My daughter liked this the best of the three stories we have read about the Pegasus so far. It wasn’t as difficult to follow as the first we read, norMy daughter liked this the best of the three stories we have read about the Pegasus so far. It wasn’t as difficult to follow as the first we read, nor as simplistic and overly-cheery as the second. What she particularly liked, I think, was the frame story, which included a twist. I liked the book’s message that “A story need not be actual to be true,” which opened up a good conversation about “truth” verses “historical fact.” ...more
Perhaps a little dumbed down (and certainly a little too cheerful), but, on the whole, wonderfully accesible Greek mythology for young children. My thPerhaps a little dumbed down (and certainly a little too cheerful), but, on the whole, wonderfully accesible Greek mythology for young children. My three and six year old were both enraptured with the book, and immediately wanted to learn more about Medusa and find Medusa coloring pages on the internet. It also introduces kids to the concept of the Greek chorus. ...more
My daughter is currently obsessed with pegasuses, but at least this gives me an opportunity to introduce her to Greek mythology. This book has beautifMy daughter is currently obsessed with pegasuses, but at least this gives me an opportunity to introduce her to Greek mythology. This book has beautiful illustrations, but the storytelling left something to be desired. It didn't "flow" easily as a read aloud....more
The Everlasting Man is a strange kind of Christian apologetics, which relates the story of man from the beginning of time. Chesterton gives a delightfThe Everlasting Man is a strange kind of Christian apologetics, which relates the story of man from the beginning of time. Chesterton gives a delightful thrashing to the anthropologists who draw amazing conclusions from minimal evidence; emphasizes that whether or not evolution is true, it offers absolutely no reasonable explanation for the vast divide between man and the animals; pokes some fun at the silliness of comparative religion; and teases the historical critics who draw insupportable claims about the origins of orthodox Christianity.
I was actually more engaged at the beginning of the book than I was as it wore on; he seems to apply most of his wit and humor towards the beginning. At times Chesterton is "too clever," to self-satisfied, too caught up in the beauty of his own language, but there is no denying his wit and his insight, and his zingers do zing. This is entertaining, intellectual apologetics of a kind rarely found; indeed, not found anywhere else that I can think of. Unfortunately, I borrowed it form the library, and so I could not highlight my favorite lines. Perhaps it is just as well, or three-fourths of the book might have been underlined by the end. But from it I take away these points: that the cave man was likely more human than the anthropologists make him out to be; that the academics of comparative religion confuse mythology with actual religious systems; and that Christianity was the first thing to combine, utterly, both philosophy and religion.
The apologetics are somewhat random and lack a clear organization; he seems to say what he thinks when he thinks of it, almost in a train of thought fashion, although there are loose thematic divisions for the chapters. I think Chesterton seems to occasionally fall into the same trap he has criticized others for: attributing psychological motives to people whose motives he could not know. All and all though, an excellent book. ...more
Frasier seems to depict religion as an evolutionary process, from primitive superstition and magic on to a more refined monotheism, finally culminatinFrasier seems to depict religion as an evolutionary process, from primitive superstition and magic on to a more refined monotheism, finally culminating in enlightened scientific thought. We find Darwin in absolutely everything these days. The problem with such a depiction, however, is that the enlightened scientitificism and rationalism of modern times has created just as much (if not far more) terror than the primitive magicians and priests of old (giving us communism, Nazism, eugenics, etc.); superstition and polytheism can co-exist with rationalism in the same period of humanity among the people of the same nation (note the modern growing popularity of neo-paganism); the a single, individual monotheist can find himself backsliding into polytheism in a single lifetime (as the Jews often did in their own history); and, of course, the scientists have dogmatisms and superstitions of their own. The path from magic to science is simply not a straight line; there is not an evolutionary "progress" in place whereby man evolves out of superstition and into religion and then out of religion and into presumably better scientific thought. Humanity is more complex and more cyclical than that.
Frasier draws rather suspect parallels between the practices of different religions. I found these comparison often questionable when I first read the book, but I could not quite put my finger on what disturbed me about them, until I read G.K. Chesterton's "The Everlasting Man," in which he very insightfully noted: "I would undertake to trace a notion like that of the Golden Bough through individual modern novels as easily as through communal and antiquated myths. I would undertake to find something like a bunch of flowers figuring again and again from the fatal bouquet of Becky Sharpe to the spray of roses sent by the princess of Ruritania. But though these flowers may spring from the same soil, it is not the same faded flower that is flung from hand to hand. Those flowers are always fresh."
As a reference and a catalog, however, this is certainly a useful volume, and it was clearly extremely influential and worth reading for that reason alone. It is probably required reading for the student of literature. ...more
I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions. I'm obviously not expecting to agree, religiously,I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions. I'm obviously not expecting to agree, religiously, with what I read; I just want to learn about the various religions of the world, enjoy the poetry, and glean what insights I can. Of all the sacred texts I've read, this one possessed the least literary quality and offered the least aesthetic pleasure as well as the fewest insights to me personally. It was somewhat dull and the reading was really slow plodding. ...more
This is the most famous portion of the long Hindu epic the Mahabharata. In this tale, Krishna, the incarnate god, is charioteer of Arjuna. Arjuna is aThis is the most famous portion of the long Hindu epic the Mahabharata. In this tale, Krishna, the incarnate god, is charioteer of Arjuna. Arjuna is a great warrior, but he is torn because it is his own kinsmen and teachers who have become his enemies in battle. He hesitates, and so Krishna must goad him to action. The work takes the form of a philosophical dialogue.
When we learn about epics in American schools, we usually read The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Paradise Lost. We are the lesser, I believe, for not also reading The Bahagavad-Gita. India has perhaps not influenced western culture to the degree that Greece and England have, but it has influenced literature, including T.S. Eliot, who was familiar with the Bhagavad-Gita.
For me, as a Christian, I sometimes found the philosophy difficult to follow and seemingly contradictory. Nevertheless, I appreciate the work as beautiful poetry, and I enjoyed finding the occasional parallels between Krishna's words and Christ's teachings, as well as noting some major philosophical differences.