Philosophy was invented by pagans. Yet this fact is almost always ignored by those who write the history of ideas. This book tells the history of the pagan philosophers, and the various places where their ideas appeared, from ancient times to the 21st century.
The Pagan philosophers are a surprisingly diverse group: from kings of great empires to exiled lonely wanderers, from devout religious teachers to con artists, drug addicts, and social radicals. Three traditions of thought emerge from their work: Pantheism, NeoPlatonism, and Humanism, corresponding to the immensities of the Earth, the Gods, and the Soul. From ancient schools like the Stoics and the Druids, to modern feminists and deep ecologists, the pagan philosophers examined these three immensities with systematic critical reason, and sometimes with poetry and mystical vision. This book tells their story for the first time in one volume, and invites you to examine the immensities with them.
And as a special feature, the book includes summaries of the ideas of leading modern pagan intellectuals, in their own words: Emma Restall Orr, Michael York, John Michael Greer, Vivianne Crowley, and more
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
This is a very interesting, very useful and prospectively very important work, which summarises a great range of literature with crystal clarity, and makes a passionate personal argument that will contribute valuably to current debates over the nature and position of religion. ~ Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol
History is usually written by the winners. This is as true for the history of philosophy as anywhere else. A thousand years of institutionalized monotheism decisively shaped how philosophy developed and remembered its predecessors. Yet as Brendan Myers demonstrates, often forgotten insights that had motivated early Pagan philosophical and wisdom traditions continue to speak to the human experience. Until recently no foundations beyond the brilliance of individual minds existed to develop these insights in a modern context. Today, as that situation changes, we are all enriched by reading Brendan Myers’ history of philosophy written from a Pagan perspective.
Anyone wanting to place our spiritual traditions within the grand history of Western thought, as well as exploring its promise for the future, will be enriched and rewarded by reading Myers’ book. ~ Gus DiZerega, Author of "Pagans and Christians" and "Beyond the Burning Times"
Brendan Myers guides the reader through a lively overview of the many thinkers who have pondered Pagan philosophical ideas from the Classical to the Modern Period. Despite the complexity of the subject
matter, his impressive text weaves together sophisticated threads of thought in a witty, accessible style, asking if it is possible to define a distinct form of Pagan Philosophy. This work is an invaluable contribution to both a wider philosophical debate, and to the modern Pagan community seeking to ground their ideas in a deeper philosophical perspective. ~ Phillip Carr Gomm, Writer, psychologist, and leader of The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids