Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism: With an Essay on Baal Worship, on the Assyrian Sacred Grove and Other Allied Symbols by John Newton (1875)

Author: Thomas Inman / John Newton | Page Count: 242

"Letters and words mark the ordinary current of man's thought, whilst religious symbols show the nature of his aspirations."

If you’re not blinded by any one specific religion, a quick study of the many others available will throw up some obvious similarities: virgin births, death and resurrection, esoteric symbolism, etc. Let’s not beat around the burning bush, they’re basically the same shit in a different form. Christian, early Pagan, Assyrian, Egyptian, etc, share more than just a few vowels. Thomas Inman explores the similarities and gives examples through text and illustrations.

The illustrations also help him highlight another of his passions: the hidden sexual connotations of religious iconography. He loves his penile pillars and vaginal archways. It was penned in the late 19th Century so he had to conform to the standards of the day; he apologises for being unable to detail the "vulgar" but still manages to be explicit in his meanings. He gets excited over Egyptian women sleeping with goats for good luck, Indian women paying priests for sex to bring them closer to the god Vishnu, and equates what seems to be a shamrock with a pair of bollocks - three pairs to be exact. He’d make Freud blush.

His text repeatedly directs the reader to other sources that I didn't have, and for all I know may well be hard or even impossible to obtain in any form today. The second half of the book is a lot lighter on word count but is packed with pictures.

Sometimes he seems to be reaching for allusions that are far beyond believable. Still, I give him points for trying. Besides that, it’s an interesting read if you want some ammunition to fend off an attack by a fundamentalist the next time he/she tries to force a tract down your throat in a public place. Don’t swallow that shit. Give them some of the Inman "vulgar" that’s hidden in their religion and its architecture to shut them up.

2 religious goat-fuckers out of 5

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