Books on Northern European and Norse Religions

As a philosopher and historian, I have a great interest in understanding and reconstructing the past. This includes religion. During my days as a Classical studies undergraduate, I read a lot about Greek and Hellenistic religions, but now I have shifted into the Norse and Northern European traditions. Below I will review some of my favorite books in these areas (I should also mention that as a philosopher (Ph.D.) I read a lot in philosophy of religion both as a student and later as a philosophy instructor, but so much philosophy of religion focuses on the monotheistic religions. However, if you are examining pagan traditions you need to get a stronger grasp of polytheism, animism, and panpsychism. I plan to write a separate blog post on those areas).

Daniel McCoy’s book, The Viking Spirit, is the easiest book to read of those I’ve shown, and is written for the layperson. It is an enjoyable read that provides an overview of Norse religion and mythology. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the ideas, or as a light-hearted review if you are already familiar with the main concepts.

H.R. Ellis Davidson was a great scholar. I really love her writings, you can tell because I have several of her books! Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe was the first book of hers that I read. When it comes to her other books, I am currently part way through all of them. I work through each somewhat slowly so that I can digest what she is saying, highlighting things along the way (I treat these books as if I were a graduate student again). Then, days, or even a few weeks later I return to the book, re-read what I had previously highlighted before continuing on for another chapter. I find her books are worth taking my time to explore. One book not shown here but one I intend to get is the first book she wrote: The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature. This is another classic and I look forward to examining it.

The Thomas DuBois book: Nordic Religions in the Nordic Age, is a stand-out and respected academic volume if you want a rigorous source for the Nordic religions. Like the books of H.R. Ellis Davidson, I am working my way through this book at a slower place to increase my understanding. As the blurb on the back cover accurately says “DuBois examines Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Mediterranean traditions to locate significant Nordic parallels in conceptions of supernatural beings, cults of the dead, beliefs in ghosts, and magical practices. These beliefs were actively held alongside Christianity for many years, and were finally incorporated into the vernacular religious practice.” The book does an exemplary job of showing the interplay and exchange of ideas between these different cultures.

John Lindow’s: Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, is a thorough encyclopedic reference for all things related to Norse heroes, rituals, and beliefs, including insightful prefatory material examining concepts of mythic time, cyclical time, narrative, and language, to help the reader understand the encyclopedic entries that follow for the main body of the book. As an encyclopedia, this is not a book you read cover to cover (although I would recommend that you read the first chapters on conceptions of time), but dip in when you need a clear and detailed clarification on a concept.

I also find it informative to study modern practices in Norse Paganism. The views presented will vary depending on whether the author leans towards reconstructionism, or eclecticism (in how they present and interpret beliefs and practices). One also has to be attentive when exploring this literature, since Norse Paganism has a problem with a vocal minority of white supremacists trying to appropriate the symbols and beliefs of Northern European faiths for their own muddled ideology. The Asatru/Norse Paganism books I have shown above are not written by racists.

Patricia Lafayllve’s A Practical Heathen’s Guide to Asatru has very informative chapters on conceptions of time, land spirits, charms, magic, ethics, and rituals.

Ryan Smith’s The Way of Fire and Ice: Living Traditions of Norse Paganism has chapters on how to develop practices and core ideas with a focus on building community (a healthy and supportive community).

Both these books I have only dipped into. I am currently focused on academic examinations of the ancient and medieval traditions on which to build a foundation – I want to understand the beliefs as much as I can from the perspective of the original practitioners (which is admittedly difficult since we have only fragmentary archeological and historical evidence to rely upon). Then, with a semi solid historical foundation I will more confidently move into modern practices to see how they have taken past views and re-interpreted them to meet the current challenges facing our societies. And as I alluded to earlier, I am also reading through academic texts on polytheism, animism, and panpsychism, for these are the philosophical and religious ideas which underlie past and current pagan practices, and as a philosopher I have the need to analyze and critique the foundational concepts and themes being drawn upon to see how they hold up to examination. The problem with being a philosopher is the constant need to obsessively question, examine, and interrogate concepts! It can be very tiresome to systematically dismantle and reform ideas, but it is oh so fulfilling when you discover a new way in which to view, or interpret, the world!

