[download books] A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into PolytheismAuthor John Michael Greer – Autowiringdiagram.co

In This Book John Michael Greer Turns His Attention To The Intellectual Underpinnings And Superstructures Of The Pagan And Magical Movements Pagan Religions Have Tended To Be Concerned With Practice Than With Theory And In A System That Has No Dogma No Legislated Doctrine That Is As It Should Be Yet As Out Movement Grows And Matures, It Is Inevitable That We Will Begin To Think In A Abstract Way About Our Models And Systems John Michael Greer Has Provided A Primer On The Kinds Of Ideas And Themes That Must Be Included In Any Discussion Of The Theology And Philosophy Of Neo Pagan Religions

10 thoughts on “A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism

  1. says:

    A very timely and solidly researched discussion of the philosophical foundations of polytheism The author draws on an impressive range of knowledge, and I also give him extra points for occasionally adding a bit of dry humour to this serious minded and well written study I found his no nonsense approach very refreshing There s a broad spectrum of topics covered here, and while I am not entirely certain that absolutely all of Greer s arguments will necessarily stand up equally well to scrutiny, that also is still beside the point this exploration is highly valuable in itself In the course of his inquiry, Greer provides much useful material for further reflection, and I did for the most part experience that whenever I was thinking that some to my mind important aspect or other seemed to be missing in the argumentation, that these questions were in fact nevertheless approached in due course For sure, there are many topics that could well be elaborated further, but then again this is not meant to be an exhaustive study, but a primer Greer deals with polytheism in general, and his thorough and astute exploration provides an excellent groundwork for further inquiry and discussion.I can actually recommend this book for polytheists, monotheists and atheists alike For the two latter groups of course only if they are at all willing to face a challenge to their own thinking, though the challenge of polytheism is here to stay regardless of that, and gaining momentum as well In short, for anyone with the inclination to delve into the intellectual basis of their religion or non religion , this is a must read It is rather symptomatic however that while a polytheistic religion like Hinduism is in fact the world s third largest religion, that any official religious debate in the Western world at least in Europe is mainly myopically focused on the monotheistic Abrahamistic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism and also how the politically correct takes such great care in always including Islam while for the most part practically ignoring Hinduism along with the group of immigrants and converts belonging to that religion, which are also quite numerous Although this latter one is admittedly a smaller group than the former, if that official stance is made on a principle, it sure appears to be a rather exclusive one Also in view of the fact that there are numerous Western philosophers and authors that have drawn on the richness of Hinduism, it is even remarkable that the philosophical basis of polytheism is given so scant attention in this official debate, and one can hardly call such a debate neither enlightened nor informed It is high time for some change to be made in this area, and this book is a welcome step in that direction This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  2. says:

    This book is a mature, scholarly exploration of the spiritual, philosophical and moral legitimacy of polytheism as a spiritual path.Modern Western culture tends to view monotheism as the only truly mature and legitimate form of religiosity, based on the idea that cultures grow out of polytheism to embrace monotheism Greer, a critic of the myth of progress which claims that every new stage of human cultural development is necessarily better than the previous one, systematically builds his case for not only the legitimacy of polytheism, but the ways in which it answers and solves several of the nagging problems of monotheism such as why does God allow bad things to happen to good people and the fact that human beings have always been religious but the diversity of religious experiences does not suggest a single divine being at the root of all I would recommend this book to any student of comparative religion, or anyone with an open mind who wants to gain an understanding of the rapdily growing communities of polytheist spirituality.

  3. says:

    This book is enormously helpful as a beginning resource into the differences between polytheism and monotheism in the areas covered by the topic of philosophy of religion specifically, the ways in which polytheism quite rationally resolves many of the so called problems of religion It is clearly written, and a reference I go back to all the time It creates starting points for all kinds of research and reflection possibilities It should be stated that the book focuses on Neopagan polytheistic religions and not on any specific ONE of them.The negative reviews I see seem to be written by people who misunderstood the purpose of the book, or were unhappy that it wasn t written for other goals, or simply failed to comprehend the prose.

  4. says:

    Thoughtful and thought provoking Whether you are currently a part of Pagan spiritual movements or not, although perhaps especially if you are, this is a valuable and deeply pertinent discussion of the logic and philosophy of a polytheistic world view I find it resonant with and relevant to modern life and the many changes and challenges we are experiencing I highly recommend this book to anyone.

  5. says:

