Sex Rites will be available in print, Summer 2010.
The subject matter of this book covers the most sensational topics in the history of ancient religion. It covers sexual rituals, drug use, and human sacrifice. Writing about such topics can appear like a sophomoric attempt to intrigue readers at a very base level. However, excluding these topics from descriptions of religions, particularly Christianity, really misses some of the most important aspects of how ancient religion functioned and still does today. The purpose of religious rites was to create awe and wonder in the audience. Christianity began during a period when extreme spectacle was at its’ height, sexual activities were the most outrageous, and all kinds of drugs were readily available. Early Christians were both acting and reacting within this culture. To really get at what was attracting the first converts to Christianity requires an understanding of their pagan mindset and the sensational rituals which were part and parcel of their religious experience.
The history of Christianity begins long before the 1st century CE. This book is intended as an introduction to four major religious themes which began in the pre-history of Christianity, later personified in the characters of Mary, Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost. The scope of the work is narrowed by focusing on the evolution of religious ideas about sex. It takes into account the importance of ritual use of sex, drugs, and human sacrifice in shaping the religious mindset which led up to Christianity. It identifies political and economic factors as the primary influences behind changes in religious beliefs.