Category Archives: Culture

Vincent d'Indy, Composer.

Traditionalism, le Wagnerisme, and Vincent d’Indy

Vincent d’Indy (1851 – 1931), an almost exact contemporary of Sir Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934), studied under César Franck (1822 – 1890) at the Paris Conservatory and, on Franck’s…

Hinduism: It’s Appeal to Westerners

While Islam is generally regarded as the fastest growing religion in the West (mostly because of immigration into Europe), Hinduism, according to a 2011 census, is Australia’s fastest growing religion….

Hindu astrology

Astronomical Evidence and the Upanishads

A famous Flemish emeritus professor recently reacted to my off-hand mention of a date for the major Upanishads, viz. “second millennium BCE”. He thought that this should be 900-500 BCE,…

Voodoo People collage

Voodoo People: Sex, Power, African Faith And Fear in Popular Entertainment

Colored by fascination, fetishism, and even a degree of fear, Hollywood’s portrayal of this enigmatic and little-understood folk faith of the African diaspora throws up cliches about the African seductress,…

Egyptian nude protester, Magda al-Mahdy

Naked Revolutionaries in the Middle East

For French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984), a philosophy that answered the questions of modernity could emerge only outside of the West. The era of Western philosophy had already drawn to…

Skinhead: Jamaican Roots, Extreme-Rightists, Gay Iconism — A Movement of Contradictions

Like the dreadlocked Rastafarian and the Punk with his or her pink or blue “Mohican,” the Skinhead — shaven-headed and wearing imposing workmen’s or military-style boots — has become an…

John Dee occultist as Ziggy Stardust

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Male Image as Otherness

He exists as an embodiment of an almost pure ideal. He is partly (in Christian terminology) Christ and partly Anti-Christ. He embodies the ideals of society to such an extent…

Zen by Design: How One Spiritual Idea Informs Brands From Muji to Apple

Simplicity — in the particular sense that we’re going to be talking about — has deep roots in traditional Japanese culture, especially related to Zen Buddhism. Yet it has also…

Conformism and Crowd Violence: When the Majority is Really a Mob

In the final weeks of the fall semester 2013 I asked the students in my “Introduction to Literary Criticism” course to read René Girard’s I See Satan Fall like Lightning…