Norse History Books

As a philosopher and historian, I crave the ability to understand the past. One of the areas I focus on is Norse history from the Viking era and how it connects with what preceded it and how future generations have developed from it. Below are some of the books that I have read or am reading that are informing me.

Neil Price’s books on Viking history and late Iron Age cognitive archaeology.

Neil Price is a great resource for understanding Viking Age-Scandinavia. The Viking Way, based on his Ph.D. examines the cognitive archaeology of late Iron Age Scandinavia. He provides insights into Iron Age Scandinavian beliefs on deities such as Óðinn and Þórr, and Norse magical practices (e.g. Galdr – incantations, and Seiðr – norse magic concerned with fate). I am only a couple of chapters into this book, but I really enjoying the in-depth academic investigation into late iron age Norse magic and sorcery. I really feed off of a solid academic book that has a point to make on a particular subject matter and does it by comparing and contrasting their research with others who have researched in that area.

Children of Ash and Elm is Price’s thorough (624 pages) overview of the Viking Age, . Since he is an archaeologist, this book will provide the perspective of an archeologist, examining their politics, cosmology, and religion.

Byock’s classic Medieval Iceland, the Book of Settlements (Landnámabók) and The Book of the Icelanders (Íslendingabók).

Jesse Byock has done extensive writing on the Viking Age, having done translations of many Norse sources. I have acquired his book Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power to gain a better contextual understanding when I read the Sagas.

The Íslendingabók is a short work which describes the settlement of Iceland, the establishment of the Alþingi (Assembly), partitioning Iceland into quadrants, the discovery of Greenland, and the Icelandic conversion to Christianity c.1000 CE.

The Landnámabók tells the story of how the island of Iceland was found.

Haywood’s book is a straightforward history that progresses by region (for example, there is a chapter on Lindesfarne, followed by Paris, followed by Orkney). This allows me to dip in and read about a particular geographical region when needed.

Winroth’s book is a history by subject matter. So with this book I can read a chapter on ships, boats, and ferries if I am interested in that, then if my interests change to farm life, there is a chapter I can read on that.

Friðriksdóttir’s book covers women in the Viking world. This book takes the approach of what life would be like for a woman in that time from infancy to old age (each chapter covers a different time in a woman’s life).

I do have other books, but I consider these the highlights.

The Complete Sagas of Icelanders

I love great literature and storytelling. During my Classical Studies B.A. and Humanities minor, I enjoyed my journeys through Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil, Dante, etc. In recent years my interests have shifted into the medieval time period, and from the Mediterranean region to northern Europe. I signed up for a MOOC on The Medieval Icelandic Sagas from the University of Iceland (which I described in a previous post), and that really got me excited and put me on a journey that looks to keep me busy for a good long time!

The Complete Sagas of Icelanders from Leifur Eiriksson Publishing.

Since the end of last year I have chosen to get The Complete Saga of Icelanders in one finely crafted collection with rigorous academic translations and explanations. This collection has 40 full sagas and 49 shorter tales. There is a lot of reading here! Although this cost 300 dollars, it is actually cheaper than buying them all in paperback from Penguin Books (which has taken most of the stories from the complete collection available from Leifur Eiriksson Publishing and turned them into paperbacks, albeit with a larger amount of editorial and historical background material with glossaries for each individual saga, which you expect from Penguin). Of course, I still have quite a few Penguin editions since they are more portable and I can read them while out and about, but I wanted a sturdy and well-bound collection to read while at home in my personal library. I have found both the hardcover Leifur Eiriksson collection and the Penguin editions are valuable and useful.

The slipcase collection comes with a useful guide booklet for the collection.
The interior of each book has charts and maps to assist the reader in acquiring a fuller picture of the sagas and the surrounding history and culture.
Individual Icelandic Sagas and related literature.

