The Pagan Heart of the West
Randy P. Conner PhD

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Embodying Ancient Beliefs and Practices from Antiquity to the Present
Vol I. Deities and Kindred Beings


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The Pagan Heart of the West:
Embodying Ancient Beliefs and Practices from Antiquity to the Present
Vol I. Deities and Kindred Beings
Randy P. Conner PhD
Format: Softcover/336 pp.
ISBN-10: 1906958874
ISBN-13: 978-1906958879
19.99 Pounds Sterling/US$28
Subjects: Paganism/Religious Studies/Spirituality



The Pagan Heart of the West challenges current academic notions that paganism died when Christianization occurred; that the transition from paganism to Christianity was a fairly easy, nonviolent one; that persons once pagan were happy to accept the new religion because it fulfilled them or because they viewed it as superior – as if the Inquisition never happened; and that all things pagan are in fact Christian prior to the mid-twentieth century, even though they demonstrate little or no connection to the Christian New Testament. Likewise, Pagan Heart challenges narrow conceptions of “the West.”

Applying Indigenous and decolonial theories, together with Michel Foucault’s conception of subjugated knowledges, Pagan Heart suggests that instead, paganism should be explored as an ancient and indigenous set of common beliefs and practices, at once ubiquitous and local, that includes the reverence of deities; the veneration of nature; rites celebrating the seasons and the life cycle; practices of healing, divination, and magic, often guided by ritual specialists; and arts and philosophies giving expression to pagan figures, concepts, and narratives.

In this first of five volumes, Pagan Heart focuses on the utilization of theories that contest absolutist language supporting the so-called death of paganism; and on the worship and veneration of ancient deities and kindred beings. Like the other volumes, this volume demonstrates that paganism has not only persisted over the course of millennia, but that it has also undergone metamorphosis and innovation.

Most importantly, Pagan Heart emphasizes that the ancient gods did not die when Christian authorities forbade their worship and sought, in N. Scott Momaday’s terms, to commit deicide, but instead that they continue to exist and thrive.

Randy P. Conner, Ph.D., is the author of several works on the intersection of gender, sexuality, mythology, and the sacred. He teaches Humanities, including World Mythology, in the Chicago area.

cover: Barthelemy d’Eyck, Emilie, Arcitas, and Palamon Praying to Their Respective Gods (c. 1465), illumination from Boccaccio’s Il Teseida delle Noze d’Emilia.

pagan/paganism

indigenous

gods

goddess

subjugated knowledges

earth-centered

Isis

Thor

ritual specialist

fairies

The Secret Gospel of Mark
Morton Smith,
Clement of Alexandria
and four decades of academic burlesque
Robert Conner

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The Secret Gospel of Mark
Morton Smith, Clement of Alexandria and four decades of academic burlesque
Robert Conner
Format: Softcover/160 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-68-8
£10.99/US$22
Subjects: Religious Studies

While cataloging material in the library of the monastery of Mar Saba in 1958, Morton Smith discovered a quotation from a letter of Clement of Alexandria copied in the end pages of a 17th century collection of the letters of Ignatius. After more than a decade of collaborative analysis of the find, Smith published his conclusions in 1973, setting off a firestorm of controversy in the New Testament studies guild.

In 1975, a Jesuit scholar, Quentin Quesnell, claimed the letter had been forged and implied that Smith was the forger, moving the focus of debate off the text itself and onto Smith. Since then the pages containing the letter have been removed from the book and possibly destroyed, while Catholic and evangelical writers, none of whom have ever seen the pages in question, continue to claim that Smith forged the letter.

Following his death in 1991, accusations against Smith took on a considerably more personal tone, highlighting his alleged homosexuality and by implication his dishonesty and moral perversity. Although the question of authenticity remains unresolved, the controversy has opened a window on the intellectually corrupt nature of apologetic New Testament studies, a subject of greater importance than the authenticity of early Christian texts.

Jesus The Sorcerer
Robert Conner


Jesus The Sorcerer
Robert Conner
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1869928-957
£12.99/US$26
Subjects: Christian Magic/Religious Studies.

The most complete summation to date of the New Testament evidence for magical practice by Jesus and the early Christians. The very notion of Jesus being a sorcerer runs so against the grain of the Western cultural myth that even non-Christians are likely to find it far-fetched or even vaguely disturbing. Nevertheless, scholars steadily accumulated evidence for magi-cal practices in the New Testament throughout much of the 20th century . It is that ever expanding body of knowledge that has made this book possible. This book examines the following: The nature of the earliest Christian documents, the defects of their trans-mission, and the evidence for the suppression of descriptions of magical acts.

The closely related problem of the New Testament accounts as historical sources.

The radically apocalyptic nature of Jesus’ message and the expectations of the early church.

The failure of the apocalypse to occur and the theological reaction to that failure.

The role of magic and mystery religion in early Christianity.

A revisiting of the story of the “beloved disciple” and what it may tell us about Jesus and suppression of evidence about his life.

 

Contents

Documentary Evidence / Infancy Narratives / Confrontation / Resurrection as Ghost Story /Apocalyptic Prophet / Apocalypse Postponed, / Magic and Mystery, / Jesus the Magician / Spirit Versus Spirit, / Ecstatic Inner Circle, / Christian Mysteries, / Secret Gospel of Mark, / Beloved Disciple, / On the Use of youth in Magic, / Apocalypse, Magic, and Christianity, / “son of David.” / Mary Magdalene

Magic in The New Testament
Robert Conner


Magic in The New Testament
Robert Conner
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1906958-275
£14.99/US$23
Subjects: Christian Magic/Religious Studies.

Early Christians were accused of practicing magic by Jews, Pagans, and other Christians. Magic in the New Testament examines magical praxis common to the New Testament, the magical papyri, the Sepher Ha-Razim, the Book of Enoch, the apocryphal Acts and the pre-Nicene church fathers and surveys the professional literature on early Christian magic from Additional topic include:

magic, family and sexuality /

the Old Testament background of early Christian magic /

the relationship between magic and apocalypticism /

veneration of relics and necromantic sorcery /

resurrection, ghost stories and polymorphism /

magic and mystery cult in early Christianity.

 

The Question of Sources / The Holy Family / The Looming Apocalypse / The Final Confrontation / Resurrection or Ghost Story?/Magical Palestine / Jesus the Magician / A Darker Sorcery / Christian Necromancy / Cults of Possession / Spirit Versus Spirit / The Christian Mysteries/The Son of Horus / Last Rite