Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thoughts on Pagan Studies after the 2016 AAR Meeting (2)

1. A Colorado Springs hotel banquet hall, early 1980s. A young business reporter at the Colorado Springs Sun, I am attending a big luncheon meeting of the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) because the speaker is someone whom I want to cover. Before we eat, a Protestant Christian minister delivers an invocation in the name […]

Thoughts on Pagan Studies after the 2016 AAR Meeting (1)

From the 15th through the 23rd, I was either on the road or attending the annual joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.1)Despite its name, it does offer occasional sessions that touch on ancient Pagan religions in the Roman empire. I refer to it as either “10,000 introverts”2)9,500 […]

Jared Diamond Was Wrong—The Greenland Norse Adapted

A new article in the journal Science refutes Jared Diamond’s claim that the 400-year-old Norse colony in Greenland failed because its habitants failed to adapt to the land. Diamond’s thesis in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed was that the Norse made bad ecological decisions. As one reviewer summarizes, The problem with […]

Ancient Music: “Time Demands an End”

I often like to post re-creations of ancient music. Supposedly, the “Song of Seikilos” is the oldest that has music and lyrics. It is Greek, dating from around 100 CE. The words can be translated as, While you live, shine have no grief at all life exists only for a short while and time demands […]

“American Gods” as a Challenge to the Study of Religion

I am still waiting to see American Gods on the screen; meanwhile, scholars of religion are turning to the book and upcoming TV series to see how they challenge conventional views of what “religion” is, particulary in the classroom. In the first of a series at the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog — […]

A Curse in the Form of an Animal

In Romania, old-style witchcraft is thriving after the fall of the Communist government in 1989.  (Link here if the video does not load.) A fee of €500 for a curse — and it is tax-free!

Not Dead and the House Is Still Standing

Sorry about the lack of content. Everything went topsy-turvy on the 17th and is just now returning to normal, or to a “new normal.” I left home on the 11th for a trip to eastern North Dakota to go grouse hunting with an old friend who himself was facing heart surgery on the 24th. It’s […]

Pentagram Pizza: Toppings Begone!

¶ The Roman Catholic Church in the United States reports a shortage of exorcists, says a British newspaper. In lengthy interviews with The Telegraph, the two exorcists discuss how the increase in drug and pornography addiction, failure of the mental healthcare system and a rise in popularity of “pagan activities”, such as using a Ouija […]

Got Ghosts with Your Historic House?

When I was handling the sale of my mother’s Arizona home after her death, the real estate agent and I were perched on the kitchen counters doing the paperwork, because the furniture had already been moved out. Working through a long sale-listing questionnaire, I came to a question asking if the property were haunted. “You’re […]

Folktales and Human Migration

An interesting article from Scientific American, in which the author breaks several folktales, like the origin of the contellation Ursa Major—the “Cosmic Hunt”—into memes and then treats them in a sort of genetic way, to see if they match up with ancient human migrations, to the extent that we understand those. Carl Jung, the founding […]