When it comes to the Saga of Icelanders, I have so far read Gisli Sursson’s Saga, The Saga of the People of Eyri, Njal’s Saga, and The Saga of Grettir the Strong, and I will be moving on to more of them. However, I have also planned more reading in the Poetic Edda, the Heimskringla, and some of the Viking Romances – I want to cover all the different types of Norse literature!

Greek & Roman History (and Gaming)

Although I am a philosopher (Ph.D.), I love history, and although my emphasis in recent years has been largely medieval history and folklore, my academic beginnings were born in classical civilizations (B.A.). For the last few days I have gone back to some of the great historians of Greece and Rome and revisited them, exploring their views of what history meant to them, and the different methods they employed to present it to their audience.

Herodotus (c.484 to c.425 BCE).
The earliest historians of the Greeks and Romans viewed the subject of history more broadly than today (the word history comes from the Greek word historia meaning ‘inquiry’ or ‘investigation,’ it would not be until later when subjects were more rigidly separated). What I love about reading someone like Herodotus is his strong sense and love of the marvelous. He happily includes references to mythological beings in his work. There are also dramatic themes of justice and retribution in the stories he tells. Yet, because he also traveled widely, there is a sense of familiarity with the places he describes. His Histories cover the Greco-Roman Wars of 499-449 BCE, an era that I find remarkably interesting.

Thucydides (c.460 to c.400 BCE).
Whereas Herodotus recreated scenes from the past, with Thucydides we have a historian who lived through what he wrote about (the Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BCE). His writing deemphasizes the mythological (there is less reference to gods and oracles). Yet, like so many Greeks of his time, he explored the moral issues and conflicts that were integral to politics (I enjoy this as a Philosopher). Thucydides’ points of reference are individual events and persons, and from there he moves to a total of their interrelationships. For him knowledge for its own sake was meaningless – knowledge must lead to understanding. Finally, another view he had was that human nature was predictable. This is why you see authors of this period repeat certain morality tales as they move through centuries of time, for if human nature is predictable, then repeating a moral lesson would seem reasonable (think of the view that “history repeats itself”). The Peloponnesian War sees the loss of Greece as a regional power. It is another period of history I enjoy because there is – as Thucydides wanted his readers to contemplate – a moral consideration of the actions and results of the different actors in this struggle.

Polybius (c.200 BCE – c.118 BCE).
Polybius shifts how we should view history. He viewed history on a larger canvas. Polybius was one of the first to make use of a ‘universal history’ approach. He stepped away from writing about a series of unrelated episodes and instead thought that all these different events have a relationship and contribute towards a single endpoint (effectively what Plato and Aristotle came up with in their philosophy, Polybius was making use of for his universal history). In Polybius we also have a historian who drew upon his personal experiences to write his history and was not just comparing other people’s writings. His Rise of the Roman Empire covers the Punic Wars (264-146 BCE, another period I enjoy reading about.

Livy (59 BCE – 17 CE).
His historical events were explained by looking at the character of the people involved, with short speeches representing the climax of each moral episode. There is a unique conflict in his writing, in that he says the current state of Rome is a direct consequence of the failure of moral character, yet at the same time he thought Rome was at the peak of its power and achievements. Livy thought the way to overcome this tension was to study ‘character’ throughout history and look for the warnings and examples in your own time and place. The Early History of Rome covers the founding of Rome (754 BCE) to the expulsion of the Kings (509 BCE). There is some great history/mythology to enjoy here, allowing us a window into how the Romans viewed their origins. Even though some of this “history” is a historical and mythological borrowing from other cultures and renaming them, it is still instructive in how a culture can invent (reinvent?) itself.

Tacitus (c.56 CE – 117 CE)
Tacitus provides a look at historical characters for their own sake. The reader is to understand them, not to simply condemn or praise them like you find with some of his predecessors. The Annals cover Tiberius to Nero (14 CE to 68 CE), and The Histories cover the death of Nero to Domitian (69 CE to 116 CE). I must admit this era is much less interesting to me. In part it might be because when I was pursuing my B.A. in classical civilizations, I had to learn Latin, and I genuinely struggled with it. Also, although the Romans were quite inventive from an engineering perspective with the incredible structures they built, so much of their history, religion, and philosophy is simply taken from the Greeks (and others) and altered, so beyond engineering and military conquests, I don’t find as much of interest with the Romans from this point forward.

