from Pantperthog to Knockando

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Book idea - the resurgence of primitive religion

Here's another book idea I've got, based around studies of primitive religious motifs/magic and contemporary culture and religious trends. I've got a few ideas written down somewhere, but I'm not sure where. I can only find notes on two potential chapters. So I'm constructing the following sections mainly from memory:

Return of the Fertility Goddesses
The fetishization of over-sized breasts in our culture, linked to the fertility/grain goddesses of the ancient near east, who are always large-breasted and wide-hipped. The cosmetic search for perfection linking into an ancient represntation of the Divine.

Representative and Sympathetic Magic in a Health Store Near You
The growth of homeopathic remedies aligned to sympathetic magic in shamanistic/druidic cultures and how they both feed off the primitive religious idea that becase a looks like b, a must somehow influence b.

Tribalism and the Shamans Battling Evil on our Behalf
A worked up version of my Is Football a Religion? article published several years ago on a football website (and now no longer online it seems), that identifies players as representatives of the tribe doing battle in an artificial realm against the forces of the 'outsider/other' (the archetypal format of 'evil'). The huge growth in sport as recognisable tribal affiliation over the last few years (including ceremonial tribal vestments ie replica shirts).

Spirituality Without Spiritual Conflict
The rise in 'local gods' and spirit guides, particularly in angelology divorced from the Christian context. Belief in the spiritual but not in forces of good/evil. The moral neutrality of 'being spiritual' paralleling the tribal vision of the spiritual realm which is there to be interacted with, and used by the 'wise'.

The Power of Words
Ironically a powerful sub-theme in the major monotheistic religions - Scripture as a talisman charm to ward off evil in phylacteries, Qu'ranic inscriptions, learning by rote, plastering Bible verses on all sorts of tat. Reference to the 'cursing stone' of Carlisle. The return of a qabbalistic belief in the power of words over a subject.

If I can find my other notes I'm sure I've got enough ideas to make quite an interesting book.

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