Once someone asked Victor Anderson why he used a red tablecloth on the altar. He replied, “Because I had a red tablecloth.” Read more

It is common to suppose that knowledge is not wisdom, but just what is the difference between them? Mapping knowledge is easy enough: mathematics, science, humanities, social studies (they should be scholarly, but they are not sciences), then dividing them into categories, subcategories, and so on, down to a subncategory small enough that one can know everything relevant to that tiny slice of reality. That is the ambition of almost every academic researcher. But as a result, said researcher knows… Read more

There is an accurate and depressing blog by a colleague on Patheos titled “How The American University was Killed, in Five Easy Steps.” His point is that the 1%, the only class in America that can create, implement, and finance long-term plans, decided back in the 1960s to eliminate the kinds of people (intellectuals) who could oppose their stupidity and greed. Read more

The name that Star Foster and I thought up for this blog, “Including Paganism,” indicates that I intend to look at lots of religions, *including Paganism,* in terms of what they have in common, of what each uniquely offers, and of what the theological invariants are that underlie all human need for religion. Read more

I’ve tried before to rewrite the “Lord’s Prayer” into a prayer for Pagans. This morning other words began to drop into my mind, like raindrops raising ripples on a pond, adding phrase by phrase that many people besides Pagans might not be afraid to say. Read more

I have derived what I hope are some valid insights into the nature of time and consciousness from thinking about Blake’s descriptions of his eidetic imagery, which I did not know about, despite having done Blake for one of my Master’s orals, until I saw Jacob Bronowski’s episode about Blake done as an addendum to his Ascent of Man series. Bronowski said that he expected to be reading about an amusing English eccentric, but instead found himself looking into one… Read more

Why do we have two minds? The Deep Mind is the one that dreams at night. Read more

Having apparently had a ministroke on the I-5 in the sophisticated metropolis of Fife last Friday, as a result of which I totaled our minivan by rear-ending the pickup in front of me, I am further behind on blogging than I want to be. So for today I’m going to assemble some fragments, in no particular order, that I intend to expand upon later. Also, my students are taking their final exam on Written Analysis at the moment.  I. Trying… Read more

In Part III of this series, I pointed out that Mk (The Gospel According to Mark) is not a simple reporting of unadorned facts, but is instead a carefully constructed literary masterpiece. That Mark constructed his gospel carefully was actually known in antiquity. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in his Detection and Refutation of Knowledge Falsely So Called (still one of the most important sources of information about the “Gnostics,” since Irenaeus had the good sense not to set forth a… Read more

 As I discussed in the previous blog, that rather humorous passage about the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah. . . but Kate Gladstone chides me for not knowing that that passage is not in the current calendar of haftarot. Perhaps it may have been back then, but . . . Anyway, “Queen of Heaven” was a title used for many goddesses in the Hellenistic world. Could there still have been any genuine belief in a Queen of Heaven in the… Read more

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