Paying Attention to What’s Behind the Conversion Curtain

Even in its most secular sectors, our modern society is somewhat conversion crazed. To begin with, there’s a veritable industry of documentary films designed to convert viewers to veganism. One of them—2011’s Vegucated—even centers around the filmmaker trying to convert three “meat-and-cheese-loving New Yorkers” right there on the screen before your very eyes. The film’s … Continue reading Paying Attention to What’s Behind the Conversion Curtain

Addendum to “Demonization in the Time of COVID-19”

The previous essay entitled “Demonization in the Time of COVD-19” took a look at pandemic denialism among far-right religious and political leadership and laypeople alike, suggesting that much of it resulted from their peculiar form of demonization that doesn’t actually take demons all that seriously. This addendum returns to this material to take a brief … Continue reading Addendum to “Demonization in the Time of COVID-19”

Satanism and Religion: Difficult Stretch or Easy Fit?

When European explorers invaded far-flung areas of the non-European world (or let’s just call it the world, shall we?), they quickly discovered that the terms and concepts of religion, so familiar and dear to themselves, constituted their own kind of terra incognita when compared to the lifeways and spiritual practices of the peoples they encountered. … Continue reading Satanism and Religion: Difficult Stretch or Easy Fit?

Nothing new under the sun, eh? How ‘bout among what lurks in the darkness, then?

Back in my days as a Classicist, I specialized somewhat in Hellenistic poets and poetry, as well as in the Roman expression of those same novel Hellenistic artistic sympathies in the so-called neoteric school, so dubbed after the Greek word for “newer.” So when I read modernist poet Ezra Pound enjoining his colleagues and posterity … Continue reading Nothing new under the sun, eh? How ‘bout among what lurks in the darkness, then?

On Externalization and the Theistic/Atheistic Divide within Satanism

Recently, the blog of a French colleague dropped The Devil’s Fane’s name as an example of the atheistic path within a modern religion characterized at least since 1975 by a presumptive split between those who view Satan as primarily symbol/inspiration/metaphor and those who imbue the figure with a more concrete external reality. I have little … Continue reading On Externalization and the Theistic/Atheistic Divide within Satanism

Celebrating Frustration near the New Year: A Festivus Story

In this addendum to my recent Not Today Santa holiday post, I revisit the discussion of third-century CE Latin Church Father Tertullian’s defense of the Bible by recourse to a principle of truth being stranger than fiction lifted from the arguments of Aristotle in Rhetoric. A pre-Christmas coffee with an intelligent and learned friend put … Continue reading Celebrating Frustration near the New Year: A Festivus Story