Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So Many Books, So Little Time

She Who Changes is one of the more important books in my spiritual development. It's one of those too-rare books for Pagans that goes beyond Feminist Spirituality 101. Carol Christ, who now blogs along with Starhawk and others, has a post up that discusses her book.

While process philosophy agrees with traditional views that all human knowing is partial and fragmentary, it does not take the further step of asserting that therefore we can know nothing of Goddess or God. Process philosophy boldly affirms that the love of Goddess/God for the world is something like the love we can know in relationships in the world and that the care and concern that Goddess/God offers to every individual in the world is something like the care and concern we can offer each other. In sharp contrast to traditional theisms, process philosophy argues that Goddess/God is more known than unknown because Goddess/God is in the world and the world is in Goddess/God. Process philosophy rejects all language and understandings that suggest that God is any way a distant or dominating Other. He is not a king, a tyrant, a bully, or man of war. She is not a queen, a withholding or controlling mother, or a wielder of a battle axe.

More here.

Meanwhile, Jason at The Wild Hunt has an interview with Brendan Cathbad Myers about Myers' new book: The Other Side of Virtue: Where Our Virtues Came From, What They Really Mean, and Where They Might Be Taking Us. I ordered it right away. Myers says:

It's not well known, but Virtue was originally a pagan idea. It was not only an ethical idea, but also a spiritual idea. It had to do with the way people make choices, but also with the way people 'held' themselves and possessed themselves. It configured how they understood their relationship to other people, the world, and the gods. To most people today it has to do with Christian qualities like humility and chastity. But its original side, which has now become its 'other side', has to do with the means by which a person empowers and edifies herself, and becomes a complete human being. Pagans have virtue-concepts in some of our most important and most widely shared statements of identity. The Charge of the Goddess mentions eight of them. But when most pagans think of ethics, they usually think of the the Wiccan Rede -- a highly utilitarian idea which has nothing to do with virtue. I'd like to change that.


Angela-Eloise said...

I read Jason's article about the Myers book and of course wanted to buy it and all the ones by Charles Taylor. Now I'll have to check out She Who Changes too.

Sigh. What will I do to support my book habit?

Morning Angel said...

Great choice of color: hot pink.

"No such thing as too many books." Aye.

I recently read Myers' book, The Other Side of Virtue. I've been immersed in thinking about this theme of pagan virtue for a relatively long time and consider most American values to be inherited pagan values. Nevertheless, Myers bowled me over with fresh perspectives. He made statements that made me stop and blink. The later part of the book, however, disappointed me. It was about the time he introduced his concept of "Immensity."