- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted May 24, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It starts by identifying Hellenismos as a Reconstructionist religion, which it is. There are some in the Hellenic community that would take umbrage with that, but this should not at all be controversial. Personally, I feel it is an accurate use of the term, as other authors before Mr. Alexander have the same definition, notably, Drew Campbell, author of Old Stones, New Temples. Upon perusing the Table of Contents, I was impressed with how much information Mr. Alexander was able to provide, especially for an Introductory Guide 'his term'. The Gods and Goddesses section is just as it should be, a general run through of the Olympians and Daemons. I believe it should be up to the practictioner of Hellenismos to learn more, as does Mr. Alexander. I am impressed that he stresses learning about the gods in their totality, and not allowing oneself to be duped into worshipping an archetype or popular perception. I also was impressed with the clear and precise way the author was able to discuss soft and hard polytheism in a way that makes it easily understandable to the reader. Syncretism and electicism are also terms that are easily confused, even among experienced pagans, and I was glad to see that Mr. Alexander was able to show that these are not terms that can be used interchangeably. The Cosmology section did not go into great detail, and honestly, I am glad. As an Introductory Guide, anything too in depth would only confuse. Suffice it to say that what Mr. Alexander stated is the truth that no matter what philosophical idea one subscribes to, 'the universe exists naturally and functions in a scientifically explainable way.' Mr. Alexander delves into another sticky area of Hellenismos magick. The battle rages between Hellenes as to whether magick is an acceptable practice within the religion. Mr. Alexander draws his line in the sand and explains the differences 'in his opinion' of magick and mysticism. Whether you agree with him or not, it is a well presented argument. What is particurlarly important, at least in my mind, is the role of clergy within Hellenismos. I believe there is a need differentiate it from the popular perception of clergy 'Christianity'. The author is clearly knowledgeable regarding this subject, and in my opinion, it is the best chapter in this book. I appreciated the Suggested Reading List, as I suspect that many who read Hellenismos today will want to continue their study of Hellenic Polytheism. I applaud the efforts of Mr. Alexander to write a book on a very misunderstood religion. While it is true that most people that find their way to Hellenismos are academic and intellectually oriented, he recognizes that spirituality is valid within the religion and has it's place as well. I am sure that there are many who will not agree with Mr. Alexander's opinions. For me personally, I found myself nodding in agreement with most, if not all of what he had to say. Thankfully, this book has not whitewashed the beliefs and practices of Hellenic Polytheism to make it palatable to the masses. I highly recommend this book to those who are just starting to learn about Hellenismos, and to those who are drawn to the Greek Pantheon, regardless of path.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.