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How ‘Star Wars’ Answers Our Biggest Religious Questions

By Joel Hodge

[Snip] Lucas’s stated aim was to create a mythology that could provide moral guidance within the context of a renewed sense of spirituality and transcendence. Lucas was concerned this mythology was lacking both in cinema (following the decline of the Western) and in a post-1960s social context. In a 1999 interview with . . . → Read More: How ‘Star Wars’ Answers Our Biggest Religious Questions

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Reviewed by Trevor Pyne

[Snip] Rock and roll derives from that modern subset of music that was born from African-American slave beginnings, merging gradually with mainstream popular music via vaudeville then going on to shape the dominant genres of music consumed by the majority of the listening public. Therefore jazz, coupled with the timely invention . . . → Read More: Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Stolen Season, by S.J. Tucker

Reviewed by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

[Snip] Interestingly, you might recall that I’ve already written something about this album, way back in October of 2013 (I can’t believe it was that long ago!), when I wrote a theological commentary on the song “Little Bird.” It happened so long ago, I’m afraid, that when I first . . . → Read More: Stolen Season, by S.J. Tucker

A Tapestry of Metaphor: Art and the Pagan Spirit

By Paul Rucker

[Snip] Religion — from re-ligare, “to bind together” or “to reconnect” — implies a specific community connected by a shared sense of the sacred. Sacred arts speak to the devoted heart of such a tribe, through images and symbols that make tangible its truths, its revelations, and its joys. Even as the . . . → Read More: A Tapestry of Metaphor: Art and the Pagan Spirit

Myth and Legend in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Part Three

By Karl E.H. Seigfried

The castle of the Wartburg was a symbolic touchstone for German nationalists of the Romantic era. In 1521, after Martin Luther had been declared an outlaw for defying the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms, he hid at the Wartburg under the protection of Saxon elector Frederick . . . → Read More: Myth and Legend in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Part Three

Myth and Legend in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Part Two

By Karl E.H. Seigfried

The concept of a man being seduced by a supernatural creature – whether goddess, elf or fairy – and spending time in her mystic realm before (in some cases) returning in a somehow transformed state to the everyday world is one that seems to be have been quite widespread. Thomas the . . . → Read More: Myth and Legend in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Part Two

Myth and Legend in Wagner's <i>Tannhäuser</i>, Part One

By Karl E.H. Seigfried

[Snip] In order to understand the nature of Wagner’s magic mountain, we must turn to the scholarship of his time. Wagner writes in his autobiography that, in 1843 – the year he finished the poem then titled Der Venusberg – he was inseparable from his copy of Jacob Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology. . . . → Read More: Myth and Legend in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Part One

The Hero’s Journey

Beowulf, Film, and Masculinity

By Katherine Marie Ismeurt

Let me tell you a story. It is not a new story, nor is it one that is very complicated. It is a story about the way the world is. It is a story about why thousands of young men continue to enlist in the army and . . . → Read More: The Hero’s Journey

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Reviewed by Casey Rae

[Snip] Peter Bebergal‘s Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll [Tarcher/Penguin 2014], is an admirable attempt at uniting the tribes. First, we need a common vernacular. To Bebergal’s definition, “the occult” is less a fixed system and more of a worldview that encompasses many spiritual traditions operating . . . → Read More: Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music

Reviewed by Ethan Doyle White

From the guttural screeches of Heathen metal to the repetitious electronicbeats of techno-shamanic raving, music plays an important and fascinating role within the contemporary Pagan movement. While a few papers on elements of this subject have seen publication in the past, Pop Pagans represents the first concerted effort to examine . . . → Read More: Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music