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Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism Paperback – July 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (July 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1110754264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1110754267
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

British doctor and mythologist, Thomas Inman (1820-1876), is also the author of Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names as well as several books on hygiene. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J Irvin on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ancient pagan and modern Christian symbolism, by Dr. Thomas Inman (1869)

Dr. Inman has provided us a classic on the history of fertility cults and the Christian adaptation of its symbolism. This book is well illustrated, and while there are a few points I don't agree with, and a few points he overlooked, I'd say that after 137 years, this book is still at least 85 to 90% accurate - which is better than most books written during any period.

Inman bases many of his ideas on Richard Payne Knight and Godfrey Higgins, both of whom contributed excellent research that is still pertinent for any student of mythology and theology today. Other researchers that came after Inman that I also recommend to the reader for deeper understanding, are: Clifford Howard, B.Z. Goldberg, Sir. James George Frazer, Hargrave Jennings, Wilhelm Reich, Bronislaw Malinowski, James DeMeo, etc. Especially important to consider with this work, as well as the other above mentioned authors, is the complete support for John Allegro's contentions of Christianity being based on fertility worship as he argued in his 1970 publication - The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross - to which he received universal condemnation.

A few of minor problems with this book: Inman actually believed that the pagan fertility symbolism "adapted" into Christianity was foreign to Christianity, instead of part of it's original foundation pre-council of Nicea. From my years of study, I find this idea completely baseless (though I know many will disagree). As well, Inman is of the time when anything associated with human sexuality is considered "primitive," "dirty," "gross," "disgusting," "uncivilized," etc., rather than being the beautiful cause of creation that we are all here in existence because of.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Thoughtful minds have long seized upon the idea of an unseen power.

Using fascinating ancient illustrations, Thomas Inman gently nudges his readers to the possibility of a wider meaning for many of their "religious" symbols well-written, rational and logical book. First published in 1869, the author of this book, an English doctor and mythologist, demonstrates to his largely Christian audience the links between their common religious symbols and those of the ancient civilizations of India, Babylonia, Greece, Rome, Assyria and Egypt.

In doing so, he introduces them to ideas that have permeated religious thought for thousands of years.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Inman didn't seem to understand that the fish symbolism he was referring to was representative of not the female aspect so much as symbolizing magic or a magician. This fish symbolism is used worldwide to give notice to something supernatural, magic (varying levels of it), or a magician (varying levels of the magician). This fish symbolism at times, was used in Mexico by Mayans to the Assyrians to mention a few cultures. Dr. Inman misunderstood this fish symbolism to be the odor of a woman; therefore it must be associated with that kind of stereotype. This misguided thinking was probably agreed upon also by his colleagues at the time.

Dr. Inman also misunderstands a variety of other symbols but this is understandable. He was not privy to certain resources we are able to access now; so he could use and to apply these resources to the type of work he so carefully documented. I believe he was innocently misled by himself or others into imagining or thinking certain prejudices which was revealed in his viewpoints throughout his book. One example of this is his not considering Mary and baby Jesus figures in all black were possibly of Egyptian origin hence the color of their skin. This is not to say this is necessarily correct, but it isn't beyond the elementary realm of possibility regarding the history of these types of symbols all across Europe that he would come across inevitably. Dr. Inman would not cross these kinds of thresholds of possibilities, instead surmising there was no answer to this kind of mystery and would leave it at that. I have no issues with this personally but wanted to point out how Dr.
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