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The Mushroom in Christian Art: The Identity of Jesus in the Development of Christianity Paperback – January 11, 2011


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The Mushroom in Christian Art: The Identity of Jesus in the Development of Christianity + Failed God: Fractured Myth in a Fragile World + The Twelve Gates: A Spiritual Passage Through the Egyptian Books of the Dead
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; Pap/DVD edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556439601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556439605
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A picture is worth a thousand words. In this enlightening book, and on the well-illustrated DVD, John Rush identifies the real Jesus and argues convincingly for the prevalence of the historical, religious use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Christianity.”
—Jan Irvin, author of The Holy Mushroom.
 
“Going beyond the identification of putative fungal shapes in the religious art of Europe, John Rush has provided an eloquent and sophisticated context for their significance, a kind of grammar of symbolic forms, lavishly illustrated, opening up an essential topic of dialogue for anyone interested in understanding the creative imagination of this vast and intriguing period of history.”
—Carl Ruck, professor of Classics at Boston University and author of Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess: Secrets of Eleusis

The Mushroom in Christian Art is a valuable addition to the growing corpus on the question of whether hallucinogens played a central role in Christianity and, as such, is well worth the read.”
The Psychedelic Press UK

About the Author

John A. Rush, PhD, ND, is a professor of anthropology at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. His research has ranged from religious symbolism in Europe to monuments and Mayan astronomy in Central America. He is also the author of Failed God, Spiritual Tattoo, and The Twelve Gates.

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Customer Reviews

First off, psilocybin [sic] was not "born in a manger."
psillytom
Dr. Rush, as expressed in this work and, Failed God, knows a great deal about Christianity and certainly more than the art historians.
Andrea
This is a must read for serious scholars in Christian art as well as those seeking the truth.
Christopher John Hobby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By may bruce on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Rush's book is one of the most revealing and creative works I have
read on the identity of Jesus. Although some of the images
presented may not be mushrooms, there are so many obvious mushrooms
that they lead to very serious questions: Why are the mushrooms in
the art and why have the art historians neglected to mention this
motif? Rush takes a bold and controversial step in his interpretation
of the mushroom, but his discussion of the Stations of the Cross, as
originally related to finding, processing, and consumption of the
holy mushroom, does seem plausible, certainly more plausible then
that of the story proffered as historical fact by the Catholic Church.
Was Jesus really a mushroom, the path to God, and not a living,
breathing human being?
At first this seemed ridiculous, but after all the information is
presented, I believe Rush is correct. I highly recommend this work
to anyone who is serious about understanding Christian art and the
origins of Christianity,
this will be a very difficult read for the true believer.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher John Hobby on February 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
As an artist, and knowledgeable in Christian icons, I must say this is one of the most creative interpretations of Christian art I have ever come across. A few of the mushroom motifs are a bit questionable but the existence of the mushroom in Christian art is undeniable. He also makes an outstanding case for the identity of Jesus; this will most certainly be a difficult read for the true believer. I can also understand why Psillytom wrote his review, for the Catholic Church, out of political and economic necessity, would have to trash this work and Dr. Rush along with it. Rush, however, appears to subscribe to the primary messages of Jesus (he does not come across as an atheist), that is, human decency, know thyself, seek knowledge, and personal responsibility. And aren't these the important themes anyway? It really doesn't matter if Jesus was a real person or a mushroom, just be a decent person - and you don't need a priest or church to accomplish this. The other important point is that it is the artists who have kept the messages of human decency, know thyself, and personal responsibility alive - not the Catholic Church. This is a must read for serious scholars in Christian art as well as those seeking the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Plankton on July 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book that was "suggested" reading for a class Prof. Rush taught. I thought it would be an interesting read at the very least. All the books I bought of his are unsupported, personal theories. The positive accolades for the book seem like they are written by friends of the author's. I would expect other religious study professors to be writing those, but he likely couldn't find any to write positive things about it. Some of his theories have been researched and largely dismissed by his peers in religious or anthropology studies.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Szimhart on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Yes, I admit it--my only tattoo is a small amanita on my shoulder, but it has nothing to do with the thesis of this book that I purchased through amazon because the topic fascinates me. My interest in the Amanita muscaria began in the late 1960s along with things shaman, but it got more serious after some research. As a young artist in the early 70s I painted a few yellow-phase Amanitas `en plein air' in oil above the Delaware Water Gap and then I ingested a small one. I got a pleasant buzz with some of the psychedelic bells and whistles described in the literature. A short few months later a friend of mine and I ate several each and we both got sick with some bells and whistles--the hours long nausea and blurred vision was just as described in the literature when one eats them raw. I could not stomach a raw mushroom of any kind for over a year. Decades later I wrote a long essay that I titled something like "Bolond Gomba: Santa Claus, Jesus, and Amanita Muscaria." Bolond Gomba is Hungarian for the red Amanita or any gomba (mushroom) that makes you bolond or "crazy." I traced the shamanic influences on the Santa Claus legend and speculated how that interprets Christianity, but it was speculation.

John A. Rush writes like someone familiar to me, someone who is a product of the Sixties movements but moreso as a true believer in the modern myths about the Amanita. Rush views the popular white-flecked, red-capped, fairy tale mushroom as the primal drug and deity called Soma in the Rig Veda and by extension the "fruit" of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the Genesis story of Jewish tradition. He goes much further in finding indications of Amanita (and entheogens in general) in nearly every transformative tradition on the planet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rush is a professor that is herein providing his syllabus to us in the form of a book. He is not a very good writer of books. He is extremely repetitive, using what I call the "Hydra Method" to substantiate what are sometimes untenable positions by coming at the issue from multiple directions again and again. The summary part of his scholarship is often rudimentary and one wonders how he became a professor. Over and over, I kept picturing him closing his eyes and waxing poetic, but his poetry falls flat.

Essentially you can fast-forward and speed-read his book, flipping through pages full of drivel at a hyper accelerated rate. I wanted to give his book 1 star, but as I sped through it, I kept finding I had to stop at some salient point of research that Rush offers up. The reader will come to realize that he has a certain expertise, which in part is in teasing out mushroom motifs from passages of the Bible. Now Rush had 3 stars, because this information is scattered through dozens of other books by other authors and none of them are focusing solely on the Bible like Rush is. As the reader digests the entirety of the book, they realize that it cannot be read without viewing the DVD which is attached onto the back-cover. Here is what Rush does best: he has methodically traveled the world snapping pictures of very old tapestries, stained glass windows, frescos, tomb and catacomb art, psalters and many other sources. He has literally gathered a thousand pictures which tell a very interesting story about Judaism in general and Christianity in particular: THEY USED DRUGS. More to the point, all through the Christian art are seemingly countless depictions of psilocybin "magic" mushrooms and in particular the tell-tale red-cap of the Amanita mushroom.
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