Gaming Applications
Beyond the enjoyment of reading and learning about how history was viewed and presented, as well as the entertainment value of getting pulled into these stories of the Persians, Greeks, Spartans, Carthaginians, and Romans, there is also the many ways I can make use of them for gaming.

First, there is the rich variety of names, personalities, and unique plots and subplots that can be made use of for an adventure or even entire campaigns. The fact that so many of the Greek historians were presenting and examining the moral character of these historical figures and the results of their actions opens endless opportunities for challenging players.

Second, and more specifically to my campaigns, there are the ways some of the cultures in my world can tie in with what I am reading in these books. For example, hobgoblins in my world are a corruption of humans, and I am interested in tying them in with a strict, Roman, militaristic emphasis. The Romans went where they wanted and took what they needed. They were also masterful engineers, building epic buildings proclaiming their greatness, and had what seemed at times a never-ending confidence in themselves. I would like to examine the darker side of that through the lens of hobgoblin culture and hobgoblin empires. That is also why you see a book in the picture above on The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, it was a book I read for a Roman history class that covers quite extensively Roman military history (with lots of diagrams of formations). Think again of Livy’s tension between the failure of moral character he saw in his time, yet also claiming that they were at the peak of their power and achievement. I would love to examine this tension more closely in an open and creative gaming environment.

Tolstoy, Life and Meaning

Evening reading, 23/11/2015

A driving motivation for me as a person and philosopher (it’s hard to separate the two, – philosophy has become a part of who I am), is to examine and reflect upon different approaches to life and meaning. What confronts us in life? How do we respond to it? How do other people respond to their challenges and would we do the same?

Last night I felt the need to begin reading Leo Tolstoy’s “A Confession”, an emotionally honest autobiographical piece he wrote in 1879.  I read through the first four chapters. We learn that he acquired a desire for perfection early on in life:

Now, looking back at that time, I can clearly see that the only real faith I had, apart from the animal instincts motivating my life, was a belief in perfection. But what this perfection consisted of, and what its aim was, were unclear to me. I tried to perfect myself intellectually and studied everything I came upon in life. I tried to perfect my will, setting myself rules I tried to follow. I perfected myself physically, practising all kinds of exercises in order to develop my strength and dexterity, and I cultivated endurance and patience by undergoing all kinds of hardship. All this I regarded as perfection.

Yet all was not right. He thought he had understood life and meaning and had striven forward to pursue his perfection, but came to realize that something was wrong:

I cannot recall those years without horror, loathing, and heartache. I killed people in war, summoned others to duels in order to kill them, gambled at cards; devoured the fruits of the peasant’s labour and punished them; I fornicated and practised deceit. Lying, thieving, promiscuity of all kinds, drunkenness, violence, murder…there was not a crime I did not commit, and yet I was praised for it all and my contemporaries considered, and still consider me, a relatively moral man […] These people became repugnant to me, and I became repugnant to myself.

His life came to a standstill. He writes about his striving against life. Now, for those of us who have suffered from severe depression, what he wrote next is something which we can very clearly relate to and connect with:

Life had grown hateful to me, and some insuperable force was leading me to seek deliverance from it by whatever means. I could not say that I wanted to kill myself. The force beckoning me away from life was a more powerful, complete and overall desire. It was a force similar to my striving after life, only it was going in the other direction. I fought as hard as I could against life. The thought of suicide now came to me as naturally as thoughts of improving my life had previously come to me. This ideas was so attractive to me that I had to use cunning against myself in order to avoid carrying it out too hastily. I did not want to rush, simply because I wanted to make every effort to unravel the matter. I told myself that if I could unravel the matter now, I still had time to do so…I was afraid of life and strove against it, yet I still hoped for something from it. 

All this was happening to me a time when I was surrounded on all sides by what is considered complete happiness…

And this is where I left off last night. I am about to begin the chapter where he begins to engage with philosophical questions of meaning more directly.

