You are browsing the archive for Religion, Myth & Legend.

Ignatius Donnelly: Recipes for Disaster

Adam Green - September 27, 2017 in apocalypse, Atlantis, Books, catastrophe, disaster, disaster porn, Featured Articles, Ignatius Donnelly, Literature, pseudo-science, Religion, Myth & Legend, Science & Medicine, science fiction

The destruction of Atlantis, cataclysmic comets, and a Manhattan tower made entirely from concrete and corpse — Carl Abbott on the life and work of a Minnesotan writer, and failed politician, with a mind primed for catastrophe.

Rescuing England: The Rhetoric of Imperialism and the Salvation Army

Adam Green - August 16, 2017 in africa, Books, christian missionaries, christianity, colonialism, imperialism, poverty, Religion, Religion, Myth & Legend, Salvation Army, social reform, victorian england, victorian london, William booth

Ellen J. Stockstill on how William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, placed the ideas and language of colonialism at the very heart of his vision for improving the lives of Victorian England's poor.

Decoding the Morse: The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

Adam Green - June 14, 2017 in carta marina, conrad gessner, Culture & History, Featured Articles, morse, olaus magnus, Religion, Myth & Legend, walrus

Amongst the assorted curiosities described in Olaus Magnus' 1555 tome on Nordic life was the morse — a hirsuite, fearsome, walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth. Natalie Lawrence explores the career of this chimerical wonder, shaped both by scholarly images of a fabulous north and the grisly corporeality of the trade in walrus skins, teeth, and bone.

Woodcuts and Witches

Adam Green - May 4, 2017 in Art & Illustrations, Books, christianity, crone, Culture & History, demonology, demons, devils, Featured Articles, king james, occult, persecution, printing, printing revolution, Religion, Myth & Legend, sorcery, witchcraft, witches, wizards

Jon Crabb on the witch-craze of Early Modern Europe, and how the concurrent rise of the mass-produced woodcut helped forge the archetype of the broom-riding crone — complete with cauldron and cats — so familiar today.

Woodcuts and Witches

Adam Green - May 4, 2017 in Art & Illustrations, Books, christianity, crone, Culture & History, demonology, demons, devils, Featured Articles, king james, occult, persecution, printing, printing revolution, Religion, Myth & Legend, sorcery, witchcraft, witches, wizards

Jon Crabb on the witch-craze of Early Modern Europe, and how the concurrent rise of the mass-produced woodcut helped forge the archetype of the broom-riding crone — complete with cauldron and cats — so familiar today.

Voltaire and the Buddha

Adam Green - March 8, 2017 in buddha, buddhism, christian missionaries, early reception of buddhism, Jesuit missions, orientalism, Religion, Myth & Legend, Society of Jesus, Voltaire

Donald S. Lopez, Jr. looks at Voltaire's early reflections on Buddhism and how, in his desire to separate the Buddha's teachings from the trappings of religion, the French Enlightenment thinker prefigured an approach now familiar in the West.

George Washington: A Descendant of Odin?

Adam Green - February 8, 2017 in Books, Culture & History, family tree, genealogy, george washington, george washington descendants, odin, Religion, Myth & Legend, scandina, vikings, washington descended from, woden

Yvonne Seale on a bizarre and fanciful piece of genealogical scholarship and what it tells us about identity in late 19th-century America.

Out of Their Love They Made It: A Visual History of Buraq

Adam Green - September 21, 2016 in Art & Illustrations, buraq, buraq iconography, buraq in art, Featured Articles, god, iconography, islam, mi'raj, Prophet Muhammad, qur'an, Religion, Religion, Myth & Legend, richard dawkins

Although mentioned only briefly in the Qur'an, the story of the Prophet Muhammad's night journey to heaven astride a winged horse called Buraq has long caught the imagination of artists. Yasmine Seale charts the many representations of this enigmatic steed, from early Islamic scripture to contemporary Delhi, and explores what such a figure can say about the nature of belief.

Francis van Helmont and the Alphabet of Nature

Adam Green - June 1, 2016 in alchemy, Featured Articles, francis van helmont, hebrew, invented languages, Jan Baptist van Helmont, language, occult, Philosophy, Religion, Myth & Legend, universal language

Largely forgotten today in the shadow of his more famous father, the 17th-century Flemish alchemist Francis van Helmont influenced and was friends with the likes of Locke, Boyle, and Leibniz. While imprisoned by the Inquisition, in between torture sessions, he wrote his Alphabet of Nature on the idea of a universal natural language. Je Wilson explores.

Divine Comedy: Lucian Versus The Gods

Adam Green - March 23, 2016 in Books, dialogues, gods, lucian, Religion, Myth & Legend, satire, translation

With the twenty-six short comic dialogues that made up Dialogues of the Gods, the 2nd-century writer Lucian of Samosata took the popular images of the Greek gods and re-drew them as greedy, sex-obsessed, power-mad despots. Nicholas Jeeves explores the story behind the work and its reception in the English speaking world.