Comprising Detailed Account of the Rites and Ceremonies, Doctrines and Discipline of All the Secret and Mysterious Institutions of the Ancient World
Author: George Oliver
Publisher: Hardpress Publishing
Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.
By the 1980s, interest in initiation was at its peak; it was being employed both theoretically and practically, in gender politics and humanistic therapy. How did that come to be, how should we understand 'initiation', and what can be its future? This wide-ranging book looks at the history, evolution and contemporary idea of initiation. It traces origins in the ancient Mysteries and early Christian texts, through Renaissance rediscoveries to admission in Freemasonry and anthropological investigations in French Canada and British Australia. It introduces the 'initiation discourse', as something that was constructed through centuries of translations and nineteenth century human science leading to the making of the modern concept. It argues for a subject, 'initiation studies', that effectively secularised the eighteenth-century rites of admission to produce the twentieth-century rites of passage. And it details, as compensation for this hollowing out of the mystery, the study of shaman 'spirit-workers', the idea of death and rebirth, and the later sacralisation of the liminal in adolescent/adult initiation. Finally, a contemporary revision is explored that incorporates neglected aspects like depth psychology and education for an idea of youth as a life-stage. And while ritual is now deemphasised, the religious dimension is reaffirmed with a critical analysis of cosmic consciousness, the enduring Great Mystery.
Scholars of classical history and literature have for more than a century accepted `initiation' as a tool for understanding a variety of obscure rituals and myths, ranging from the ancient Greek wedding and adolescent haircutting rituals to initiatory motifs or structures in Greek myth, comedy and tragedy. In this books an international group of experts including Gloria Ferrari, Fritz Graf and Bruce Lincoln, critique many of these past studies, and challenge strongly the tradition of privileging the concept of initiation as a tool for studying social performances and literary texts, in which changes in status or group membership occur in unusual ways. These new modes of research mark an important turning point in the modern study of the religion and myths of ancient Greece and Rome, making this a valuable collection across a number of classical subjects.