His is a most interesting story. Many people seek money and fame. They think that this will make them happier. Yet, we are told by psychologists and philosophers that having everything (money, power, influence) is something that can lead to disappointment, and causes you to continue seeking more when you don’t need it. Tolstoy seemed to have lived this. He had  the things he wanted – or could get them if he needed to – yet he suffered from depression, and sought less so that he could live more.

I look forward to continuing reading this memoir on ‘life when it has lost its meaning’…

The reading I’ve been doing comes from the Penguin Classics edition of “A Confession and Other Religious Writings”. If what you’ve read here has interested you, I encourage you to seek out the book.

Tolstoy A Confession

The Non-fiction Books that have Influenced Me

Over the years there have been many deep and insightful books which have shaped my thought and how I view and interpret the world.  I include the list below both as a reminder to myself of the books worth revisiting, as well as for friends who are interested in the ideas which have helped shape me and who might be interested in exploring on their own (I will update this list as time progresses).

  • Isaac Asimov was the first author who got me fascinated about the world around me and interested in trying to understand it.  As a teenager, back in a time when I never thought I would ever be able to attend university, let alone eventually get a PhD, his books filled me with wonder, excitement, and a desire to learn more.  These were some of the non-fiction books which had the greatest impact on me at that young age:

Isaac Asimov:

Exploring the Earth and the Cosmos

The Roving Mind

Extraterrestrial Civilizations

Asimov’s Chronology of the World

In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954

In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1954-1978

  • Sometimes you discover a book which stands out from all others; it changes how – and what – you think, and ends up transforming you as a person. This book did that for me:

Martin Heidegger: Being and Time

  • Existential Philosophy, Psychology and Theology.  Great books to read if one is interested in examining and understanding the mysteries of human existence, and reflect upon the descriptive experiences of these struggles in the world.

Emmy van Deurzen: Everyday Mysteries: A Handbook of Existential Psychotherapy

Rollo May: Man’s Search for Himself

Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning: an Introduction to Logotherapy

Karl Jaspers: Philosophy of Existence

Jean Wahl: Philosophies of Existence

Martin Buber: I and Thou

Paul Tillich:

The Courage to Be

The Dynamics of Faith

  • History of Science, Science and Religion, Religious Studies.  Key texts useful for getting a clear grasp of the development of science, its relationship with religion, and the core features of what makes up religion.

Edward Grant:

The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts

Science and Religion 400 B.C. – A.D. 1550: From Aristotle to Copernicus

David C. Lindberg: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to AD 1450.

John Hedley Brooke: Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives

Gary B. Ferngren (editor): Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction

Ronald L. Numbers (editor): Galileo Goes to Jail and other Myths about Science and Religion

Ronald L. Numbers and David C. Lindberg (editors): God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science

James Hannam: God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science

Robert N. Bellah: Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

James L. Cox: Expressing the Sacred: An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion

Mircea Eliade: The Sacred & Profane: The Nature of Religion

Rudolph Bultmann: Primitive Christianity: In its Contemporary Setting

  • Works roughly located within the American Pragmatic Naturalist school of thought.  These are great books to get oneself acquainted with philosophy, science, history and culture.  It is an area of philosophy which is highly neglected these days, which is unfortunate, since I think these writers have important things to say:

John Ryder:

American Philosophic Naturalism in the Twentieth Century (editor) 

The Things in Heaven and Earth: An Essay in Pragmatic Naturalism

Thomas M. Alexander: The Human Eros: Eco-Ontology and the Aesthetics of Existence

James S. Gouinlock: Eros and the Good: Wisdom According to Nature

John Lachs: Stoic Pragmatism

Lawrence E. Cahoone: The Orders of Nature

Justus Buchler:

Nature and Judgment

Metaphysics of Natural Complexes

John Herman Randall Jr.:

Nature and Historical Experience: Essays in Naturalism and in the Theory of History

The Making of the Modern Mind: A Survey of the Intellectual Background of the Present Age

John Dewey:

Experience and Nature

Reconstruction in Philosophy

A Common Faith

The Essential Dewey (2 volumes)

