My new article, “Bhakti and Henadology”, which will be appearing in the next issue of the Journal of Dharma Studies, is now available to read on the publisher’s site. I will have a downloadable version of this article available here when I am allowed to, but in the meantime, here is the link to read it online: https://rdcu.be/3vKx

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I’ve decided to make a couple of writings of mine available online that weren’t previously. The first one was written for a devotional volume, namely Bearing Torches: A Devotional Anthology for Hekate ed. Sannion et al. (Eugene, OR: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 2009), pp. 140-157:

Flower of Fire: Hekate in the Chaldean Oracles

Secondly, I’ve made available on Academia.edu by permission of P. Sufenas Virius Lupus a draft of an essay written for eir TransGenerations: A Grand Grimoire of the Tetrad++ Tradition (forthcoming 2019).

I hope you enjoy them both.

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The new issue of Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork (ISSN 2474-3135) is now available from Amazon and directly from the journal site. (Annual subscriptions offer 20% off the cover price.) Vol. 4 No. 2 features, among other articles, a groundbreaking translation, and timely book reviews, my own essay “Perceiving Aphrodite: Empedoclean Metaphysics” (pp. 40-53).

Please note that this issue, with its theme of “Miscellany”, inaugurates a new policy at Walking the Worlds. From now on, in addition to articles on the posted theme for the issue—for instance, the next issue (Winter 2018) will have the theme “Prayer”—the journal will also be accepting submissions on any other topic pertinent to the journal’s mission.

I sincerely hope that this new flexibility in submissions will encourage those who might have hesitated previously to write something for us. An academic journal dedicated explicitly and specifically to polytheist thought is something of value to the entire polytheist community. As for the academic format, many polytheists are consumers of academic literature, and I am of the opinion that if one can read it, one can write it. It often takes just a little effort to fashion an essay from a blog into something more rigorous that would be suitable for us; I encourage you to try.

What’s more, the journal is also going to be featuring book reviews regularly—there are three in the new issue. A book review is a fine way to grow more comfortable with an academic style of writing.

There are now a plethora of ways to get involved with Walking the Worlds.

 

Essays on Plato

May 22, 2018

I’ve collected several of my works on Plato into a book, available for the Kindle as well as in paperback. It includes “Polytheism and Metaphysics (I): Divine Relation,” “Plato’s Gods and the Way of Ideas,” “Animal and Paradigm in Plato,” “Esoteric City: Theological Hermeneutics in Plato’s Republic,” “Polytheism and the Euthyphro,” the previously unpublished “Toward a New Conception of Platonic Henology” and “On the Gods and the Good”. Rebecca Buchanan also did an interview with me to mark the occasion.

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My policy has been to make articles I publish in Walking the Worlds available only upon request. I have decided, however, to make an exception in the case of two articles, “Polytheism and the Euthyphro,” Walking the Worlds Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer 2016, pp. 20-34, and “The Gods and Brahman,” Walking the Worlds Vol. 4, No. 1, Winter 2017, pp. 18-36. These two essays will now be available in PDFs from the Philosophy page. I decided to make these two essays specifically widely available because there is in my opinion a critical need for polytheist perspectives on the so-called “Euthyphro problem”, on the one hand, and on the concept of Brahman, on the other. I hope that doing this will underscore the importance of such a resource as Walking the Worlds, an unprecedented venue for serious writing about polytheism.

 

 

Last fall, I was honored to be asked to speak on a panel of independent scholars in Classical Studies at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS). The text of my talk now appears on the blog of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), which will also be featuring contributions from my fellow panelists David J. Murphy, Ann Patty, Janet Stephens and Helen Cullyer as part of a series on being an independent scholar in Classics. I want to thank Sarah E. Bond for editing and packaging the essay for the blog, and Ann R. Raia for chairing the panel. I hope that you enjoy it.

https://classicalstudies.org/scs-blog/edward-p-butler/blog-independent-scholarship-process-venues-and-social-media

 

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The new issue of Walking the Worlds has the theme “Text and Tradition”, and I was pleased to contribute a major new essay, “The Gods and Brahman”. Here’s the abstract:

The role of the concept of bráhman in Indian theology and philosophy is frequently adduced as a reason why Hinduism should not be regarded as polytheistic. The present essay attempts through an analysis of Vedic and Upaniṣadic texts to arrive at an understanding of the relationship, or, better, the diverse relational possibilities existing between the Gods (Deva-s) and bráhman. Crucial to understanding this relationship is grasping that polytheism is not reducible to a static division of a whole into parts, but rather exhibits a polycentric structure, in which the ultimacy of Gods, or even of a principle such as bráhman, is understood practically to be essentially reciprocal. In this light, discourse about bráhman is seen as part of an effort to articulate polytheism, not to transcend it. In particular, the essay argues that by appropriating for itself the functional or essentialist dimension of the Gods and the transactional dimension of the relationship between humans and the Gods, bráhman stimulates the recognition of the unique, existential personhood of the God as object of bhakti.

My thanks to all the other contributors, to my fellow editors, and as always to Sara Kate Istra Winter of Winged Words Design for her superb design work on the journal.

Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork (ISSN 2474-3135) is available in single issues and subscriptions from here. Please consider asking your library to take out a subscription; in addition to the journal’s homepage, you can refer to the journal’s WorldCat entry for necessary information.

 

I was pleased and honored to give the following paper as part of the panel “Reconsidering the Origins of Bhakti” at the 15th annual conference of the Dharma Academy of North America (DANAM), held in conjunction with the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) in Boston, MA. It represents a revised version of the paper of the same name given at the SAGP/SSIPS conference in 2015. I wish to thank DANAM and the organizers of the session, as well as my fellow panelists and the attendees.

Bhakti and Henadology (DANAM)

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This new Bibliotheca Alexandrina devotional volume includes an essay of mine, “Aphrodite and Theology” (pp. 94-110). You can see a table of contents for the volume here, order the volume from this page, or from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. My thanks to the editor, Rebecca Buchanan, who also writes fiction, and in addition to her never-ending editorial duties on behalf of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is also the editor of Eternal Haunted Summer.

Blood and Roses: A Devotional for Aphrodite and Venus, ed. Rebecca Buchanan (Asheville, NC: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 2017).

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The new issue of Walking the Worlds is out. In this issue I have a 2,000 word review essay on H. Jeremiah Lewis’ Hunting Wisdom: A Bacchic Orphic Diviner’s Manual. I recommend the book highly, and discuss general issues concerning divination provoked by reflection upon it. Steven Dillon‘s article in this issue, “From the Gods to Divination,” also makes reference to my work in intriguing fashion for a deduction of the validity of divination.

The theme for the next issue is “Text and Tradition”; the deadline is Nov. 1st. I hope that some of you will consider submitting something for it. Writer’s guidelines are here.

Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork (ISSN 2474-3135) is available by subscription or as single issues.