Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism - The Original Classic Editionby Thomas Inman and John Newton
Inman bases many of his ideas
Dr. Inman has provided us a classic on the history of fertility cults and the Christian adaptation of its symbolism. And while there are a few points I dont agree with, and a few points he overlooked, Id say that after 137 years, this book is still at least 85 to 90% accurate - which is better than most books written during any period.
Inman bases many of his ideas on Richard Payne Knight and Godfrey Higgins, both of whom contributed excellent research that is still pertinent for any student of mythology and theology today. Other researchers that came after Inman that I also recommend to the reader for deeper understanding, are: Clifford Howard, B.Z. Goldberg, Sir. James George Frazer, Hargrave Jennings, Wilhelm Reich, Bronislaw Malinowski, James DeMeo, etc. Especially important to consider with this work, as well as the other above mentioned authors, is the complete support for John Allegros contentions of Christianity being based on fertility worship as he argued in his 1970 publication - The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross - to which he received universal condemnation.
A few of minor problems with this book: Inman actually believed that the pagan fertility symbolism adapted into Christianity was foreign to Christianity, instead of part of its original foundation pre-council of Nicea. From my years of study, I find this idea completely baseless (though I know many will disagree). As well, Inman is of the time when anything associated with human sexuality is considered primitive, dirty, gross, disgusting, uncivilized, etc., rather than being the beautiful cause of creation that we are all here in existence because of. This is something the heathen worshippers whom he wrote about clearly understood, that he couldnt grasp himself, or at least made himself appear so as to remain politically correct. His repulsion to human sexuality, his inability (even as a medical doctor) to illustrate, or discuss in full, the human anatomy, even in pencil drawn illustrations, becomes frustrating. He censors the book in many places, saying that to show the human anatomy is just to uncivilized. To discuss it further, well, that would degrade what it means to be civilized. Finally, Inman, like B.Z. Goldberg, believed that sex was the only origin of religion. The topics of archaeoastronomy and intoxicating substances are only discussed briefly, when in fact they are as much the (interrelated) foundation of religion and mythology as fertility worship.
Regardless of these flaws in Inmans work, the book is a 5 star production and an absolute necessity for any student of the ancient mysteries, theology, mythology and archaeology. BUY IT!
- Emereo Pty Ltd
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