Roy Wood Sellars: Reflections on American Philosophy from Within

George Santayana: The Essential Santayana

Will Durant:

The Story of Philosophy

The Story of Civilization (11 volumes, plus 1 supplement)

  • Texts I drew upon for my PhD, covering Selfhood, Phenomenology and Enactive/Embodied Cognition:

Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Phenomenology of Perception

Martin Heidegger: Being and Time

Shaun Gallagher:

How the Body Shapes the Mind

Phenomenology

Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi: The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science

Dan Zahavi: Subjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the First-Person Perspective

Evan Thompson: Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of the Mind

Mark Siderits, Evan Thompson, and Dan Zahavi (editors): Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, & Indian Traditions

Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience

John Stewart, Olivier Gapenne, and Ezequiel A. Di Paulo (editors): Enaction: Toward a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone:

The Primacy of Movement

The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader

Mark Johnson: The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding

Matthew Ratcliffe: Feelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychiatry, and the Sense of Reality

Michael Wheeler: Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step

Daniel Kolak and Raymond Martin (editors): Self & Identity: Contemporary Philosophical Issues

Antonio Damasio:

The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion, and the Making of Consciousness

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Todd Feinberg:

Altered Egos: How the Brain Creates the Self

From Axons to Identity: The Neurological Explanation of the Nature of the Self

Jonathan St. B.T. Evans and Keith Frankish (editors): In Two Minds: Dual Processes and Beyond

Daniel N. Stern:

The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanlaysis and Developmental Psychology

Forms of Vitality: Exploring Dynamic Experience in Psychology, the Arts, Psychotherapy, and Development

  • Works I consulted related to my Masters research on Personal Identity:

Lynne Rudder Baker:

Bodies and Persons: A Constitution View

The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism

Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism

Explaining Attitudes: A Practical Approach to the Mind

Eric Olson:

The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology

What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology

Julian Baggini: The Ego Trick: What Does it Mean to be You?

Kathleen V. Wilkes: Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments

  • Classic Works of Philosophy:

Patricia Curd (editor): A Presocratics Reader

Plato:

The Republic

Theatetus

Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe

David Hume: An Enquiry on Human Understanding

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty

Ludwig Feuerbach:

The Essence of Christianity

Principles of the Philosophy of the Future

Arthur Schopenhauer:

The World as Will and Representation (2 volumes)

On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason

Friedrich Nietzsche: The Portable Nietzsche

Henri Bergson:

Mind and Matter

An Introduction to Metaphysics

Bertrand Russell: The Problems of Philosophy

Gaston Bachelard: The Poetics of Space

Jean-Paul Sartre: The Transcendence of the Ego

Maurice Merleau-Ponty:

Phenomenology of Perception

The World of Perception

Martin Heidegger:

Being and Time

Introduction to Metaphysics

  • Humanism.  There have been many books written discussing and promoting a secular, non-religious Humanist life stance, but in my view, only a select few had the right pluralistic and expansive vision for what it is and what it can achieve:

Corliss Lamont: The Philosophy of Humanism

Paul Kurtz:

Meaning and Value in a Secular Age: Why Eupraxsophy Matters

Living Without Religion: Eupraxophy

Embracing the Power of Humanism

Toward a New Enlightenment: The Philosophy of Paul Kurtz

The Courage to Become: The Virtues of Humanism

Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism

 

  • Cultural Criticism:

Morris Berman:

The Twilight of American Culture

The Reenchantment of the World

Neil Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death

  • Miscellaneous:

Charles Darwin:

The Voyage of the Beagle

Origin of Species

Autobiography

Darwin (Norton Critical Edition)

Oliver Sacks:

Awakenings

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Carl Jung: The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung (Modern Library edition)

Anthony Stevens: The Two Million-Year-Old Self

Steven Mithen: The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion, and Science

Raymond Tallis: Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

Susan Blackmore: Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction

Being and Time Roving Mindmeaning and value 2The Courage to BeZahavi_Subjectivity and Selfhood    corporeal turn