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Annual Faith Lecture 2022

  Lecture - Tuesday 17th May, 6pm in Lecture Theatre #1 at the Waterfront Building, Ipswich Modern forms of Paganism have undergone a revival in the last century, drawing on the polytheist and animist religions of the ancient world for their inspiration and world view (though often blended with ideas from a variety of other sources). Many, perhaps the majority, of modern pagans feel a reverence for the natural world and a wish to restore the damage done by increasing industrialisation and population growth. This talk examines some of the major influences on the development of Paganism, the relationship with the environmental movements, and how an animist worldview shapes an understanding of the Land, the living beings we share it with, the realm of spirits, and our respective duties towards them. Biography Robin Herne is the Route Leader for Sociology and Criminology at West Suffolk College, having previously been the Lead for Religious Studies and Ethics there. He regularly contribute

The Ever Young

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 This was recorded back in February as a practice for a group storytelling at the Leaping Hare convention in late March. Meant to upload it weeks ago, but forgot. It is based on the tale of how Fionn's son, Oisin, is drawn to Tir na nOg, Land of the Ever Young, for love of  a mysterious woman and how he finds the world much changed upon his return. The encounter with Bishop Patrick is much as it is in the original version, though told with a definite sympathy to the pagan viewpoint. 

The Dog of Khandoba

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 My spin on a Hindu myth (really more of a fusion of several different versions) about the deity Khandoba who rides out with his two wives Mhalsa, lined to the merchant caste, and Banai, linked to the ancient shepherding caste, to battle two demonic brothers intent on carnage. The version I have opted for here shares much with one of the stories told of Kali. The devourer of demons, in this particular story, is Khandoba's dog. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to track down a name for this magnificent beastie, but if any Hindu readers are aware of it, please let me know. Today a new dog has become part of my life, renamed Bronntanas (Irish for "gift", and he is assuredly a gift from my old boy Gwynn). Bronn is a big old Malamute with the most beautiful eyes and I am sure he could flatten a few demons if the mood took him - so this story is to welcome him in to my life and into my circle. I was going to try and get him to appear in the video, but he is a bit camera sh

Marigo

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 It being April 23rd, my mind turns to dragons and the numerous folktales about them. This story from Albania features a singularly charmless family as its central characters and a reminder about why we should be careful who we let have influence over our children's minds (cranky, manipulative teachers included).  There are forty dragons featured in this tale, though it has to be said that they really don't do anything very draconian and, as is so often the case with a lot of folktales, there are many loose ends left untied - like what happens to the governess, why are forty dragons squeezed into a castle, and ought the romantic "hero" be on a police watch list? Possibly when this story was first doing the rounds, audiences would have been familiar with other stories that would have put the dragons, the governess etc. into context. I did consider doing a story about the bolla, a type of dragon that only opens its eyes on April 23rd, but aside from a few scraps of myth

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit - final chapters

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 My reading of the last three chapters of P G Wodehouse's comic novel "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit" (1954) in which Jeeves, that machina ex deus, resolves all the problems that beset the household. You will have noticed from the constant references to Agatha Christie across the book that the two authors admired each other's work. Whilst Christie had rather Wodehouse-like characters in some of her books (especially the Tommy & Tuppence ones), she sadly never had a Jeeves-style character solve a murder and exonerate his employer from suspicion.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit #18 & 19

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  My reading of the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of P G Wodehouse's "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit" (1954).The purloining of pearls gets ever more confused as Wooster contemplates a life behind bars and Mrs Trotter throws her hat into the ring.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 16 & 17

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  My reading of chapters sixteen and seventeen of P G Wodehouse's "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit" (1954). Grievous bodily harm is attempted, Cupid steps in, and aunts become pottier by the minute.