Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics Paperback – 25 Apr 2008
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This is an excellent pioneering work, erudite, courageous and imaginative, that provides a new kind of ethics, linked to a newly appeared complex of religions, which are founded on some very old human truths. --Professor Ronald Hutton, world expert on paganism and author of The Triumph of the Moon and many other titles.
This is a lively, sensible and careful attempt to make sense of some very confusing, and yet important, areas of modern thought. I particularly like the clear style and the attention that the author gives to parts of the historical background which are usually misunderstood. The book should interest a wide audience. --Mary Midgley, philosopher, author of Science as Salvation and many other works.
About the Author
Emma Restall Orr (aka Bobcat) is one of the most well-known Druids worldwide. She worked for the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, was Joint Chief of the British Druid Order, and in 2002 created the international Druid Network. In 2004, she founded Honouring the Ancient Dead, which advocates with heritage organisations around the issue of ancient and Pagan British human remains. She is a practicing priest and teacher, regularly lectures at universities and within the Pagan community, and works as a media spokesperson for Druidry.
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Top Customer Reviews
Without going into too much unnecessary academic detail, the book takes us on a journey through traditional modes of thinking, so ingrained that we don't even notice them but which are instantly familiar. The reader is inspired to ask themselves why they hold their beliefs, from everyday issues to deep fundamental philosophies of life. Pagan 'traditions' (old and new) are naturally a yardstick, but the need to question is paramount, to investigate in a manner that should be familiar from Bobcat's previous work, but which is easy to forget when stuck in a 'normal' 21st century environment.
It takes time to absorb - regular pauses are necessary during reading, to go away, consider, sometimes come to realizations, and then continue. So much is contained in these pages, that a second reading is already on the cards!
Emma's Paganism demands to be lived, with all of its pitfalls and promise. It is not light and easy, but can be dark, bloody and difficult - but then, so is life. While her previous works were guidebooks, this takes the next step, asking the hard questions that must be addressed if we are to live in a truly 'pagan' way, with everything that entails. As representatives of our beliefs, and so of our own selves, ancestors and land, we cannot live by blinding obeying as we are told. We make our ethics, and this book gives us the equipment with which to do so.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
If you're looking for a work that sits broadly within the Western ethical religious and cultural milieu but which subverts the accepted and cuts away at cultural accretion this is the book you're looking for. Read it, delight in it and learn from it.
Emma Restall Orr has broken new ground as the first author to dissect, examine and critically position natural Pagan ethics within its broader cultural and philosophical context. Scholarly and comprehensive in its depth of examination, the author adeptly navigates through the rich heritage of influential philosophers and thinkers whose work has sculpted and continues to shape our understanding of nature, reason, humanity and relationship. From Immanuel Kant to Arthur Schopenhauer, Peter Singer, and many more, each thinker provides a touchstone for exploring how a sensitive relationship with nature can form the basis of a Pagan ethics.
The book tackles some difficult questions and dilemmas: How does the nature-revering Pagan, grounded firmly in their philosophy, respond to issues such as abortion, euthanasia, or animal exploitation? How have we formed an understanding of consciousness, freedom, sanctity, responsibility, and how are these expressed in the way we live? Faced with global environmental crises, how can we craft our nature-based values into sustainable relationships that form an intelligent and effective response to the problems?
Restall Orr may come across as authoritative at times, and readers should prepare to have their assumptions challenged. This is not a comfortable book. It is intentionally provocative, deeply questioning, and essentially motivating. It expertly addresses a gaping hole in the Pagan literature, and as such, its significance should not be underestimated.Read more ›
This book is not a good introduction to ethics(Neo-pagan or otherwise), although I think it was intended as such, nor does it, due to its rambling prose, present a clear argument for virtue ethics and it would have been good to see how the authors version of virtue ethics actually worked to answer some ethical/moral puzzles('The trolley puzzle' for instance) rather than just offering rhetorical polemic after rhetorical polemic to the reader.
The one thing this book does have going for it is that there is probably no other book in its category of 'Neo-pagan Ethics', and for that I would recommend it to Neo-pagans who want to look a little bit closer at their own 'Neo-paganism'. For this reason alone I mark it up to 3 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An inspiring and thought-provoking book that is easy to read and offers many gems. Highly recommended to those with an open mind, willing to have their own honour, values and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by TashaO'Neill
Good to read a book attempting to elucidate ethics from a pagan perspective. I enjoyed reading this book and digesting it within my own moral struggle. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gecko
I love to read this author's work as she makes me think. Sometimes it can get uncomfortable, the implications of being a fully concious person mean many issues have to be... Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by James
This book is preachy and heavy going and her arguments on a few issues are pretty inconsistent, particularly vegetarianism. Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2012 by EnglishRose
Awens to All:
In September 2010, I got hold of a Book by the Druid Network's High Priestess Emma "Bobcat" Restall Orr called "Living With Honour, A Pagan Ethics" and... Read more
It's an excellent book, thought-provoking and well reasoned for the most part. I was disappointed with her argument on vegetarianism, though. Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2012 by Ysgawen
Living with honour is one of the best pagan books I have read. Extremely thought provoking. Well written. One of those books I know I will pick up and read again.Published on 5 Dec. 2011 by Raven Dragonoak
As a relative newbie to the pagan paths I've been reading around the subject.
I have to say that I found this book quite heavy going - in fact I couldn't read more than... Read more