    This book is fantastic I think everyone should read it I just started reading this book, and it is what people say it is a very scholarly discussion of how polytheism is different from monotheism What he says is the truth but it is not the whole truth.He doesn t seem to be aware of the Pagan Monotheism of classical Rome and Greece Personally I think the recent spate of books on the subject misunderstand classical pagan monotheism But there is evidence that classical pagans did believe that their many gods were representatives of a much higher universal God Part of the understanding the Romans had with the Jews that gave the Jews a waiver from honoring the gods of Rome was the idea that the Jews worshiped the one highest God, who was also the God over the Roman gods The Romans agreed that the Jews one God was the same universal God their gods reported to, that all gods reported too.This is a sort of syncretism that Greer and many modern polytheist reject Which is OK It doesn t bother me, or God The distinction he makes between the characteristics of the monotheistic God and the polytheistic gods are valid Personally, I believe that there are two distinct ways that human beings experience divinity One is as the universal, omniscient, ubiquitous, omnipotent, all loving presence that wants nothing and does not intervene in our lives And the second is as the limited powerful beings, persons, that Greer describes The many gods and goddesses and spirits My main criticism of monotheism is that human beings are not well suited to worship the One God We want intervention so we always end up worshiping the lesser beings that can actually do something for us Christianity fell into worshiping Jesus just a few centuries after he died And then the Catholic church solved the problem of not having enough gods to meet everyone s needs by calling their many gods saints Protestantism, by rejecting saints, has created a real problem for itself that seems to be only solvable by creating a new sect that worships a different version of Jesus every time they have a disagreement Buddhism has the same problem with worshiping The One True Reality, their many gods are called Bodhisattvas Like Catholic saints they are officially not gods but they serve the same function and are as Greer defined gods entities who are the proper object of human worship or veneration.He briefly mentions Wiccan dualism but declines to elaborate because he is not a Wiccan As a Wiccan I guess I should write a book on that Wiccan dualism isn t really about gods It comes up when we talk about gods but it has less to do with any doctrine about all gods being manifestations of one god or goddess than it does with the importance of balance Most pagan religions aren t about gods We have gods, but our religion is about life Wiccan sophiology the study of wisdom not the study of gods is about maintaining the balance between complimentary forces It has in common with the Taoist idea of ying and yang than anything else Wiccans are not required to believe anything in particular about the nature of the gods But Wiccan ritual and Wiccan sophiology encourages us to try to maintain a balance I like to contrast the masculine feminine duality of Wicca to the good evil duality in Christianity Christianity adopted the Zoroastrian belief that the world is a battleground between two opposing gods, one good the other evil Two men fighting for possession of the world Wiccans on the other hand like to view the world as the combination of two complimentary forces seeking union A man and a woman having sex The Great Rite, a central ritual action in Wicca, the union of opposites as an act of creation.

  6. says:

    In my opinion, this book is a mess.I can only imagine it was written with the expressed purpose of being part of a college courses selected readings It is written in the style of a scientific paper with constant citations, but the information from said citations is rarely than a vague sentence that does not impart the valuable information necessary to complete his arguments.While the style may attempt to be scientific, the tone is clearly conversational His turns of phrase and poorly thought out examples are clearly written as if he is speaking them to an individual or group, which conflicts with his intention of having a well referenced work of research On top of this he take incredible care to be circuitous in his phrasing and word choice Ideas that could be expressed simply and directly, seem not to have imparted his self believed genius, so instead he takes the long winded and overly indulgent path to express his points.Writing intention, style and tone aside, he spends at least half of the book discussing monotheism and atheism The book should contain some information on the two for background and comparison purposes, but why call this An Inquiry Into Polytheism if just as much of the writing is an inquiry into monotheism or atheism Most of his arguments are circular and self defeating, he will discuss the flaws in monotheist and atheist arguments against polytheism only to turn around and use the same style arguments to attempt to prove polytheism is a logical idea The book spends far too much time tearing down monotheism and atheism, and then using that as a basis to bolster the argument for polytheism The argument that monotheism doesn t address this and atheist are following a wilful ignorance, therefore polytheism makes sense, is itself nonsensical Certainly it would seem that many of the points Greer makes in this inquiry are well researched and backed by quality information, but do to his choices to be vague when invoking previous works, the only way I can know for certain is to find and read everything cited in his 8 page bibliography this is almost as long as most of his chapters To wrap this up, I would never recommend this book to anyone, unless they were curious to see how easy it is to get a book published when you can hide it in the guise of intellectual writing and actually have it make no sense and not contribute in any way to intellectual knowledge Speak in circles, use big words and choose a topic that cannot be proven right or wrong, and you ll be on your way to your first published book.

  7. says:

    I found the first chapter of this book extremely difficult to understand and I could not comprehend its inclusion in the book I gained nothing from the first chapter and, honestly, little from the rest.From the second chapter onwards, I was able to follow the arguments being put forward for polytheism as opposed to monotheism or atheism , but I am not sure I agreed with them Some of the logic appeared circular to me Greer seemed to disprove reasoning used by monotheists and atheists, but, in the next breath would use that very same reasoning to build a case for polytheism But, then, what do I know.I feel this book could have been so much I just don t know how it could have been improved This book just didn t flow for me I felt like I gained nothing from reading it and it left me feeling rather frustrated.The quality of this edition was poor with the words crammed right up to the edges of the margins and pages, resulting in my reading the title of the book rather than the follow on sentence from the previous page, and there were innumerable spelling and grammatical errors throughout the text Also, my preference is for either footnotes or endnotes the notes provided in this edition were so awkwardly positioned, I gave up reading the notes, as I found it difficult to locate, and bookmark them prior to starting each new chapter.

  8. says:

    Awful To begin with it s written like a college thesis Secondly, I felt like I was being scammed on something but the twisting of words was so awful I couldn t pin point what exactly the author was being shifty on I wouldn t recommend this one to anyone.

  9. says:

    For the full review, please see my website

  10. says:

    Given the rather shallow nature of a lot albeit not all contemporary Pagan literature , I found it refreshing that this author was willing to deal with the finer points of theology and engage with a wide spectrum of Pagan, Christian, atheist, and other theologians and philosophers The book started off very strong thanks to the author being obviously very well read and well versed in a broad range of philosophical and theological discourses However, I found the book s treatment of the topic of Pagan ethics to be rather disappointing and superficial I also found the author s insistence that others concerned with ethics pay too much attention to moral patients at the expense of moral agents particularly those concerned with the rights of unborn human beings and of animals but also all others concerned with moral patients too to be downright bizarre Similarly, for an author interested in challenging what he views as the eschatological bent of many other religions, I felt that Greer s discussion of what is problematic about the myth of progress and hints of looming environmental catastrophe strayed closer to that territory than would have been expected I see this book as ultimately throwing down the gauntlet to other writers working within the Pagan tradition to engage with their faith and the ideas related to it in a learned, systematic, and cerebral way Greer has just scratched the surface of the insights that Pagan and polytheist theology and philosophy have to offer I hope his book serves as an inspiration to many others to pick up where he left off and to offer their own ideas in turn.