The main Christian doctrines and festivals, besides a great mass of affiliated legend and ceremonial, are really quite directed derived from, and related to, preceding Nature worships; and it has only been by a good deal of deliberate mystification and falsification that this derivation has been kept out of sight.
-from "Solar Myths and Christian Festivals"
Socialist advocate, progressive educator, and amateur mystic, Edward Carpenter is perhaps best remembered today for his conflicted homosexuality, an attitude that infuses even this 1920/US work of comparative mythology, which seeks to rehabilitate the sexual longings and sensual traditions of pagan mythologies and how they influenced Christian theology.
In this examination of the ancient roots of modern religion, Carpenter explores the concepts of ritual dancing, sex taboos, rites of initiation, magic associated with food and vegetation, and much more.
Singing with secrets and mysteries, this is a timeless work of the numinous that will delight anyone who seeks a connection with the past and with the corporeal and carnal foundations of human spirituality.
British activist and writer EDWARD CARPENTER (1844-1929) produced books and pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects; his works include Prisons, Police, and Punishment (1905) and The Religious Influence of Art (1870). He is best known for his epic poem cycle, Towards Democracy (1883).