Item description for The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy (Yale Nota Bene) by Yuri Stoyanov...
Overview This fascinating book explores the evolution of religious dualism, the doctrine that man and cosmos are constant battlegrounds between the forces of good and evil. Stoyanov traces this evolution from late Egyptian religion through the suppression of the Bogomils and the Cathars.
Publishers Description Among the most intricate historical and religious mysteries of medieval Europe are those posed by the Great Heresy - the sudden rise and spread of medieval dualism, the belief that cosmos and man are constant battlegrounds between the forces of good and evil and their supernatural protagonists. This book offers a comprehensive history of religious dualism, from its early expressions in late Egyptian religion and the revelations of Zoroaster through the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mithraic Mysteries, and the Great Gnostic teachers to its revival in medieval Europe and the suppression of the Bogomils and Cathars who were seen as heirs to that ancient rival of Christianity, Manichaeism. Exploring crucial stages in the history of Christian dualist heresy, Yuri Stoyanov illuminates a variety of religious and political undercurrents that lie beneath the surface of recorded history.
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.78" Width: 5.01" Height: 1.26" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Aug 11, 2000
Publisher Yale University Press
ISBN 0300082533 ISBN13 9780300082531
Availability 0 units.
More About Yuri Stoyanov
Stoyanov is a distinguished researcher based at the Warburg Institute, London University.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy (Yale Nota Bene)?
Superb Scholarship Feb 14, 2008
Not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't think of any better book to cover this subject matter.
Perhaps this book was just over my head Jul 27, 2007
Although I find the subject riveting, I was slightly misguided by the books description. This is an academically aimed and sophisticated discussion of dualist religion and is not appropriate for someone who is not relatively versed in the subject to begin with. I found myself going to my exterior references often to follow the author's train of thought (tracking down academic references and unknown vocabulary) - although when I gleamed what the author was trying to say, I found his thoughts insightful. This is a very heavy read - and will require some muscling though to get to the end.
Rising Above Academic Suppression Nov 28, 2006
"The Other God" is a Rig Veda net of gems, not a single gem. I discovered it when I was researching the same questions as Stoyanov addresses so masterfully. I suggested it as reading in my Philosophy of Religion course, and I referenced it heavily in my book, "The Order of the Dragon," which extends Stoyanov's history of The Great Heresy (I prefer The Great Heterodoxy as a name) both backward and forward in time. The discovery of an ivory statuette of a lion-headed man in Ulm, Germany, dating to about 40,000 BC indicates how far back this Heterodoxy can go. Its inclusion in Freemasonry and in cutting-edge science indicates how far forward it has come. But it has been suppressed ruthlessly along the way. The one review of Stoyanov's "The Hidden Tradition" can't fault him on facts or reason, so it faults him for Judaeo-Christian heterodoxy. Apparently Joseph Campbell even had trouble getting his books published in his later years, as he too was walking the path of the heterodoxy. After teaching 20 years at an academic institution to complement my main area of bioethics at a medical school, I had my adjunct professor appointment terminated for using that heterodox text as a supplementary reading to expand the parochial texts of philosophy of religion, and for daring to use it in my Nietzsche course to give students the Zarathustrian background one needs to understand Nietzsche.
I'm relieved that Stoyanov has experienced only minor suppression of his work, though I think the last chapter of his book reflects his trying to accomodate that suppression. After carefully showing the ongoing thread of The Great Heresy, he recants in that last chapter and denies there is such an ongoing thread because this tradition is not monolithic. But then, neither is the Jewish or Christian tradition, yet we still group those religious views under unifying categories. I don't think the suppressive cultural tendencies deserve such obeisance, and I hope Stoyanov continues to light the hidden recesses of The Great Heterodoxy. When that Heterodoxy successfully defends itself against suppression by monotheisms, we have Renaissances. When it doesn't, we have Dark Ages.
Dr. Colleen D. Clements
Best Overall Discussion of Dualist themes in Religion I have Found Sep 4, 2006
This covers a huge range of material from around the world, fascinating. This combined with a good reading of the Cathar Book of Two Principles (which is found in Wakefied/Evans' Heresies of the High Middle Ages) and Sinha's Translation of The Samkhya Philosophy, should be required reading for ANYONE who uses the terms 'dualism' or 'manichean' when they make arguments or commentary on religion or culture.
can't do better than this Jul 17, 2005
Books like this are real treasures: at once fascinating and scholarly. Usually if you find a book on Mithraism, the Gnostics, Manichees, and Cathars, it's mostly nonsense. But this one is the highest level of scholarship.
I was never bored while reading this; every page is full of information about obscure movements and heresies that anyone who studies the history of religion, especially religion in the Classical world or pre-modern Europe, will love to know.
If you suspect you'll enjoy this book, I guarantee that you will. Of course if you want to read about Nicholas of Cusa, you'll be disappointed, but otherwise, you'll love it.