Pentagram Pizza: Academic Edition

“Three Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know about Google Scholar” at GradHacker. I did not know about a couple of these features, like being able to track how often something you wrote has been cited, which can be either an ego boost or give you the feeling that you have been spitting into the Grand Canyon.

The early issues of The Pomegranate, those edited and published by Fritz Muntean in Vancouver, BC., are now online. Go here and scroll down to the numbered issues 1–18 at the bottom. Yes, Equinox is (Brit. are) charging for articles, but book reviews and the readers’ forum downloads are free, and remember what I said about interlibrary loan.

Egil Asprem reviews Stepchildren of Science, a book on the history of parapsychology in Germany. “In the fascinating last chapter Wolffram shows how the struggle between parapsychologists and academic psychologists also led to attempts, by both sides, to pathologise the other.” That sounds so familiar.

Pentagram Pizza: Some Good Reads and Free Music

Finding a complementary relationship between Paganism and Tantra at The Pagan Perspective. Not this:

My sabbatical led me down the rabbit hole of tantra, or rather neo-tantra, which turned out to be nothing more than a mobsterized store front for polyamory and polysexuality. Now I am the last person to dismiss sexuality or the free expression of it; however, when sexuality becomes a religion in disguise, we lose something of both sexuality and religion.

Download a free compilation album, Songs of the Goddess.

• Edward Butler, who has published two articles in The Pomegranate, has put them and some other material into a book: Essays on a Polytheistic Philosophy of Religion.

Occult Chicago links to an old article about a “spirit photographer” of that city. Some people sure did want to believe, didn’t they.

Pentagram Pizza for May 18th

Twelve words for for bloggers, pointed towards people in the medical professions, but likely appropriate for academia as well.

• While we are in the workplace, some thoughts from a Psychology Today article on why “diversity training” is a waste of time. Or why good manners are better than rules enforced by bureaucratic idiots.

• More thoughts on cult-occult films of the 1960s, this time from Zan at The Juggler. I have a couple in my Netflix queue now.

Pentagram Pizza for May 15, 2012

• At The Allergic Pagan, a three-part series on Neopaganism in America (link goes to the third part) with a lot of “whatever happened to?”.

• Jason Pitzl-Waters uses the reunion of the band Dead Can Dance (one of my favorites) to look back at the history of Pagan music.

• A new blog devoted to the history of Chicago occultism has me excited, since I will be there in November.

Pentagram Pizza for May 1

Four toppings this evening. . .

This made me laugh.

• Some occult-cult films from the past reviewed by Peg Aloi.

• Teaching a course in “world religions” is not as simple as it looks, once you start sorting out “religion,” “religious,” and questions of group identity.

• In the “Finding a God” chapter of Triumph of the Moon, Ronald Hutton describes the rise of Pan in Victorian literature. Sometimes he personified an idealized countryside while at others he was “a battering-ram against respectability.” He appears in America during that period too — this time as sculpture.

Pentagram Pizza for April 21st

Week-old pizza from the back of the refrigerator …

• Here’s an idea for a novel: “two down-on-their-luck entrepreneurs who stumble upon the idea of reviving for-profit idolatry. Selling statues of household gods to the masses, and building a neo-pagan religion around it.” Um, I think that people have been doing this for some time.

Circus Breivik. Norwegian scholar of esotericism Egil Asprem analyzes the trial of Anders Behring Breivik. (He wrote about the shootings for the current Pomegranate.)

This trial will be about two things: psychiatry and ideology. Two drastically conflicting reports on Breivik’s mental health have already ensured this. Added to this, of course, is Breivik’s own clearly stated wish to be judged as sane, and have his actions confirmed as ideologically motivated.

Teaching classical philosophy to Brazilian schoolchildren:

I assured the students that until the nineteenth century hardly any philosopher was an atheist. Plato’s Euthyphro—with its argument about the relationship between ethics and the will of the gods—gets us into a lively discussion.

* This is called “edgy, irreverent outreach” by some of today’s Christians Jesus Followers. I think the pastor needs to look up “pathos” in the rhetorical dictionary, because he is doing it wrong. But to be fair, some long-ago saints would have agreed with him.

• Alcohol  “sharpens the mind.”  But “beer goggles” are real too.

Canada braces for more Danish aggression.