I’ve been reading Dan McCoy’s The Love of Destiny: The Sacred and the Profane in Germanic Polytheism which I guess could be described as an exercise in neo-pagan apologetics.
I spoke in a recent post about foundational myths. Intriguingly the foundational myth of Protestant England is centred not on Henry VIII but on his daughter. Elizabeth I, or Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, is Protestant England’s Joan of Arc.
My current reading is Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World. It’s heavy going, especially if you limited tolerance for the wilder shores of mysticism, esotericism, magic and the occult. If you persist with it though there are plenty of profound and important insights into the sorry state in which our civilisation has landed itself. The second half of the book in particular is filled with key insights.
|Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)|
Religion of course played a major role in the downfall of James II. His conversion to the Catholic faith gave the enemies of the Throne the weapon they needed. They were able to exploit religious paranoia and bigotry to overthrow the King. Belloc points out that the idea that the Catholic Church could be restored to its position as the national church in the late 17th century was absurd and James had no thought of trying to achieve such an aim. At most he hoped to give Catholicism as chance of survival in the kingdom.
Hundreds of books have been written about the Dreyfus Affair. Piers Paul Read’s 2012 The Dreyfus Affair is perhaps a little unusual in that it tries to be as even-handed as possible. Read is a Catholic but this is not really a Catholic account of the affair. On the other hand it is at least not an anti-Catholic account, unlike most books on the subject.
British historian Adam Tooze’s 2014 book The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 takes an original and distinctive approach to the First World War. Tooze is not interested in how the war started nor in how it was fought. Only one thing really mattered – the entry of the United States into the war. US intervention had virtually no effect on the course of the actual war itself but it had a profound effect on the peace negotiations and on the postwar world. It changed everything. From that moment on the US was the world’s dominant power. The only question was how the US would exercise that power.