, but only for harm done to another.

9 years ago @ Kemetic Reconnaissance - Link: Faith & Hubris: ... · 4 replies · +2 points

The definition of "hubris" that you quote above is a modern definition, that doesn't have anything to do with the ancient Hellenic sense of the term. In fact, it is heavily infused with Christian ideas. The original Greek sense of "hubris" is simply wanton violence, especially with an element of abuse of power. Here's a link to the full entry from Liddell & Scott's lexicon for hubrizô, the verb form. Just skip over the Greek and read the English and you'll see what I mean: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Pers...

9 years ago @ Shrine Beautiful - Osiris Mysteries Ritua... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you. It's been very gratifying to see my "encyclopedia" taken up the way it has been by the community, and I feel that the trackback links from some of the entries to pages like this really enriches them, too.

9 years ago @ Shrine Beautiful - Osiris Mysteries Ritua... · 2 replies · +1 points

You accidentally linked from Nebhet in your post to my Neith entry, instead of my Nephthys entry, if you'd like to fix that. Otherwise, neat post!

11 years ago @ The Wild Hunt - Paganism, Magic, and W... · 0 replies · +1 points

What I mean by referring to "best norms and traditions" is that the kinds of behavior that Phillupus recounts falls short of what is required by the most basic norms of these disciplines, prior to any of the sorts of debates that you mention; they are manifestations of lazy, bad scholarship pretty much on any definition. They display the kinds of behavior that would make earnest, thoughtful academics I know cringe, regardless of where they stand in the aforementioned debates, and well apart from any notions about modern paganism.

I do agree that being aware of modern paganism *might* shock some of these disciplines into thinking differently about how they approach their subject matter, but I also believe that taking seriously the ideals already immanent in their disciplines could well do the same thing.

12 years ago @ The Wild Hunt - Paganism, Magic, and W... · 3 replies · +1 points

Excellent post.

I think, though, that there is a problem in having as a goal that "academia takes modern Pagans as subjects of useful study on a wider basis, as well as considers practicing Pagans as equally viable to study such subjects (whether modern Paganism or ancient and medieval literature, culture, history, and magic)." The former is not really necessary, while the latter is something which is granted based upon one's individual scholarly achievements, neither because of, nor in spite of, one's personal religious identification, which need never come up. And frankly, I'm not sure it should. I certainly don't like it when Christians or Muslims make their religion an issue in the classroom, as I've seen often enough. (There are ways to raise the hermeneutical issue with respect to ancient texts without ever making religious identification an issue; it's not as though Gadamer was a pagan!)

Pagans, as you know and as commenters have noted, do indeed "go to university to study Classical Greek and Roman cultures and languages, Egyptology, Scandinavian Studies, Celtic Studies, and any number of other historical and literary subjects which might have direct relevance to our own spiritual practices," and nothing, other than economic factors, prevent them from doing so. I'm not sure I get what you mean when you characterize academics in these fields as having the attitude that "Gods forbid someone translate a ritual text or spell, lest someone attempt to use it!" What ritual texts or spells are out there, languishing untranslated? What business would it be of an academic's, even in a perfect, Pagan-positive world, what practical use someone makes of their translated text? If you're saying that the work would be done differently if it was, to a greater extent, being done by people who were openly committed to the traditions concerned, that might be true, but it is more important to me that scholarship be done well than that it be done by Pagans, and Pagans in academia are no more likely to be good scholars where their personal commitments are involved than are Christians.

I've seen plenty of Christian or at any rate monotheist bias in scholarship; but the answer to the latter is not necessarily scholarship that plays up the contemporary appropriation of ancient spirituality by modern Pagans, because that doesn't sound to me any better, frankly. What is needed is scholarship that follows the best norms and traditions of its field, and these will be different depending on whether we are talking, e.g., about anthropology, or history, or philosophy of religion.

12 years ago @ KALLISTI: An Apple in ... - Scattered Thoughts on ... · 0 replies · +1 points

On Iamblichus, one doesn't have to rely on Taylor's translation any more: the new translation by Clarke, Dillon and Hershbell (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) is available in paperback for $45, which isn't too bad considering it has the Greek text on the facing page. The translation is much easier to follow than Taylor's.